The 21-day lockdown triggered by the spread of the CO-VID 19 virus has been extending for the last 2 months and entrepreneurs, the original hustlers, have had to make plenty of changes to their daily routine to adapt to working from home. Their daily schedules have been disrupted, team management has taken a different route and meetings have been replaced by video calls. Not to forget the stress of a looming economic slowdown and pressure from investors.
Our Founder & Executive Director, Aritra Ghosal, shares his experiences from the lockdown diaries, his thoughts on the current business dynamics and more, in our special edition of #VirtualLeader.
Q: What does your average day look like now given your normal routine must have been disrupted by the lockdown?
My normal routine is that I go for a run or exercise (like I used to do before lockdown) make breakfast and start working. I feel that I can get more things done while working from home, but I miss the human interaction. Thus I believe I may be more productive but may have become a little less imaginative.
Q: How difficult was the transition to working remotely for OneStep?
I would say that the transition purely on working conditions has been quite smooth since we do have the systems in place and we saw this coming so it was pretty smooth.
Q: How do you manage to build rapport and manage your employees? Did you try to develop means of e-socializing with your team?
At OneStep we have a very open and friendly atmosphere, we generally don’t believe in managing people, we make them feel that this is their company too and we are all working towards a collective growth. Though I am not so social media savvy, my team members make sure that we do have the sessions and keep virtually meeting each other. I do have periodic calls with all the team members.
Q: What's the one add-on in your routine that you could not manage because of a busy lifestyle, but you have now picked up?
I would say cooking, I really love to cook but for the last couple of years I became irregular because of my schedule. I would say that I enjoy that part and yeah it becomes a task to cook every day but I seem to like it for now.
Q: Now that you are working from home, how much time are you spending with your family? Any specific activity that you undertake regularly with your family members, which you thoroughly enjoy?
I would say the entire day (phew), I can't point out one singular activity but I think the most we end up doing, is discussing the world, the situation and also try to keep ourselves sane.
Q: What is your fitness routine? Now that outdoor games have stopped are you engaging in some activities indoors?
I like to run, but some days it is not advisable to run. So I took up freehand exercises and I really enjoy a good 45 minutes every day also somehow it offers me a guilt-free pass then to munch on!
Q: Have you always had a separate workstation at home or did you set that up because of the lockdown? Can you share a few lines on how have you set up your workstation?
My landlord has solved this for me, when we took this house little outside of the main city in Gurgaon, they had a huge fully operational office (with printer and fax) so I think I have been very lucky to have a very nice looking and comfortable workspace.
Q: Now that you have come to the other side from being associated with a particular institute to forming a company with a number of clients, which one do you prefer more? And, why?
I would say I enjoyed my role with one single institution but if I have to compare of course I enjoy this stint more. Though this is more challenging and sometimes I feel afraid, but every morning I remind myself that we are (me and my team members) are building something together. I started alone and now we have 11 team members so that has been very rewarding. The collective belief in something makes it special for me.
Q: One thing you want to do first as soon as the lockdown gets over and life returns to normalcy?
I would say to just go to a crowded place or a place which used to be crowded and soak in the cacophony of life.
Q: Do you think you and your team have adapted to this new normal of working online?
Yes but my team members are waiting to go back to the office, guess even more than me!