An account on working in the Covid & Post-Covid Era
by Gaurav Manchanda
“The world has changed.
I see it in the water.
I feel it in the Earth.
I smell it in the air.
Much that once was is lost,
For none now live who remember it. ”
J. R. R. Tolkien
Things have changed! Times have changed!
Everyone knows the tale of how when Covid hit, no one had a clue of what would be next, life wise or work wise. How people who were essentially needed in the office were forced to Work from Home, but things didn't really fall apart, it was the opposite actually. More was being done.
This went on for some time, then the lockdowns were lifted & people started to think about their Mental Health & Work/Life Balance, and how they were working even longer hours & not giving enough time to themselves or their families, which eventually gave birth to Work from Anywhere. People started working from the Mountains, the Beaches & everything in between for weeks & months, thanks to Airbnb.
This is how it all started again for me. I already had worked remotely in 2018 so this was not really new for me, but it was different. I usually went out to Co-Working spaces or some Brewery which masqueraded as a Co-Working space before 6PM or from a Lakeside Hotel, but this time, it was Working from Home, all the time, every time & was not at all as easy as it sounded.
But then as time went by & WFH was still the norm, things started to feel good. There were a lot of instances where it really shined for me.
I had my first kid during the Third Wave of the Pandemic, things were tough yes, but working from home was a boon in disguise. I was able to spend so much time with my son, see him grow up & of course help my wife, which I would never have been able to do, if I had to go though the going to office grind everyday. You are just too exhausted when you're back to do anything. Have your Dinner & go to sleep, that's all you have the energy left for.
I was helping my wife & playing with my kid, and it took quite some time out of my day, but now, I was working when I felt the most productive, which is late evenings or early in the day & instead of sitting 8-9 hours in office and doing work worth 3-4 hours, I was able to do that work in a half the time & then some more. So, you're working less but you're more productive, you have the comfort of your home & you get to play with your kid. This is a game changer!
And when this got boring, we went on week long breaks in the Mountains. Good weather, good air, not worrying about how much leaves I have left, coz hey, its Work from Anywhere. We went on a 10 day vacation, I took maybe a couple of days off, the work didn't suffer & neither did my Mental Health, its a Win-Win!!
But this is not the only thing that's great about working from anywhere. You don't have to go to a place to work with your team, everyone's wherever they're happy with big smiles on their face, are connected via Zoom/Slack & getting the work done. So now, when you need to hire people, why to restrict yourself to the limited talent pool in your area, go global, coz remember, its Work from Anywhere!
In my current project, we have our PM & Design team in the US & developers in India, mostly Delhi & Japan. So many different people from different cultures, working together as a team, you get to learn so many new things from people everyday.
Was it difficult to manage things in the start, YES! But now, we don't even feel that's a problem, we've adapted to it & different time zone are not a problem anymore. We've delivered quite some features with this team & will continue to do so. When your team is scattered across the globe like ours, you understand that the work will happen asynchronously. You ask your questions & assign the work and Trust that the person will take care of the work when they're next available. You're working well & you're getting Trust as a by-product, what more can you ask for, right? Bye-Bye Micro Management ;)
So, what I intend to say here is, I AM NEVER GOING BACK TO OFFICE! Kidding, office has its own joys. Some days you definitely want to not Work from Home, but most of the days, I'm going to be Working from Anywhere