Parul Bhargava, Co-founder & CEO vCommission Media Private Limited, says we spend the most cognitive hours within the spaces of our work place, it is essential to have a cordial working environment which not only supports the business but also the growth of the people.
She firmly believes that relationships are built only when the team is working and thriving together in an offline mode. The entrepreneur says she prefers working from the office to working from home because the desired synergy is achieved when working in close physical quarters with each other. Parul Bhargava further says,
“As prototypical and unprecedented as the covid-19 pandemic has been, the work-from-home situation has been equally demanding. Regardless of the obvious challenges, we were seamlessly able to build a structure under which our team could do justice to their job roles. We made sure not to pressure any of our team by holding constant calls or meetings as we felt that people’s personal lives were the most affected amidst all the chaos. We streamlined our processes in such a way that we could achieve equilibrium in terms of granting flexibility while simultaneously keeping the momentum of our business activities intact. However, when the unlock happened, and the lockdown was lifted, we made a conscious choice to return to the office. The decision was based on the underlying fact that working from home, as we observed, had somehow eroded the concept of teamwork. Meetings had become purely transactional as opposed to interpersonal, and somehow, I have never resonated with that.
I have always believed that if you have a team of people who share a strong sense of interpersonal values and are connected, you know that the same group of people is whom you can rely upon.
Many people would probably disagree with me because I understand that the entire discourse of the digitization of the world is slowly taking the foreground. However, if you think about it, many people would also agree when I say that you spend and make the most of your cognitive abilities only when you interact with your colleagues on a real-time basis. You would most likely encounter hurdles while trying to size a person up during online meetings. But when they say that a lot can happen over coffee, they mean business. When you exchange a word or two with your colleagues for real, whether over coffee, by the printing area, or during a meeting in an actual conference room, you do not just exchange a few talks. You also exchange energies which helps you understand the other person, thereby encouraging the feeling that you belong to the same community, team, workplace, and organization. All of this I found to be lacking or at least getting depleted while we were all trying to adjust to the work-from-home situation. I almost felt like I had lost touch with the persona of most people from the team, and that is a scary feeling, especially when you’re running an organization.
Zoom Meetings look good on the screen, and I am not saying they don’t serve the purpose. You can conduct all of your business activities online while sitting in the comfort of your home. But in my opinion, real business happens in real-time with real people, amidst honest conversations, and not behind closed doors.