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Playing Pretend: How to Keep Productivity Levels Up While Working From Home

tea-cup-laptop-apple-7360-scaled-e1585866114401-300x177 Playing Pretend: How to Keep Productivity Levels Up While Working From Home

When you are used to working from the office, staying home and trying to meet deadlines can prove to be a challenge sometimes. Various industries have been affected by COVID-19 in different ways, some more detrimental than others. We at Optimus are lucky to have the luxury of mobility; we can work from home. But when sitting alone on the couch, with no coworkers in sight, how can we stay focussed? We have a simple, yet absurd solution. Play pretend. 

Dress to Impress

Stay with us, we know how strange it may sound. But just as important as brushing your teeth and washing your face before working from home, we encourage you to get dressed up as if you were going into the office. Not only does it hit “refresh” in your mind for a new day, it puts you in the headspace of work, rather than lounging around. Dress as if you could be “Skyped by a potential client at any moment” says an article from The Guardian. It’s not just about having other people there to view you in professional attire, it is about taking the same time to respect yourself and get into the right frame of mind as you would on a regular workday. Keeping up your routine is key. 

Working From Home ≠ Working In Bed

“Why does that cause an issue? I should be fine working from bed! Shouldn’t I be comfortable while working?” Firstly, agreed. Don’t set yourself up in a sharp nook of your home and expect your finest work. But do remember: you’re not at the office. That itself creates chaos in what would otherwise be a smooth sailing ship. It’s hard to feel like working when you are sprawled out in bed, or laying out on the sofa. Just a suggestion, but we’ve found it helps to sit up straight and reside at a desk during work hours to encourage the same routine you would have had at the office. And speaking of routine, it leads us to our next tip: keeping a scheduled day including breaks and team calls (to keep your sanity and stay connected). 

Schedule Your Day

Not being in the office means a lack of people to bounce ideas off of, or grab a quick lunch with between meetings. But it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice some of these privileges completely. Why not schedule your day around outcomes, coming up with a daily goal to hit? And by laying your day out, and scheduling in some breaks for yourself, shoot your coworkers a calendar invite for a 15-minute brainstorm session, or maybe even a working lunch. Just because you are at home, doesn’t mean you have to isolate yourself from the office community; stay connected! But while staying connected, remember to keep boundaries between your work and personal life. Getting stuck working all the time because you can’t “turn off” or not working at all because you are watching TV, is not productive either. 

Be Careful of Isolation

When staying home, especially if you live by yourself, it can get lonely sometimes. Just as it’s important to stay connected and integrated with your office community, staying in touch with family and friends is a surefire way to keep yourself from feeling isolated. Text, video call, and email those who are1 near to your heart, or maybe reach out to some old friends. 

Distractions 

Finally, when working from home, it’s easier than ever to get distracted. Along with following the tips above, we encourage you not to get too caught up with the news. Staying informed is always important, don’t get us wrong. Listening to trusted resources and turning your TV on is good, but we would suggest not having the news channel on 24/7. Not only does it take away from your mindshare, it also may create a worrying atmosphere considering the state of the globe today: not conducive to a working environment. 

This pandemic has affected everyone, and we hope that you are staying home and healthy. But while staying home, we hope that these tips will help keep your productivity levels on the rise, without compromising your working environment.

Behind The Scenes at Optimus: My Experience as an Intern

Excited and afraid, I boarded a plane, leaving my family, friends and city life behind. I was about to embark on what would be the most challenging, educational and rewarding experience of my life: a four-month internship at one of Canada’s fastest growing IT firms, Optimus Information. The interesting part, however, was that my internship was not to take place in Canada. Instead, I was being sent to work at the company’s delivery centre in India.

After a grueling flight with multiple layovers, I was finally halfway across the world in the land of India. A friendly Optimus employee greeted me at the airport and, from that point onwards, the journey began. During my 4 months at Optimus, I was living and working in a place called Noida, also known to be the fastest growing urban city in the country. Noida is a tech hub for global firms outsourcing IT services. This was quite apparent, since almost every young person I spoke with had a degree in computer science and was working at one of the many IT centres here. Bustling with millennials and computer engineers, I knew that this city was a haven for techies.

