I wake up at 8 or so. Talk to my sister. Get ready for office while gossiping with my roomie for an hour. Rush to office. Eat breakfast. Go through the tasks I have to get done for the day.
List them on a paper and breakdown by time. Work for an hour or so. Lunch time, read something which interests me or stand in lunch time convos. Again back to work. Then probably go for a walk with anyone who is interested for coffee or anything. Back to work and try to wrap up before I go for badminton. After badminton, we have our dinner. Then take a quick standup / marketing call if any. Try to think of what to do for next day. Rush to home. Talk to parents and friends. Before sleep I work on small personal projects, lectures or tv series. SLEEP at 2 or so!
It’s not often you come across a company that says they put their employees first and you actually get to witness that. Most times, it’s just words or fluff or an advertisement for the company. Not to discredit other companies or their attempts to become an employee centric unit but the extent of what this means hit me only when I joined Recruiterbox. On day 1, I was asked to forget the MBA theories, processes, policies and other HR jargon at the door. I was used to nothing else so this was my biggest challenge and I embraced it. I was told to think of each activity as – _What problem is this going to solve? _If the answer is that it is not a solution to any existing problem, there was no need to do it at that point in time. Unless it is a statutory ask or a labor department requisite, it can wait till it serves as a solution to a problem.
Even when we did come up with activities to roll out – we did so with the buy in of our teams. Each idea is posed in front of our teams and we discuss. What people like about it, what could be done better, any other ideas or suggestions that they have – are all taken into consideration and unless it is something almost everyone is comfortable with, it is not launched. This makes my life as Manager of People Operations much easier. I don’t have to stress additionally about how to keep my people happy. When each thing we do is decided by them or they are, at least, aware of why this is happening, the buy in is greater and the happier they are.
Everyone likes validation and there is no bigger validation of how important they are to our success story. We have frequent catchups, open dialogues and ample opportunities where people share without hesitance or restraint. That’s our company culture and the one thing I would never want to change. The insights that come out of these chats are more revealing and pave the way for People Operations as a function as well. Doing this has been the secret.
It’s been a year for me here and the team’s mood and energy is just as it was when I joined. The secret was to treat everyone the way you would your family. No vacation is decided without everyone’s consent. Similarly, no decision is made “for anyone else” in Recruiterbox. We’re a family and as corny or clichéd as it may sound, it is true. The excitement is infectious and the jovial camaraderie is what makes me super happy to be a part of this fold. Almost a year since I joined and I couldn’t be more eager to come to work every day!
Many constantly complain about the long work hours, workplace culture, organisation politics, etc. People on the other hemisphere brag about enjoyable their job is.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO often repeats to his employees and new hires
You can work hard, smart and long. In Amazon you cannot choose 2 out of 3.
Workplace culture is not a set of policies. Rather its the company’s leaders. People look upto their leaders and follow what they practice. They mimic their leaders. And that becomes the culture.
If a CEO/founder drives the team crazy, it will percolate down to the last employee. The better survives while the weakest looks for another opportunity.
And if the same leader cares about his company and employees, then that becomes the cosy environment to work.
Rightly said Don’t pick a job. Pick a boss
We talk about empathy a lot.
Empathy - the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
We talk about empathy for colleagues. We talk about empathy for customers.
But empathy is hard. Sometime we just forget.
I find it useful to use the following simple rules when I work and commit a work.
You are not prepared with a pipeline of work for the engineers - Rahul has to cancel his vacation that he had planned 6 months back to ensure that the feature ships on time. Seth has to be ok with a suboptimal interaction for the user because there is less time to enhance the design.
You write buggy code - Smith in ops will be woken up with alarms. He has a 5 year old who wakes up at slight noise and take 3 hours to go back to sleep. Cathy will not be able to create the report that she has to submit to her director. She will have to skip her son’s game so that she can prepare it manually.
Just remember Rahul/Seth/Smith/Cathy when you work.
It’s not about just making it work, It’s about how long it stays.
When I started writing source code a few years back I had only one focus,get the shit done. After working on building multiple products and features, I realized there is more than getting it just to work and it’s more about how long it stays i.e maintainability. Being a front-end engineer, I have a great taste for user experience and I care a lot about the developer’s experience reading the source code I write, they should be able to understand code easily and should be able to add more functionality without my help.
Code is read more than it is written
There are 2 main things to take care while writing code.
Here are some of my tips for making source code live longer.
It hit me the other day that I've been working full-time remotely for more than a decade now. This is actually my 11th year! To those who are thinking of working remotely or perhaps those who are new to it, I thought I'd share some thoughts on how I've made it work...
People always comment to me that if they worked from home, they'd just watch TV all day and not get any work done. "How do you do it?" they ask. My answer: I get my work done because I actually like working. I like the people I work with and the job that I get to do, so I work just as hard (maybe even harder) because I want to do it.
If that seems too simple, it's because it is. If you struggle to be interested in your job while someone is watching over you in an office, how do you expect to do it when no one is watching you while at home? So, find a job that you enjoy doing. For those who think that there's no job they'd actually enjoy, then find a team that you enjoy working with. You'd be surprised how much work you'll do when people you like are counting on you to do it.
