In this International Women’s Day special, RUCHI AKOLKAR SAINI, Director HR & Operations, ATechnos Group-India, discusses the challenges that she faced during the lockdown and the key learnings.
Question: What kind of challenges did women face during the COVID era – at home and outside?
Ruchi: Basically, it was a roller coaster ride for me, I have a 6 years old kid and it's been very difficult for me to work in her presence. At the same time, I got a chance to spend more time with her.
The biggest challenge for me was balancing office work, kid and household work at the same time.
Q: How tough was the multi-tasking – for housewives and career women?
Ruchi: Yes, it was tough, but as said women are born with multi-tasking abilities. For career women like me, we usually don't stay at home when it comes to office work. But during this COVID time initially it was very tough to manage the office and home with a small kid, At the same time, I was glad that I got a chance to spend time with my family. And now we got used to the new normal WFH culture.
Q: What are the key learnings of the COVID crisis?
Ruchi: Time Management, Patience and Multitasking
Q. Did you get cooperation and teamwork?
Ruchi: Yes, I get cooperation from both my office and family.
Q. Did you think of changing homes to larger places to manage work from home?
Ruchi: I would say not larger but a decent space for office work.
Q: How did you manage them and what were the challenges?
Ruchi: I have a 6 years old kid. Managing kids and office work is not at all easy, I would say time management is important. If I am spending 2 to 3 hours in office work then I have to spend at least 1 hour with the kid or giving different tasks, games to occupy her.
Q. Now that we are bouncing back, how do you visualize the new norm?
Ruchi: Yes, the offices are open now, and I realized that we can do more whatever we think, every situation can be manageable. In the new norm, I think it's a good idea to open for both working from home and office according to requirements of employees or employers.
Q. Pay Cuts, job losses – did you encounter any of these issues?
Ruchi: Yes, I experienced a Pay cut, but again we were not traveling and other expenses were very less, so that was manageable.
Q. Is normalcy on pays returning?
Ruchi: Definitely it is returning, even batter.
Q: As HR head, typical issues that you faced and how you managed?
Ruchi: The biggest issue that we faced was monitoring earlier. But soon we solved the issue with HRMS
Q. Has technology benefited – in staying connected?
Ruchi: Yes, technology plays a very important role in staying connected.
Q: Any specific points that you would like to share with readers in your vision for the future in view of the changed circumstances?
Ruchi: I want to say no matter if we are working from home or office, it's all about how you manage your work with the environment. If you are at home then you need to manage your work with kids and other household things, and if you are working from the office you need to manage work with probably some other challenges.
ATechnos (Abhay Techno Services) is a growing Leader in digital transformation, mar-tech, consulting, content and vas platform services. We are a future focused, digitally charged activation services think tank.