COVER STORY – Your Story or Mine, but Experience Better Be Fine! 0

Your Story or Mine, but Experience Better Be Fine
Whether working from home or working from the office, the pandemic has changed work forever. In this new world, it's clear that things will never be the same again and it isn’t going to be easy to bifurcate multiple complexities. But there's more to this than meets the eye. Keep reading to find out how.  

From lockdowns to unlocks, from the virus to the vaccine, from reacting to responding we have surely come a long way. Many of us still refuse to report to work because we have gotten so used to the t-shirt and the shorts, the afternoon siestas and more importantly, the travel time saved.

In this new world, it isn’t going to be easy to bifurcate multiple complexities. What used to be considered safe, holding the railings when walking down the stairs is a complete ‘No-No’ now, walking up to a colleague’s workstation to have a quick chat, clarify a doubt is now best done over the intercom, life has surely changed.

The need to reimagine the workplace and the workspace has become more imperative than ever before. While some may have reasons to come back to the office and work from there, many may be at client locations and some may want to ape the west and work out of a coffee shop. What used to be a one size fits all engagement model, today doesn’t even fit in one segment or strata of the employee base let alone all colleagues.

Your Story or Mine, but Experience Better Be Fine 4

What was once upon a time a great gathering to meet colleagues from all departments, a town hall of sorts today is a virtual meeting across geographies. Oh!!! did we predict how many would be there in person, how many sandwiches to order, has it become a thing of the past? You tell us.

There is more to it as the plot thickens. Come, join us as we explore the two sides of the same coin – one story, two versions.

Is the grass greener on your side or mine?

Some roles require us to be in the office while some continue to work from home. The comfort of lounging on a couch is seen as a luxury by the former and the escape from the chaos at home is seen as a privilege by the latter. The strain of commute and stress of juggling with chores at home could become the new negotiation points; commanding a premium. We can visualize ‘Job Evaluation’ smiling wickedly at us HR folks from right around the corner! It’s no longer an easy cakewalk to compare jobs and build in parity! The risk of a perception of greener grass on the other side is a challenge yet to be solved. What can be a better way than minding the enterprise by mending the grass on your side?

Some roles require us to be in office while some continue to work from home. The comfort of lounging on a couch is seen as a luxury by the former and the escape from the chaos at home is seen as a privilege by the latter. The strain of commute and stress of juggling with chores at home could become the new negotiation points; commanding a premium.

Your Story or Mine, but Experience Better Be Fine 3

I am feeling missed out but not you?

With colleagues walking in and out of the office at staggered times, isn’t it a task to keep one’s visibility intact? Although burning the midnight oil at the office was never meant to be a measure of productivity, aren’t we all guilty of doing it at some time or the other for those extra brownie points? Those who left at 6 pm were considered to be inefficient or ‘on a half-day.’

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Proximity to the corner office always meant a lot to those around. With parts of our homes becoming work studios, proximity gets an all-new definition. Which conference call are you invited to, which one are you pulled into but most importantly, which one you ought to be on but are intentionally kept out of, these real thoughts are worth pondering on as FOMO (Fear of missing out) gets a new dimension in the virtual world.

Organizations are suddenly left with the dilemma of due diligence of current norms as against compliance with the archaic laws. Many organizations, historically, haven’t really waited for the law to tell them what to do. Click To Tweet

Is the law your friend or mine?

While the crisis is driving us at the speed of light, law and its amendments are still trailing far behind. Organizations are suddenly left with the dilemma of due diligence of current norms as against compliance with the archaic laws. Well, a few states and many organizations historically haven’t really waited for the law to tell them what to do. Be it the Maternity Benefits Act or the Industrial Disputes Act, many have led by example focusing on the actions that needed to be taken as compared to the provisions that the Act offered. As we embrace hybrid models of work if deciding between work from home, work from office, or work from anywhere wasn’t enough, we now need to also figure out which creche should we drop our child at and which one should we pick our child from!

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Your Story or Mine, but Experience Better Be Fine 2

Your way or the highway? 

While the vaccine has made an entry, the virus hasn’t decided its exit yet. People have resumed work in-line with Government guidelines, yet social distancing does get compromised and masks remain a formality. Business continuity is key and, in our endeavour, to ensure that we have an optimal workforce in the office, are we somewhere overlooking the potential risk of one positive asymptomatic case that could possibly put back the execution plans by weeks impacting all those present at work on that particular day?

In our frenzied optimism, as we drive the business into top gear, it is worthwhile to think if a slow but steady start could help us win the race. Knee jerk reactions only help hit the throttle without utilizing the horsepower. Between the two of us, once upon a time, one of us said, “Isn’t it wiser to think and thrive than drink and drive?”

Business continuity is key and, in our endeavour, to ensure that we have an optimal workforce in the office, are we somewhere overlooking the potential risk of one positive asymptomatic case that could possibly put back the execution plans by weeks impacting all those present at work on that particular day?

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Sahil Nayar, Senior Associate Director – HR at KPMG, and Harini Sreenivasan, Partner at Semcostyle Institute, India thrive on a common purpose - unlocking human potential. Both Sahil and Harini are design thinkers, enjoy weaving stories from everyday life and sharing them with their followers. They believe in investing their time and energy in nurturing and influencing the next generation of Human Resource leaders through their experiences and reflections.

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