One of the best things about working from home is all the time I save because I don't have a commute. While most spend an hour+ in a car every morning, I get to sleep in... and I almost always do! This means I'm a little more rested before I start working. If you're the kind of person who would wake up early regardless of a commute, spend that extra time doing something fun: Catch up on a TV show. Go for a walk. Make a really delicious breakfast and then actually sit and enjoy it.
And remember: You also have free time at the end of your day while most are driving home!
"Try" being the operative word here because this is something I still struggle with. If I'm not careful, I'll often find myself staring at my computer screen all day in complete silence. This can make me feel tired even if I'm well rested, leading to lack of focus or slowed-down productivity. To help with this, I play music while I work. I prefer film scores or stuff without lyrics, which I play it at a low volume so it's just background noise-- similar to the buzz of co-worker conversations across an office. I also have a tv set up on my desk that plays movies on mute. I position the tv so it's in my periphery, which results in my brain constantly processing movement-- similar to co-workers walking by if I were in an actual office.
This is the main thing people struggle with when working remotely, and why it's the longest section of this post.
It's really easy to become isolated and feel lonely when you work remotely. Many combat this by joining a co-working space a few days a week, but for an introvert like me who actually enjoys being physically alone while I work (with the exception of my dog), what can I do? Well, I socialize virtually. Regularly and a lot.
My team and I are super active on Slack and talk just as much as we would if were sitting side-by-side in an office. Here's what I do personally to combat isolation:
At the start of my day: When I start my day, I say hello to my co-workers and ask how things have been going. This helps in a few ways:
Throughout the day: My team and I continue to chat through the entire day, including video chats.
We also let each other know when we're stepping away (if it's for more than just a coffee or bathroom break) and for about how long.
At any given time in the day, I know exactly what my teammates are working on, where they are, and how they feel. It's really tough to feel alone when you're genuinely connecting with people on a daily basis-- even if just virtually.
Now it's your turn: If you work remotely, what do you struggle with and how do you work through those things? Any tips you'd like to share? I'd love to hear about your own experiences!
I was an excellent performer in my 1st job and had all the perks of being one. After a few years, the work became monotonous. I felt I wasn’t learning or doing anything interesting. Decided it was time to change.
Fast forward to my 2nd job, I was an average performer unable to meet either mine or my teams expectations. I had difficulty in getting things done and felt left out.
On retrospect, it dawned on me that there has been a huge upward movement of the average bar. I found it extremely hard to face this new challenge. Whereas in my 1st job the work was the same everyday and soon it became boring.
When the goals we take upon is very high than our skill set, we enter into a state of anxiety and procrastination. We end up not doing it feeling depressed about our inability.
If the tasks we perform is limited in comparison to our skills, we feel boredom. Everything then just becomes a routine like brushing our teeth and we don’t enjoy it anymore.
For a person to perform efficiently, the challenges should be of sufficient complexity to evoke intrinsic interest and improve the skills but not too complex to discourage. Challenges we take upon and our skills should be in sync with each other.
Goals and skills are related together as reinforcing feedback loop. Increase in the challenge of our goal increases our skill which in turn allow us to face more challenges and so on.
Being a software engineer, I hardly have any physical work which made me weak so, 2015 I decided to join gym, for the almost entire year I didn’t join but I pushed myself to join the gym on 31st December 2015 :D
I didn’t really have a plan about my goal and I didn’t have experience working out. The people at the gym recommend me to for a personal trainer which was really expensive. For a week I workout without anyone’s help and soon I understood this is boring task and I won’t be able to continue this way which made me to go for a personal trainer. My trainer really helped me to understand the importance of exercise and I understood lots more about working out and building a healthy lifestyle. He helped for 9 months and I feel this is the most valuable thing I have ever done in my life.
After working out for 6 months I became stronger, healthier and happier. I Understood more about my body, my posture problems and had a better understanding what I wanted. I started giving more importance to my diet. After almost a year, working out became my routine and missing it a day made me gloomy for the complete day and it even effect my sleep. Now I enjoy working out and made it my habit.
I hardly remember the memories that happened during my school/college days, I used to ask my friends how do they remember what happened 10 years ago? and this is one of my weakness. Being a software engineer I write lots of code and I won’t be able to remember why I wrote a piece of code. So I force myself to write code which anyone can understand easily and I make my commits as small as possible so that I will have a better understanding why did something.
I am very lazy or its better name would be clever, I try to use the easiest way out. The only subject I liked in school was math because the only thing that matter in the exam is the final result. Being so lazy, I hate repetitive even if its typing 1 word more every time. I use lots of aliases to help me being lazy/clever.
Being lazy made me more organized, One example is, I hang all my cloths and arrange it so every morning I don’t have to think what I should wear, I just wear which ever is the first one.
Kudos to @gauravkumar for driving the calendar invite issues fix and bringing it to a closure. This was a very tricky issue to track and involved a lot of back and forth with the customers. He took the initiative to setup call with one of the customers and went through each flow in great detail.
-So, what are your thoughts on Trump’s immigration ban? -I’m sorry I don’t have the mind-space to think about it. -Hey, what do you think of extra terrestrial life? -Give me a minute, I need to clear my thoughts.
Humans have always been obsessed about thinking. @rajeshthiagarajan wants to share some thoughts on thinking and I think it’s going to be great Be there @1 today!