Ananya Pathak
Viral Diaries

"The face-to-face interaction with my team is what I miss the most"

L'Oréal Professionnel's digital marketing lead Anvesha Poswalia, who has a two-year-old, shares her experience of working from home (WFH).

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

Be empathetic. These are trying times, and we need to be patient. Whether you choose to stay silent, or drive an initiative to extend some support, everything should be (done) keeping in mind the sensitivity of the situation.

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.

I dedicate the core working hours to office work, and take care of the home chores, before or after. Time management becomes extremely critical, and you have to prioritise between urgent, important and good to do tasks. Having a two-year-old at home, there are times when I have to urgently attend to her and, fortunately, my company is extremely supportive of balancing my home and work life.

What do you miss most about office?

Oh, everything! The face-to-face interaction with my team and colleagues is what I miss the most. My desk, the chit-chat, the coffee breaks are missed too! It is all about the people, and though we do connect remotely almost daily, I miss spending more time with them.

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

I think it is a lot about the kind of trust that you place in the team. The focus should be on the outcome and results. Having said that, when you are working from home continuously for so long, a brief chat in a day or two helps to ensure that they’re comfortable and things are smooth.

It is important to be supportive and have a solution-oriented approach.

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?

Some meetings could really be emails, and I think we will become much better collaborators to sometimes take decisions over email as well, if we are unable to find time to meet face-to-face.

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.