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Viral Diaries

“Work from home should not be construed as micro-managing”: Siddhartha Roy

A work-from-home day for the COO of Hungama Digital Media includes work, plus household chores, helping kids with studies and family entertainment.

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

There is no denying that COVID-19 has changed the way we live and operate. Staying at home is suggested to be the best way to flatten the curve and as responsible citizens, it is our duty to follow that. In the light of the current situation, it is the need of the hour for marketing and media professionals to work towards building and fostering personalized and long-lasting relationships with their target audiences through responsible messaging. This would go a long way in creating a strong brand affinity and loyalty. Marketing professionals also have the time to understand consumer behaviour. While it is true that offline marketing initiatives for some categories have been affected, it is equally true that social distancing has made the digital medium the go-to source of communication. Marketers must try to innovate with their approach and continue engaging with their audiences.

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.

My family and I used to have hectic work schedules. Being at home has given us more time to spend with each other and make up for lost time. I believe in following a routine and my time right now is divided between work and household chores. I catch-up on news through e-papers and news sites, help with household chores, help my kids with their studies and watch movies and shows together as a family.

What do you miss most about office?

The electric atmosphere, for sure, one-on-one interactions and brain-storming sessions with my colleagues.

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

I am in touch with my Hungama team every day. I feel it’s more productive to have one meeting in the morning where you catch up with your team. It is important for managers to be understanding and sympathetic towards their team members. Work from home should not be construed as micro-managing. The situation has made us all realize the importance of family and friends and people should have the opportunity to spend time with their families, without their work getting in the way.

Which apps do you use to stay connected with your team?

We have been using Microsoft Teams to stay connected with each other.

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?

Take the time to step back, introspect and plan better. Additionally, I have realized that my and my team’s productivity has been higher in our immediate work situation and we intend to continue using the tools and processes we have been following currently, even when we are physically present in our offices.

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.

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