Working from home seemed easier and more productive during the first month of lockdown, during March & April. In fact, it was exciting because I could reach out and have meetings with every team irrespective of the location. Video conferences with Google or GoTo Meeting or Teams have been really effective.
It took us a couple of days to migrate to ‘work from home’. My colleague and our Chief Operating Officer, Mahesh Jambardi, had put together a graded response plan for any such eventualities. It was smoothly executed under his leadership, and also the very active involvement of our IT@IS head Srinivas Chudamani, along with many others. We have ensured absolute business continuity without any discontinuity.
As we complete 6 months of work from home, all the discussions and debates are about continuing to work from home even after the nCOVID crisis is over (whenever it is), or adopting a blended and flexible model of working from office and optionally from office. I believe that the blended model is what will work.
In my role as the CEO of Excelsoft, an edutech company, it has not been challenging to continue to work. However, I have found that it is busier and takes more hours on working days than compared to the days of working from the office.
I am sure many of us have found that if there is an issue resolution or conflict resolution, it takes more time, and a few extra iterations. When we were working from the office, and being able to meet people in person and face-to-face, it was more efficient, and quicker.
Social interactions are important to put people at ease and make the teams work more effectively. More time at office also meant tighter bonding with the team and a greater emotional connect with the organisation. Alignment to culture and the value system of the organisation was easier. Today’s hiring, onboarding, the need to resonate with immediate leadership, and also the style of leadership, is easier in person. In fact, it is challenging because in the initial phase, when an individual is new to the organisation, it is important to understand key individuals and their personas: individuals who excel in different skills and competencies, and are the ‘go to’ persons for any difficulties or help and facilitation.
However, thanks to the business we are in, education technologies, and since all the work we do is digital and online, it has been a blessing.