Ananya Pathak
Viral Diaries

"I feel we have become more organised because of WFH"

Here's how Sanjeev Jasani, COO, Cheil India, is working from home, and what he misses the most about his workplace.

If there was just ONE piece of advice you could give people in the media/marketing business right now, what would that be?

Right now, the one piece of advice I would give anybody is, "Keep your family and extended family (teams) safe." We are in people’s business and our people are our biggest asset. We have to, under all circumstances, keep them safe and look after their well-being.

How are you dividing up your work day? Give us a sense of how you’re managing your time and what your work-from-home routine is like.

We start our day with an HOD call with the CEO. All bottlenecks, obstacles, and issues are discussed. All important approvals and guidance are sought here. It’s the key meeting for all decision-making. Then a quick call with clients to get the day's briefs. This is then followed by the HODs having individual team meetings to discuss job lists and assign daily tasks. These are the three most important meetings during the first half. Then work happens throughout the day with inter-team meetings, client calls, etc. In the evening, before the work day ends, we do a call with clients for a quick status update of the daily tasks. I feel we have become more organised because of WFH, and things are moving along smoothly.

What do you miss most about office?

Nothing can substitute physical meetings. Having a cup of tea with your client. The casual joke here and there with your teammates as you walk to their desks. These are some of the things we miss out on.

Ideally, how frequently should a team leader/manager check in on her/his team? Any long distance people management tips?

Ideally, once a day is just fine if you have an efficient team. Once every morning, at the start of the day, to give them direction. Long-distance relationships are hard. We all know that. Which is why the one key thing to develop as leaders, especially during times like these, is 'empathy', it goes a long way.

Lastly, what’s the one thing you see yourself doing differently once the work-from-home phase ends? To rephrase, what’s the biggest lesson here, for you?

The WFH has taught us to be more organised. It’s put in place a lot of good processes that have increased productivity and efficiency. I definitely want to continue some of these practices, going forward. When you run a big team, these features of productivity and efficiency are absolutely vital.

Viral Diaries is a series of special interviews, a daily peek into how advertising, media and marketing professionals are dealing with working from home in these trying times.