Select Citywalk CEO sees lockdown as a black swan, says 1st rule for WFH is self-discipline

Yogeshwar Sharma believes that the ongoing pandemic has helped us understand the meaning of 'globalisation'.

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Sharma is also using his time at home to catch up on new professional learning and reading.
Yogeshwar Sharma, CEO Select Citywalk, says that the coronavirus pandemic is helping us understand the meaning of the word globalisation. One of the things he has learnt in the lockdown is just how connected we all are and how everything is interwoven. “Till now globalisation was used loosely, but now it is understood in totality just how all of us are so closely interdependent without realising it,” he says. Sharma, who calls this time a real black swan event, adds that it’s also showing us that we need to coexist and respect nature.

Sharma, who is working from home, is using his study and prayer room as his makeshift office. Having a dedicated space where you can do your work in relative peace and quiet is prerequisite if you want to get things done.

“When it comes to working from home, there are three main rules. On the top of the list is self-discipline. The next is time allocation and the management of that time. The third, ensuring that you have a separate room or at least desk. It’s important to have the space otherwise you can easily be drawn into other chores/lethargy.”


While he and his team found it a bit bumpy to work from home at the start, it was just about finding the right rhythm. “Initially it was quite difficult. But finally, in a day or so, I got the hang of it and became aware of pitfalls. Then disciplining self was the only key along with time management,” Sharma says.

“It was slightly difficult to get used to such operations. We are a very close work group and used to huddle up for decisions. Now it has moved to Zoom or Microsoft meetings. It took couple of days to make everyone realise that Work from home is not equivalent of holiday work. Now it is pretty smooth.”

Apart from work, Sharma is also using his time working from home to catch up on new professional learning and reading. In fact, it’s what’s keeping his spirits up. He says with a smile, “Sitting on a desk at home for such long hours is something that I am doing for the first time.”
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Work From Home Like A Pro: Water Cooler Chat, Breaks & Boundaries Can Make Your Life Easy
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Like most companies, Microsoft’s employees are working from home too. And to aid those working remotely, the company has put together a handy “Guide to working from home.” It is a document that Microsoft has created “to provide their employees with guidance, tips, and resources during the COVID-19 outbreak. The company has made this available publicly for other companies to use as a starting point for guiding their employees to work remotely.



Here are some interesting tips from the presentation:

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Start by identifying a ‘work base’ where your equipment and materials remain undisturbed, even if you shift locations during the day. This is essentially your workstation. Maybe you could even consider personalising it, the way your actual workstation in office is.
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Technology is helping as many are moving conversations to virtual meeting rooms, with video calls. You may want to brush up on your video etiquette. For example, check your surroundings. Be aware of what is in view, and try to minimize distractions and protect privacy. Pets and kids may pop in anyway but one lives in hope.
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Limit multitasking during meetings. Turning on your video can show that you are paying attention and allow you to focus on the person or people on your call. If the option is available, blur your background to reduce distractions.
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In a virtual setting it is hard to tell when it’s polite to interject and when it’s not. If you are the team lead, make sure there’s time and opportunity for all voices to be heard. Perhaps intervene if any one person seems to be dominating the conversation for too long.
In a virtual setting it is hard to tell when it’s polite to interject and when it’s not. If you are the team lead, make sure there’s time and opportunity for all voices to be heard. Perhaps intervene..
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We may be social distancing but we sure miss socialising. So make up for missing hallway talk or connecting in the kitchenette or café by using chat messages or calling. Set yourself a reminder to check in with people regularly. Perhaps take a coffee break separately but together. Keep up the rituals.
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It can be a challenge to switch ‘off’ from work when you don’t leave the office—or switch ‘on’ your workday when you don’t leave the house. If needed, set clear intentions about work time and home time to avoid burnout or being ‘always on.
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