How to Manage Work from Home Coronavirus (COVID-19)

You are not required to get for COVID-19 if you tested do not have any symptoms (Cough, fever or
difficulty in breathing). Please read this carefully till the end:
Below are a few points related to communication and protocol around work from home.

Work from home (WHF) Basic Guidelines on Coronavirus (COVID-19) days

● Commit: It is not a holiday! Please do not go to meet friends and family or socialize.
Make small goals and work on them.

● Focus: It’s easy to get distracted with household chores. Inform family members that
you are not on leave. Find a room/space in your house where you can minimize
distractions. Structure your day in a way you can balance work and home.

● Communicate: Be in constant touch with your managers and section heads.

● Use technology: Install zoom on your phone and laptops and use video conferencing to
be connected with your colleagues to reduce isolation.

● Meeting etiquette: Have an agenda and a clear purpose for the meeting, don’t talk over
each other, make sure everyone gets a chance to be heard.

● Know when to stop (while being flexible): Maintain office timings. Develop team rules
about the boundaries of work and personal time.

● Reflect & learn: Take this time to reflect on areas for personal and professional
development. Make a list of areas you need help with (Excel, Google Drive, Graphic
designing etc). Sign up for an online course. Read articles about Intellectual Disability.

● Personal wellness: Take short breaks, re-hydrate, walk around the house. Most
importantly wash your hands and clean your phone, laptop, desk regularly. Take care of
your physical and emotional well being. Spend quality time with your family members,
watch that movie & read that book you have been wanting to for a long time.

'Coronavirus' is a cause for concern for many of us, and it’s important that we all keep ourselves informed of the situation as it evolves. We also know that we all be responsible for our own health and well-being, and that of our teams, families and communities.

What should I do to prepare for work from home in Coronavirus (COVID-19) time

Tips to make working from home easy in times of Coronavirus and worklife

  1. The first thing to do is to make a plan for all the tasks that would be completed during this week
  2. Discuss this with your reporting manager and share it with them by the end of the day today - a day wise plan would be best
  3. Block your calendar out for tasks you would be doing so that it can help you stay on track
  4. Make sure your goals are aligned with the organisation's priorities, are measurable and time bound
  5. Think about tasks that you have been pushing away due to too much of operations - this is a great time to catch up on everything

Tips on how to manage worklife in Coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • Set up a weekly routine. For example, schedule team meetings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9am. Touch base and set weekly goals.
  • Make use of Video Conference, Whatsapp, and others to maintain communications among team members.
  • Get off "work" on time and take a walk in the neighborhood with family members. Enjoy the fresh air.
  • Get solid broadband service and 
  • Setup your home office with all the necessities, e.g., all in one printer.

More Tips on handling work life on Coronavirus (COVID-19) period

  1. Starting the day the same way you usually do (alarm, shower, pre-work routine, dress professionally) and be in your seat for work hours.  
  2. Pick up the phone to call people more than you usually do for both the human interaction and for efficiency - sometimes a 10m call can best 3 days of asynchronous emails/Slack!
  3. Expect it to take 25% longer over video call then in person, so budget more time per meeting.  When discussing, pause a bit longer too to give people more time to respond since we aren’t face to face.
  4. A good headset with little feedback is key.
More Tips on handling work life on Coronavirus (COVID-19) period

Hadi, Jio dongle might work equally well, be easier to get, and also cheaper as compared to asking people to install broadbands. Unless you’re transferring very heavy files I think it should work.
To get additional desktops or laptops, we are renting. For some functions that need very high quality machines that we have in our offices (for us these are designers or editors) we are trusting people and moving office machines to their homes.

For culture and discipline monitoring, we are leveraging slack. Do you use any such chat software where people are publicly see each other’s availability and updates happen mostly in groups? That way there is group obligations.

In general people will be a little more lax in wfh (if kind of feels like a summer vacation since the entire family is home) but we are holding each team’s manager responsible to ensure execution and delivery of critical tasks. All meetings / interviews / huddles are on Google Hangouts or Zoom. People can even use their phones for this.

For this, Each team manager has made its own sub-wfh policies and protocols according to their function sales team is different, content team is different, editing team is different.

  1. Split the WFH by teams - depending on those who use desktops and those who can operate with laptops or mobile devices 
  2. Identified a policy on taking office equipment and hardware homes (portables, hard drives, desktops etc)
  3. Figured hub and spoke models (can teams have a central location where they can meet every couple of days) if required
  4. Conduct meetings with Hangouts and larger ones via Zoom

You might want to use excel as a work/issue tracker(if you don’t have Jira/asana), because the overhead of asking people to use a new tool is going to be too much. Weekly planning of tasks and daily standup should be sufficient. For me personally a blessing in disguise is that im less distracted and able to sit back and take a broader view of things now that I’m not continuously have people coming upto me.

Suggestions on Coronavirus (COVID-19): How to Manage Work from Home

Many have declared wfh till March 20. A bunch of folks have asked whether they can go to their hometown during this time. It’s a difficult question to answer since we work with young people and their parents are calling them back home out of worry. This is the reply we have shared after a lot of deliberation.

Might be useful to some of you as well:

In addition to the above -we are disallowing any travel out of town, even to your hometown, during this WFH period because The point of this wfh is to limit your exposure at any given time from large crowds. Traveling by either road, train or flight is very dangerous at this point, and even a trip to and from your hometown puts you and your family at added risk.

Your managers have the right to call you either into the office or at another location to meet in small groups at any time during working hours this week as required. You have to be available in person for this.

If the situation gets better, we may resume working from the office that day itself with no notice. If you travel out of town, you will have to be in a 2 week quarantine once you get back, and the company cannot afford you being out of the office for so long.

If you're on pre-approved leave, we still recommend canceling travel and enjoying your leave in your base city itself. Do avoid going to weddings, bars, malls, shows, etc. to remain safe. Otherwise, you risk the health of everyone near you.

Please do understand that we are one of the first companies in Mumbai to declare a mass WFH because we want all of us to be safe. We have to continue to maintain output and business as usual during this time, so we don't harm the company's performance. This is a time when people are going to be binging on content / games more than ever before so we need to keep going at the maximum speed possible while making sure we all stay safe.

Compilation of resources 

These have been curated and vetted: https://lore.online/stayinformed/.

  • WFH? Sharing a Spotify playlist for COVID-19, from a friend. Extra Smooth for these crazy times. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1LQnJX4HfETbTdzRg76ZoX?si=v53EkENxRBSNk7z9coZLNg
  • Microsoft https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2020/03/02/working-remotely-during-challenging-times/
  • Medium https://medium.com/better-programming/29-tips-for-very-effective-remote-managers-and-workers-3b20d897ceb3
  • LinkedIn https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/work-flexibility/2020/tips-for-managing-remote-workforce-during-coronavirus
  • 300+ resources curated in 1 place: https://springworks.in/remote-work-resources?ref=producthunt
  • Remote Work Survival Kit: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wCeKcivSEseEnrsnDrhnFMQBPpdKGLdOmZmZ4miLpoM/edit#