Pandemic Reflections & Remote Life

“No dreamer is ever too small; no dream is ever too big” 🐾

Here we are over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic — a year of acclimating to this “new” work from home model. I’ve been working remotely for a few years now and here are some of my reflections for this year! 😎

Work-wise, not much has changed this past year, but it has been draining due to the limitations of pandemic/lockdown.

In one of my recent meetings, my colleague’s two-year-old daughter dropped by to get her hair tied from her dad. It brought back many beautiful memories from my childhood. It also made me realize how lucky I’ve been to have many such small moments with my family over the past few years.

Overall what has changed for me during the pandemic is that subconsciously counting my blessings has become the mantra — that’s the mindset I’ve adopted this past year.

Gratitude — The New Normal. Lets Go 🚀

The Remote Life

Ive heard from many of my friends that they have hated working from home, and they wonder why I like working remotely.

Axelerant has always been remote-first. The systems and processes provide a comfortable working experience — flexible working hours, life coaches, feedback, review cycles, and various other benefits.

☀️ Travel & Work

As part of my yearly ritual, I take long breaks — travel and work from different locations. My last trip was in January 2020 with my dad (yeah, you read it right, with my dad). I traveled to the south of India — Bellary and visited Humpi with him. Post that, I worked from a co-working space in Bengaluru, India, for a few days with my colleagues.

Taher & I were the only ones talking (read talking + laughing), having “loud calls” in this co-working space. 🤭

💆‍♀️ Possibility of planing my own calendar

At Axelerant, we have 35 consolidated leaves per year, and folks can plan and apply for leave as and when needed. There’s no specific holiday calendar; folks can create one for themselves. I’ve experimented with different leave cycles so far:

  • One month off (travel + work)
  • Alternative weeks off
  • Friday’s off (this year)

Why take time off when there’s nothing to do? You are anyway going to be at home, right? Please do take time off to recharge and avoid getting burnt, especially if you are a creative thinker.

I recently took ten days of extended time off, where I:

✂️ Made paper cut artwork

💅 Sat back, relaxed and pampered myself

📖 Started with the new UX Design Course by Google on Coursera (always continue growing as a designer)

Chop-Chop 🌼🦋

🎲 Flexible Schedule

I like to have a consistent schedule, but the flexibility of when I want to work or tweak my schedule based on personal commitments allows me to plan my day. It gives me a feeling of control over my schedule.

In this flexible environment, being proactive is a significant factor. Sharing updates about availability in advance so that my team members can schedule calls accordingly, being transparent about task status and blockers.

✍️ Crafting My Journey

During the interview with Michael he had asked where I see myself in five years; my instant response was, “I’m not sure, I know what I want to do right now — which is to be a Visual Designer and help elevate the brand. Down the line, I might want to do something different.” And luckily, I’ve had the opportunity to do what I want, where I want to grow. Yes, there were times where the road was muddy, and I had no idea which direction to take, but I had discussions with Nathan (my manager) and Ankur (CEO), and they have always guided me in the right direction.

I’ve come a long way by just being curious. I’ve grown not only in terms of the role but overall as a person — observing things by being a fly on the wall, seeing how folks interact, asking questions, sharing perspectives, stepping up, pushing back, learning new things and applying these learnings on the go. I’m utilizing my strengths, working on my weaknesses, and growing in my career.

I’ve got this safe space to raise my concerns, have intense discussions and come out of the room with more clarity. Throughout this journey, there has been constant guidance from Mridulla (my life coach), who has supported me in more ways than I can describe.

I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed working remotely if I didn’t have this flexibility and the ever-evolving culture here at Axelerant. There’s a difference between working remotely and having no choice but to work from home during the lockdown. I think when things are better and people get this flexibility, we might see a different picture altogether.

👩‍🎓 Architect by training | 👩🏻‍🎨 Visual Designer | Marketing Manager @Axelerant | 🎧 Music Enthusiast | 🐶 Dog Lover