Due to Covid-19 Pandemic, Work From Home has become a new normal globally. Though it is convenient for IT employees to switch to remote work easily than those from other industries, we require solid plan and focus to adapt ourselves to work from home.
At Kovai.co, all our employees are working remotely to ensure product enhancement and offer better customer service. So, we decided to ask them to share their work from home experiences along with the tips they use to work productively. Here’s what they had to say.
Surya Venkatasubramanian, Product Marketer
Work from home was a nice experience during the initial days, but really miss working hand-on-hand with my team members as it elicited the best productivity out of me. For better productivity, make sure to follow a routine work timing and always stay connected with the team members online.
Nishanth Prabhakaran, Product Consultant
Working from home is really a great experience because this generation wouldn’t have experienced this kind of situation before. Being in a customer success role, it is very important to give constant support and hope to our customers. Thanks to the technology for making anything possible even from my home.
In a complete lock down state inside the homes, it is very important to be more productive and connected with our team. In my home, there is a separate work space for me with good configuration and ambience so there won’t be any chance for losing the productivity but increasing a lot.
Archana Sukumaran, Software Engineer (QA)
As per my experience, initial stage of work from home was very tough. For people who are used to working remotely, this may not impact their day-to-day routines and responsibilities. But for anyone who isn’t used to working from home, this sudden shift can feel drastic. All of a sudden, “work-life” and “home-life” are no longer separate. Meetings must happen virtually, communication over text must be taken at face value, and if your significant other is going through the same transition, and especially if we have kids, then we might not even have much space to yourself.
To keep ourselves productive, we need to be disciplined and maintain our usual routine while working from home. Don’t just sit down in front of computer because it’s convenient. Maintain the same healthy lifestyle. Now I feel satisfied and productive in work from home.
I felt, there are a lot of benefits to working from home. It just takes some time to getting used to it and some deliberate effort in figuring out what works best for you, your partner, and anyone else sharing your space.
Meikandanathan Ayyasamy, Software Engineer
I feel work from home is more productive than in the office. There is no disturbance around me, so I can concentrate only on my work. I can save my time to explore more on C# and Angular technologies, because usually to travelling to office and getting back home consumes couple of hours and I literally feel tired because of high traffic. So, it was very difficult to explore anything. In work from home, I got extra two solid hours to develop my skills. Also, I feel more comfortable and productive.
On being productive, before starting my work, I write a to do list of the planned task. I divide my work into several simple tasks. So, completing smaller tasks looks easy than one bigger work.
I used to write 7 to 10 tasks and allocate time to those tasks separately. And I will sort them, based on the priority, once it is done, I just give tick mark to that task manually. This gives the motivation to do the other tasks.
Suhas Parameshwara, Software Engineer
Work from home experience is good. I feel more productive and it’s kind of different experience.
These are some new things I’m doing during WFH.
- Creating a to do list at the start of the day.
- Adapting the Pomodoro Technique.
- For every 2 hours I’ll take a break.
- Listen to some soothing music
- If I completed a task, I would just strike-through in the to do list (That feeling would be very good).
- At the end of the day, I’ll go through my to do list and verify if all the tasks has been completed.
- If not, I’ll just take it to the next day.
Kishore Vidyasagar, UI/UX Developer
I used to work for few days in-home, back in 2018. But this time it’s a quite long period due to the complete lock down over the COVID19 outbreak. It’s been 2+ weeks since I’m working from home. Speaking on the positive side, I could see my productivity increased considerably due to fewer distractions.
On the other side, I miss the comfortable desk set up at my office. It’s pretty hard to work without a comfortable chair and additional monitors.
Sometimes minor distractions are good, So I listen to White Noise playlist at a 20–30% volume. This gives me a feeling that I’m not alone and brings the office atmosphere.
Sunny Sharma, Technical Lead
A to-do list proves to be very useful, and so has been for me so far. I always have a to-do list ready before I start working. I work out a to-do list for the next day before bed, every day. And that helps me get started as soon I jump on to my work machine. Coffee is a booster, it’s the first thing I need as soon I’m up in the morning.
Coffee and quick exercise keeps me going. 3 to 4 Coffees a day and quick exercises during long sitting hours. Looking at the same faces inside the house is boring sometimes, so I would take small breaks, have funny conversations in the family just to change the mood, play some comedy, refresh the mood and come back to work.
Jubina Prabhakaran, SEO Specialist
Work from home felt good initially for couple of days, but later it got boring. Now it feels like all morning and evening are the same. Just sitting in one place and working without any interaction with teammates, not stepping out from home! I will start my day by listing out the work to be done in a day. Started listening to music that helps me focus on work without any distraction!
Document360 being a Knowledge base SaaS product can be used for internal collaboration. So, our marketing campaign got ramped up and response in the market is good during these days.
