Working Remotely @ Copperpod: Chandan Aggarwal
Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted businesses and business practices around the globe. Due to ongoing lockdowns, teams are increasingly shifting to working from home which creates its own challenges (and of course, opportunities). At Copperpod, to keep our clients, our employees and partners safe and healthy through this crisis, we have been working hard and working remotely for more than 2 months. We asked one of our senior team members, Chandan Aggarwal, on how he manages his new work environment and how he continues to ensure our valued clients receive industry-best research on their patent enforcement campaigns.
How has the transition been to working at home - what worked and what didn't?
A couple of months ago, I bought a study table and a revolving chair so that I can be more productive and formal while working in my 'spot'. Since I've started working from home, that spot has been fully utilized to its potential. In fact, I've made it personal by adding a family photo, a desklight, a bookshelf, and a pair of good speakers. All these have made my 'spot' idle place where I can spend countless hours.
My family is happier now as they can see (and buzz) me anytime they want. Although it was a distraction in the beginning, by now I have planned my breaks and have learnt to keep the noise out of my head.
My one-year-old daughter, having just learnt to walk, needs babysitting when others are unavailable. Managing my work along with babysitting has added to my learning curve on both professional as well as personal front.
The biggest challenge was to dedicate continuous hours to work which was possible in the office but not at home owing to a number of distractions. This challenge forced me to delegate my work into chunks of time in order to deliver quality analysis in time. This included having a dialogue with my family clarifying that I need personal time even if I am home (being home doesn't mean it's a holiday).
Do you have any new co-workers (roommates, partners, children, pets)?
I have a 1 year old daughter who loves to stay around me while I'm working.
Do you have a go-to activity to help you relax?
I have a playlist of soulful Sufi songs that help me calm my mind when there are lots of thoughts quarreling among themselves. One song does all the magic and I'm back to work within a few minutes.
What is your best tip for working remotely?
Since we are physically at home, our behavior and approach towards work tends to go informal. Even if we are physically not in office, our mind should act as if we are still in office. To achieve that, there are a few ideas:
Try to keep the same schedule at home, for example, having lunch/tea breaks at the same time as they were in office.
Have a personal workplace in the house that makes us feel in the same posture/environment as we were in office.
Stay in touch with team members just the way we were in office. Use audio/video calls often.
Stay in touch with seniors who are clear with the vision and mission. Talk about the short term and the long term goals at least once a week.