Culture Shock

Initially I was shocked; the Bollywood movie I had watched on the plane did not prepare me for this. With the insane traffic, constant honking, weird smells and overpopulation, it all seemed like one big jumbled mess. I began to think, “What have I gotten myself into?”  This thought disappeared immediately after stepping foot in the Optimus office. Not only were the people incredibly friendly and welcoming, but they also treated me like family. Within the first week, I was completely blown away by their unique office culture and how it differed from a typical Canadian office. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with this company, and I was truly fascinated by the different approach they took when it came to managing their employees.

Not Your Typical Delivery Centre

Optimus Information operates under a relatively flat corporate hierarchy. The Co-Founder and Head of India Operations is one of the most humble guys I’ve ever met. He works from a cubicle just like the rest of his subordinates and expresses personal interest in all of his employees. He even joins them for lunch on a daily basis. With fewer layers of management, Optimus employees are empowered, and expected to take on managerial decisions. The result? Greater employee satisfaction and deliverables which usually exceed management’s expectations.

Endless Opportunity

At Optimus, they want you to have the opportunity to work on various unique projects that will challenge your professional skills and force you to think outside the box. Weekly meetings are hosted in the cafeteria, where employees are given the chance to showcase their side projects or share any new technology findings with the team. The company is built on learning, so they encourage all of their employees to explore new ideas, push personal boundaries and invest time in developing new skills. They also have mentoring support programs to facilitate things for the newbies.

 

The-Noida-office-having-a-little-bit-of-fun Behind The Scenes at Optimus: My Experience as an Intern

My Internship in a Nutshell

From the beginning of my internship, it was clear that this place was more than just a delivery centre. Optimus is a family, a second home, a place where entrepreneurship is encouraged and new ideas are always welcomed. Working at Optimus has taught me the importance of global communication and how it enables businesses to operate on an international scale. Optimus has helped further my education by giving me a chance to work with industry-leading clients in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing technology environment. They’ve brought me outside of my comfort zone, and pushed me to go further in the professional world of business. I can’t even express how grateful I am to have been given this opportunity. It’s been an incredible journey working at Optimus and I feel extremely lucky to have been able to be part of the Optimus family during my 4 months in India. 

If you’re curious about the different approach Optimus takes when managing their employees and would like to learn more about how this innovative tech company operates… 

Check back in later this month when I’ll be talking about work/life balance, why it doesn’t work, and what Optimus Information is doing instead. It is the leading reason for their businesses success today and I’m incredibly excited to share it with you!

 

The-author-with-Noida-employees-observing-a-fun-local-custom Behind The Scenes at Optimus: My Experience as an Intern

About the author: 

Lucy Morrow is a second-year Bachelor of Business Administration and Marketing student, nearing the end of her 4-month co-op work term at Optimus Information in Noida, India. Lucy came to know about this opportunity while sitting in class one day when her teacher gave an informative presentation regarding The India Connect Scholarship Program offered at Langara College.  

The India Connect Program is the first in a series of country-specific scholarship programs that gives students a chance to gain valuable work experience while developing intercultural skills at the same time. With her passion for business and curiosity about foreign culture, this was a no-brainer for Lucy; she knew she had to jump on the opportunity. The application process was long and competitive but ultimately worth it when she was selected as one of the two students to participate in the program. 

“In an increasingly globalized world pivoting on Asia, young Canadians must seize the opportunity to live, work and play in other countries and cultures,” said Pankaj Agarwal, Managing Partner, Optimus Information Inc. “Optimus Information is one of Canada’s fastest growing IT firms and our India office is bustling with young people who are eager to introduce Canadians to their culture and the Indian way of doing business. I am excited to be able to partner with Langara College and The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada to offer this lifetime learning opportunity to Canadian students.” 

 

 

Want to know more about The India Connect Scholarship Program? Visit the link below: 

https://langara.ca/news-and-events/langara-news/2017/170809-india-connect-program-apfc.html  

 

For more information about internships at Optimus and The India Connect Scholarship Program, visit the link below: 

https://langara.ca/news-and-events/langara-news/2017/170809-india-connect-program-apfc.html