Saranya Ramakrishnan, Tech Lead ( QA)
We stay away but stay connected. I wake up and get ready as if I go for work which gives the mindset to work mode even if I connect from home.
To be productive, focus on deliverable. I stick to the goals to maintain a to do list and plan for the day. I also have a stand-up meeting and frequent calls with my team which helps us to stay connected.
Nadeem Ahamed Riswanbasha, Product Marketer
Many companies rolled out mandatory work-from-home policies amid the spread of Covid-19. It was really a new experience for me shifting right away to home office and given couple of weeks now, it has become new normal. Right from day one, I was conscious of figuring out how to stay on task in a new environment that may not lend itself to productivity.
I just made sure to have a stress-free zone at home office. The intention was not a fancy setting but at least to have some soft lighting and something comfortable to sit on.
- Crank up the communication – We used Microsoft Teams to keep us all aligned and connected.
- Treat it like a real job – Did my usual routine as I was getting ready to office.
- Avoid Isolation – Leveraged video calls whenever possible rather than Audio once and took some mental/physical break.
- Keeping spirits high – It is one of the significant mantras hoping things will settle down quickly.
Duncan Barker, Business Development Manager
I am quite a disciplined worker, so will compartmentalize my tasks designating specific activities to time slots.
For example, I might allocate 3 hours in the morning to reaching out to sales prospects and then the following two hours might be dedicated to answering emails and responding to requests on Linkedin.
I like to have a busy workload – that keeps me productive and focused. From a purely Sales point of view, it is great to have an individual request from a lead – this will push you into a period of research perhaps and liaison with your Product Team to ensure you answer their query fully. For instance, a US Azure Consultant has requested real use cases and case studies of Serverless360 to assist their marketing of our solution to their clients.
On a personal level, I think it is so important we help our local communities, especially those people who are isolated and vulnerable. I am part of a local Volunteer Group working some lunchtimes and evenings to collect medicines, do shopping and keep gardens tidy. Such activity gives me peace of mind knowing others less fortunate than me are being looked after during this crisis.
Lex Hegt, Technical Lead, BizTalk360
As I am a home worker ever since I started working at Kovai.co, around 3.5 years ago, not that much changed for me. The main change for me, is that since the beginning of the crisis my wife and kids (aged 14 and 17) are also working and taking classes from home. This enables us to have coffee and lunch breaks together, which is of course more fun than to have them alone.
Compared to working at the office, the challenges I experience are for example about maintaining the regular daily schedule. Before I joined the company, I had a lot commuting (up to 3 hours on a daily base) which kind of forced me to go to bed and wake up in time. Without the commuting, it’s easy to stay up late and/or take it slowly in the morning. However, it is best to maintain your regular daily schedule. You will win some time because of no commuting, so you can use this time for other activities.
Another challenge is that you will have less movement, compared to when being at the office. This might lead to gain extra weight, being less fit and as a result being more vulnerable to sickness. So, within the current limitations, it is important to maintain an active lifestyle.
Here in the Netherlands, although there are several restrictions, it is still allowed to go for a stroll in the neighborhood or do some shopping. That will help in being active and keep in shape.
Hariharan Subramanian, Software Engineer
This is my first time that I work full time in remote which excites me. Every day as usual when I go the office I play,shower,have breakfast and start my day. Since its lock down situation let’s take playing out of it. I carry on usually by doing small workouts in home followed by breakfast and start my day.
I pick all my high priority tasks and get it done before lunch. Post lunch is where I do low or non-demanding tasks.
Pandiyan Murugan, Senior Software Engineer
As a 7+ year experienced person, work from home isn’t new to me. I have used the WFH option in previous companies. Most of our tools and technologies nowadays support us in any crisis. All we need is some decent internet.
WFH helps us to stay productive. Less distraction – More Focus. We don’t have to leave our work-space to attend the meeting or any catch-up calls.
I use the Pomodoro technique to stay focused and productive.
- It’s pretty straight forward
- 25 mins – Distraction-free work
- 05 mins – Short break
Praveena Jayanarayanan, Senior Product Support Engineer
Work from home is a supportive decision by our organisation during this crisis. There is less distraction and I feel more focused working from home. My travelling time to office has been completely reduced which helps me in putting more working hours.
Being in Technical support, it is important for me to be available round the working hours to attend customer tickets and answer customer calls. I make myself productive by setting up a separate workplace to be undisturbed during the calls. Listing down the schedule and tasks gives me an extra hand in completing the tasks on time.
Kovai.co was one of the first few Organizations in Coimbatore to announce Work From Home. Here’s a blog about our preparedness during this crisis – At Kovai.co, How we are prepared in the times of COVID19?