Industry Speak

Atul Srivastava

Group CEO
Laqshya Media Group

Being quarantined has changed the relationship I have with my own self

"In a chat with allaboutoutdoor.com, Atul Srivastava, Group CEO, Laqshya Media Group sheds light on OOH challenges after the lockdown."
April, 2020

How is the Out of Home industry coping with the COVID-19 Stay At Home advisory? elaborate on the challenges brought by the COVID-19 lockdown, the strategies being used in these difficult times

We are now three weeks into April and most of the companies have offered work from home provisions with employees facing a daunting task to keep the focus intact while working from home. Fortunately, from my little experience in working from home, I have figured out two possible extremes. You can either be super-productive, more than what you are in the office space, or you will be lazy and your productivity drastically decreases. Especially, in times like these, being constantly surrounded by negative news coupled with chaos and discussions. Most of us live with families and finding your own peaceful place to work is a task.

What do you miss most -and least- about office?

Since COVID 19 has forced us to stay at home and practice self-isolation, staying connected is important. One-on-one meetings, grabbing an afternoon coffee with your co-worker or meeting up with colleagues for happy hour in person has been a widely missed ritual. While people have got creative with virtual happy hours and hangouts.

How frequently do you check-in on your team? What's the ideal frequently, according to you - any theories?

I prefer in offering flexibility & focusing more on results. I apply the theory of psychological safety - where your team members feel included, safe to learn, safe to contribute, and safe to challenge the status quo, all without fear of being embarrassed, marginalized, or punished in some way - is paramount even under conditions of quarantine. When you create and sustain these conditions you allow them to continue to perform and contribute, and perhaps, most importantly at a time like this, you acknowledge their humanity.

Ideally, how frequently should a team leader/manager check in on her/his team?
The key to success at WFH lies in prioritising communication. Your team and manager need to know that you are available and taking WFH seriously. Thus, prefer to call your colleagues or video call or chat with them for routine queries instead of sending an email. Ask for regular performance evaluations from your manager and get adequate face time with him/ her. As a manager share more information than usual with your team, provide them with the technology they need, organise social interactions and discuss how they are coping with the situation.

What's the biggest lesson here, for you?

How to be comfortable with yourself. has given Being quarantined me more ‘me time' and has changed the relationship I have with my own self. It has taught me how to be comfortable in my own skin and how to love myself more. As now the social interaction is limited, it is you and only you who will have to keep yourself busy and maintain your sanity through the lockdown.

Interview by: Aarti Pahwa

Tags :  Atul Srivastava Laqshya Media Group OOH Covid'19

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