Work from home: Network issue, communication gap play spoilsport, but no travel adds to productivity

By: |
March 20, 2021 1:42 PM

With over more than a year since COVID-19 was declared as pandemic, most of the organisations have been letting their employees to work from home.

"Productivity levels in office space is much better since it was easy to coordinate and get people on the same page."

With over more than a year since COVID-19 was declared as pandemic, most of the organisations have been letting their employees to work from home. Ashish Rathi, Whole Time Director, HDFC Securities, told Financial Express Online that while working from home, he missed the in-person connection the most. He added that the best part of this WFH culture was it saved a lot travelling time, which in turn increased the work productivity. Ashish Rathi also talked about the challenges he faced while working from home. Going ahead, a hybrid model of working must be adopted as it can offer more productivity, he said. Excerpts from the interview:

  1. As you started work from home, what were some of the things you felt were missing? Was it in terms of technology tools or a dedicated space for working longer hours?

The things that were missing included in-person connection with the persons whom the discussion is done. Facial expressions play a very important role in judging the acceptability of a particular point which people may not want to be vocal about, these things cannot be made out on phone. Also during video calls mostly people don’t have their videos on, since it slows connectivity many times. In terms of technology tools it was not an issue. Network connectivity in Mumbai for the internet is not an issue, however, at some far off locations it still is a bit slow. Space is limited for employees especially in case you are living in Mumbai, it purely depends and varies from Individual to Individual. While internet connectivity for me was not an issue, a normal mobile network is an issue at many residential places and creates a lot of communication gaps.  

  1. What were some of the adjustments you made to your personal space so it caters to the professional requirements. Please share that through 4-5 examples.
  • Getting the desk and its tools right. Getting the dining table converted into a working space , also adjusting it in your place wherein the mobile network is better since I faced serious issues with mobile network, however internet connectivity was absolutely fine
  • Reaching people on the phone becomes an issue many times since everyone is on the phone. You try someone his / her number is busy and when the other person tries reaching you, it is quite possible your number is busy. So getting the adjustment right or having more patience with reachability of people is one more adjustment which needed to be done. Making WhatsApp calls in case of network issues or google meet, the desk needed to have the adjustment accordingly.
  • Getting a Bluetooth device / wired one to connect to your phone / laptop. This was very much required since most of things were being done only on call and it was a necessity. Adequate charging and having a charging point nearby to connect was equally important
  • Signing important commercial agreements was becoming a big task, getting yourself to sign agreements digitally by performing various procedures as mentioned was time consuming. Different companies had different procedures to be done.
  1. Do you think now your home is a fully equipped office that helps you work at your 110% productivity? 

Yes, the travel time that is saved, especially in case of places like Mumbai, which can actually add a lot of productivity.

  1. Do you miss your office cabin? What is it you miss about office space? 

You tend to get into a mindset once you reach your office space which was missing if you operate from home. Sometimes I do feel that productivity levels in office space is much better since it was easy to coordinate and get people on the same page which working from home has its own challenges.  However, the travel time saved makes it more convenient to work from home. It has to be a hybrid model which can get you the best productivity is what I feel.

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