Beyond #WFH is our initiative to spread positivity and inspire our readers by inviting leaders and friends to share what they do to unwind and relax after they finish their work-from-home and work-for-home responsibilities during the lockdown.
While Covid-19 has had multiple impacts on business and Beyond #WFH is not about business, it’s about self-discovery, things that will give us the strength to get through the lockdown, and more importantly for those ‘moments’ that will stay with us for long and beyond this pandemic. PS: We are not talking business!
Harjot Singh Narang, President, Dentsu One from the mighty Dentsu Aegis Network shares his Beyond #WFH discoveries!
Beyond #WFH – Discoveries Unleashed
WFH – three little words that have changed more for me than the four magical words question that I asked my wife almost 16 years ago…Will You Marry Me?
WFH has actually unleashed an experimentative side of me that had gotten pushed aside at home for some time now. The few extra hours saved from the commute and idle talk at the office have just opened up a world that I had otherwise ignored for so long with a promise of – I’ll get back to this when I have the time. The discoveries that these experiments have thrown up are in on the word “OH WOW”!!! well maybe two words.
DISCOVERED – COFFEE WITH DHARAMpatni
The first thing that I experimented with when WFH started was a whole new routine – Gone was the 5:00 am struggle to squeeze in 9 holes of Golf before getting into work and the chaos of the day began. I now started snoozing an extra hour or so and woke up pepped up to make the morning coffee to surprise my barely waking up the wife and actually getting in a 40 min chat regularly on life and times – before the kids woke up and we were duly separated for a large part of the day.
Like any other habit, once I did this for 7 days in a row, this became how every day began and 32 days into it I can’t complain about this change. I have now moved up to trying out new coffee grinding techniques from the internet to see if my simple coffee machine can extract a bit more flavour from the pack of coffee beans that I had got from a friend’s Dad’s coffee plantation in Wyanad or the ones that had come in as a Diwali gift last year from my sister. I then dug out the little coffee percolator that we had bought from our new year trip to cousins in Bengaluru and delved into the wonders of coffee percolation and the frustrations of never getting the same flavour twice. The elusive search for that ‘Uss din wali coffee, Bengaluru mein mili wow waali coffee etc…” continues and my wife and I bond every morning over how close or how far I have steered from our best coffee memory.
DISCOVERED – LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION & RELOCATION
WFH has really helped me discover every part of my house and has really shown me that there is a perfect use for every location way beyond what I had used it for until now. Until now the Balcony Morning was a weekend indulgence but now the Balcony can be an anytime live TV location to see the world go by at a really really slow pace (given the current scenario). It can be the perfect place to just break the pace of work and the day overall by recharging in the balcony for 15 min between calls. My Den which until now was the place for me to retreat into to shut out the world can actually be the best location to put my 6 years old in for 40 minutes with an iPad so that the rest of the house which is his playground can be reclaimed for the adults to just sit an appreciate quietness and silence. The Kitchen which was otherwise just a source of nourishment can now be my laboratory for coffee experiments and can serve all the purpose of my Den where I can be alone listening to music while washing the morning or evening utensils away from everyone. The largeish space of the dining room and the sitting room combined or even the space around the center table in the hall space and even the corridor space actually become the best places for a walk anytime – because walking for 35 min anywhere (small or big) clocks at least 2.5 km or around 5000-6000 steps. …..re-imagining the same location is just so so fulfilling and worth spending time on now in times of WFH.
DISCOVERED – List of Things worth fighting for
WFH has changed and added to the things that I have always maintained were worth fighting for. The corporate goals and work world apart – the family space has thrown up so many things worth fighting for. Fighting everyone in the family especially the kids for time on the lazy boy in my room, beating everyone in the morning to capture the spaces where the best wi-fi signal manifests and getting there before the two school laptops take up the best spots, fighting to win at Ludo, Snakes and ladders and UNO from three worthy competitors, evolving strategies to get 30 minutes of seclusion every day to just read something that I want to, fighting with the easy-going by being the guard at the door and ensuring that everyone who even steps out for a second is fully sanitized before they get to the rest of the house and many more things have entered my list of things worth fighting for and I discover new additions to this list every day.
DISCOVERED – Breaking Points and Limits of People
In the past 30+ days of WFH, I have run multiple experiments and have discovered the patience breaking points of each of my family members on a whole range of things. I have discovered that my younger son’s current patience with a beard that is of not more than 4 days old, he will pester me into shaving post 4 days max. I have also discovered that the least screen time that my teenage son can live within a day is 40 minutes excluding the school laptop time, below this level he can become a really unstable teenager – a state of being that we as parents cannot afford to experiment with any further. I have also discovered that our beautiful coffee mornings keep my wife in a great mood for a maximum of 6 hours and post that re-enforcement in the form of more coffee or a nice Gin and tonic are required to keep things going. I have discovered that the maximum binge-watching that I can do at one go is nine and a half hours – a post that I find myself asleep in the lounge chair no matter how interesting the content is.
But, beyond all of what I have said above – These small discoveries have also led me to some bigger discoveries.
The biggest thing I have discovered in the experiment called WFH is just how blessed I am to be in a superbly comfortable abode with people who love me with a supply of everything that I might need and a lot that qualifies as pure wants, with time available to think and use beyond the basic struggle for survival. I have discovered that nothing actually stops in spite of everything coming to a kind of a standstill. I have discovered that it is so so easy for us to just keep living life as usual and just see and not do anything about the news on the world beyond our immediate surroundings and reality. I have discovered some simple joys in my life but at the same time have discovered how that same joys cause the inequality around me to become unignorable and the restlessness to do something rise deep within. This has led me to more experimentation where I have discovered that there are more than a 100 ways that I never focussed on to address this restlessness, by doing things small and big for individuals and organizations that reflect my belief system, things that should never be written about or shared because they need to be done silently to nourish the inner being, things that each one of us needs to discover for themselves and make real.
PS: I am sharing some photographs and a fun video that my team created from home for everyone to enjoy and reflect on. Photos courtesy: Jyot Singh Narang (my 14 yr old son) and his phone. Video courtesy: the wonderful team at Dentsu One