COVER STORY:WFH:Ar Amita Kulkarni & Ar Vikrant Tike,Partners, Studio Amita & Vikrant, Goa

Given the current situation working from home is the only possible situation to maintain a somewhat normal life within these not so normal times. A stressful pandemic environment, makes working from home a totally different feel, where WFH is more a necessity rather than a luxury.

But importantly our studio was also researching on the future of workspaces, and the combination of live, work and play spaces due to our ongoing workspace interior projects, we have taken this as an opportunity to dwell deeply on making WFH a real research process to learn from. 

Challenges we are facing

The major challenges are for our ongoing sites that are under construction as work seems to have to completely stalled but the projects that are in conceptual and drawing stages, we are getting more time to focus and work on since all the commute times and site visits have dramatically reduced giving us more time to be on the drawing board. 
Some key points to create the physical space within our homes: 

1.     We feel it would be good to create a mental workspace to enable us to carve out a physical space within our homes to work. 
2.     Placement of your space. Have natural light and ventilation around. Keep it as tidy as possible. Try not to eat around the working area. 
3.     Work on a desk (rather on a couch or bed) as that would give you good posture and wear clothes that you would wear to work. 
4.     If possible put a masking tape around your physical space so that in case you live with a larger family without a separate room, they know they are approaching your workspace. 
5.     Work is not about the amount of hours you do, but about having a realistic outcome at the end of the day.
6.     Take the same amount of breaks / intervals you take during your work day. Try not to work after- hours as that will affect your health in the longer run.
7.    Make sure that the chair and desk are at good ergonomic angles that doesn’t tire you. If you don’t have an ergonomic chair, make sure your get up every hour to stretch. 
8.    Try to keep the balance between work, social and family life. Take this as an opportunity to spend quality time with your loved ones. 
9.    We are also talking to the teams to ensure that they limit their exposure to the overall news about the epidemic as that can be demoralising as well as intruding into their everydayfeel and mood. 
10.    Find new ways of incorporating exercises like stretching,, pilates, yoga, free hand, body weights . 
11.    Tackle this as a setup that one would approach as a professional rather than as an ad-hoc worker. 
12.    Most importantly embrace the new, and enjoy the new ways of working and living.

Tools enabling WFH 

We are using a lot of Zoom platform as it works great for remote conferencing, allowing screen sharing, screen markups and annotations, breakout rooms. If everyone turns on their camera, then everyone is facing one another at all times (instead of facing a wall), which feels like a true meeting rather than an online call.

Meanwhile, we are looking at the situation in a more positive format. It has allowed everyone to spend more time with families. It has shrunk our carbon footprint dramatically and travel commute times especially for the Mumbai teams.

Rather than commuting between my home, my kids’ school, our office, meetings, site lists and intra city travel and more.. we are now doing it all from one desk (the dining table)!!

Since we had quit the city life and moved to Goa four years back, we are now able to take advantage of this semi-isolated lifestyle and the indoor/outdoor living to do more activities with our son, like taking walks in the adjacent mangroves and forests, bicycling and gardening. We hope that everyone can take this as an opportunity to have a more holistic approach, increase activities towards our individual well-being and the future of our world. 

Read Full COVER STORY: WORKING FROM HOME: Tips, Tools & Best Practices for REMOTE WORKING

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