Author: Neha Chadha

It was a Monday morning in the second week of March, where like other professionals I woke up and felt that it is the beginning of the week. The week will call for usual meetings, daily hustle-bustle followed by getting back home and starting the household chores. By the mid of the week, I realized things are changing, and got to know about a contagion that soon took over and ruled the way we work. We got a notification from our legal advisor that, based on the government notification, we should start working from home. As an HR this was the first time, I drafted an email stating- please work from home till further notified. Little did we know that, till further notified will not be counted in days but in months and the role of HR would undergo a paradigm shift. In addition to the work that was on the plate, the time called for wearing a different cap. Those ones on one interaction where we could see the expressions of people and then think what to talk next ceased. While as HR we were still getting into the new normal, it occurred to us that we will now have to think of making people feel connected in a different way and also give them the confidence that this is just the change of workstation, none the less, we are still the same. As a team, we ensured certain things:

  • ETAs for the usual tasks were shared and the tasks were done as per the specified ETAs.
  • We conducted some online competitions to start off which engaged employees. Collage making competition was one such.
  • We collected and shared work from home pictures along with the families.
  • There is still a thought in everyone’s mind as to why this is happening. A virus that is 1/10th of the size of a hair strand can affect so many people and much more. Certainly, these thoughts and uncertainty of the WFH period, increased our stress levels. To mitigate this, we started the meditation and self-exploration sessions, accompanied by breathing exercises, which were conducted by a renowned professional.
  • It’s always great to get together on a topic which most of the people relate to and what better topic can you have than Bollywood movies. We had a Bollywood quiz conducted. It had a great feeling of team bonding.
  • We started doing one on ones through video calls where seeing each other made us feel great.
  • Another event that was a big hit was the AFour Virtual Family Concert. Honestly, there comes a stage where you realize that you did not even know about the hidden talent in employees plus their family members and this was the day… There were stupendous performances like dance, poetry, singing, playing instruments, etc. The evening truly made us believe that we are together. no matter what!

We plan to do many such events and stay connected. 

Months have passed by and we do not know when everything will be like 2019 BC (before Coronavirus 😊) but yes, change is the only constant… The new era has given us many positives:

  • We can spend quality time with family. With work from home, the travel time is saved along with the usual traffic and pollution hassle.
  • We can pursue our hobbies and hone new skills.
  • The constant issue of “I don’t get time” is to some extent answered. We can now have some time to ourselves.
  • There is less impulsive buying which has taught us that, everything can be managed.
  • The feeling of something that might happen to me has forced us to have healthy eating habits and other wellness habits such as regular exercise, Yoga.
  • As there are fewer vehicles on the road, pollution is less and the air we breathe now is much better than before.

I am sure this a passing phase and will end soon. There is always a brighter side to everything. 

As HR, we will strive to be connected and continue to play the roles of a psychologist, an event planner, a lawyer, and a friend!

1 Comment

  • Meghana

    Could not agree more with you more. This pandemic has forced mass majority to think out of the box and quickly adapt to the changing time. It’s a single global event that has changed us forever!

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