"I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time given."
The last few weeks have been challenging to say the least. COVID-19 has forced us to reassess our priorities, juggle between personal and professional choices, and change how we used to perceive and see things (and people, of course). It has thrown us out of our comfort zones and made us question the status quo! Work From Home is one such thing – which we all have been assessing at workplaces during these times.
Didn't WFH mean balancing personal and professional lives?
What do we do when Working from Home is the norm rather than a hiatus amidst those hectic weeks at work? We thought to crowdsource innovative ideas from various teams at Unbxd to bring you the best ways to collaborate, maintain a healthy communication, and enhance productivity while the world works from home!
Sneha VU shares her experience while working from home.
"My team and I are trying our best to ensure there's minimum impact on the delivery. We start our day with a quick connection to exchange pleasantries. Just seeing and talking to each other leaves us with a lot of positivity for the entire day. To continue with the daily tasks, we use Krow, a project-tracking tool, to track our daily progress.
This helps us set clear expectations for what is required to be delivered on a day-to-day basis. Having complete trust and skipping micromanaging is the key for me. Another thing for which my team and I are particular is maintaining good meeting etiquette. Time plays a vital role when multiple dependencies are Communicating aptly, and not hesitate to pick up and call each other for help allows us to progress in harmony throughout the day. On a lighter note, #staysafe #staydistantlyconnected are the hashtags we have become fond of recently!"
Anupama shares how integration sessions are more interesting than ever while working from home.
_"We at Unbxd started our work from home – a week earlier than the government declared dates – to see how the teams could work together remotely. This was our commitment to the situation at hand. _
To ensure the topmost productivity, we all come to our workstations (at home) by 11 in the morning. In addition, every team has scheduled daily standups over Zoom, where we all get together to discuss what we did & what we plan to do for the rest of the day. This defines a good schedule or To – Do list for the rest of the day.
Also, talking to fellow employees keeps the morale up & makes us feel that we are still in the office. And we are in it together!
We have also done API integration sessions over zoom, simulating an office-like environment where we huddle together in a room or at our desks! We all have also kept a personal goal to respond to any slack messages within 10 to 15mins with at least an acknowledgment message if we cannot reply to the query in 15mins. Tiny little things and tricks like these have kept us going so far! And I am sure it will also be helpful in the future!"
Ankit loves to observe office-like routine zealously
"Office Ready – Getting out of the most comfortable clothes and dressing up as if headed to work helps in getting into the zone Pomodoro Technique – Build a list of tasks, and I use a tool called 'Be Focused 'which allows me to set 25 mins intervals to complete my tasks.
Home Office – A designated space with a table/desk to work. This keeps me alert and not slouching while working from Home. Call over chat – I try to get things done on a call than chat. Pinging to check for somebody's availability and getting on a quick call helps me get the work done faster and breaks the monotony. With so much happening over chat, it can get overwhelming sometimes. Besides, I have regular standups with my lead to clearly understand the work status and be on the same page."
Sujay shares some of the practices he observes and implements, which result in better productivity for him and his team.
"For me, it is important to be in the zone to get started. Hence I have diligently created a checklist since the day we all started to work from Home at Unbxd. I started by creating a Working zone that makes you feel like you are in the office. This makes me feel comfortable yet alert. Setting up work timing is critical as it defines the window during which the work needs to be completed while being equally participative in personal life and chores. I start my day with the team catch-up, where we share the energy while discussing our work. My team and I are available via Slack, email, or phone. Staying connected is the key to sailing through these tough times. Lastly, maintaining a to-do list comes in handy, and when there is more work than usual, I uninstall social media apps on my phone. This avoids unnecessary distraction."
Nishant emphasizes the importance of chasing the same goal
"Unbxd is an extremely nimble and progressive tech company with a cutting-edge tech stack powering product discovery for thousands of businesses across the globe. Even with that kind of stack, working from Home has been a revelation for our company and my team. The time saved from commuting (we can avoid Bangalore traffic), meetings discipline and improvements in cross-team collaboration are working really well for us. The daily evening catch-up with all the business leaders ensures we are all aligned and chasing the same goal the next day. While I pray this pandemic and crisis improves soon, I believe the advantages of remote work make it here to stay for long!"
Nitin shares how he motivates his team to stay fresh and calm during these times
_"Work from Home is challenging if you do not find a routine. Even more challenging when there is a larger team to coordinate with. While regular sync-ups in the morning chalk out our plan for the day, we also have intermittent standups for detailing specific projects. My team and I ensure we are available over Slack, phone,/zoom to stay connected.
Personally, I have been chasing my team and myself to have yoga sessions every day, meditation, and avoid spending much time on the news and social media.
So, I am up for anything that saves us energy, keeps us fresh and going during these stressful times."_
While COVID-19 has turned the entire world upside down, it would not be an exaggeration to say it is daunting to be sane in these insane times. All of us at Unbxd are trying to be creative in making Work From Home a hassle-free and fun experience for each other. Out of everything, I personally love those "Chai? or Cappuccino?", "Get up and walk (inside your house)," "it's your turn to call," and "Say my hello to Bruno" slack reminders! During these challenging times, our diligence is maintaining healthy communication and a productive "work" environment for folks at Home. After all, we intend to bring the best to all of you while working from home!