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Work-from-Home Culture in the Wake of COVID19. What are the Struggles of Employees and How They can Make the Most of Working Remotely?
The next two weeks are the most crucial for India in the wake of COVID-19. Considering this, businesses across are taking precautionary decisions which are meant to maintain social distancing and avoiding unnecessary travel of employees. Some of the key businesses especially the internet based business, startups, and tech giants have mandated work from home for all of their employees.
Work from home culture has been gaining popularity in businesses for the past couple of years. However, only a small percentage of companies and its employees are completely familiar with the concept. In this scenario, professionals who are new to the concept, face the challenge of keeping up their productivity and efficiency.
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When you are working in a home setting, you are likely to get distracted because of multiple factors like family, pets, television, changed eating and sleeping routine, and so on. Here, it becomes a challenge for you to be equally productive at work as you would be in the office. To gear up for this, you could take the following measures and ensure maximum work efficiency:
- Plan your day: When you are working from home, spend some time at the beginning of the day planning your whole day. List down all your tasks and arrange those in descending priority. Set targets for the day and document those as and when you achieve one. Share your progress with your team members or manager at the end of the day. Plan the calls and web conferences with your team or clients ahead as you would normally schedule a meeting.
- Stay connected with the team: To stay focussed throughout the day, it is essential that you stay connected with your team. To do the same, make sure you are always available for calls, emails, and instant messaging apps like Hangouts chat. Check-in with your team every once in a while regarding work or to discuss something informal as you would do in the office. Practising this not only ensures your focus but also helps your team members to stay on track too.
- Keep dedicated office space at home: Despite being in a home setting, plan work as if you are at your workplace. Keep a dedicated space for work at home that is less prone to distractions and is comfortable. Have your family or roommates understand your work schedule to avoid distractions. Be clear about your work timings which include when you will start working, take a break to snack or stretch or walk, have lunch, and when you will end your day.
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4. Get acquainted with tools to navigate work-from-home: In order to stay as efficient as possible, it is critical that you get acquainted with technology as it is through this only that you can stay connected with your work life – team and their progress, clients, boss, partners, and so on. You must get acquainted with basic tools like document sharing, using work management tools like Trello and Teamwork, Google Drive, Dropbox, Skype, and other tools like Google Hangouts Meet, Slack, Team Viewer, and Zoom to coordinate with your team, having meetings and conferences with your clients, or to conduct interviews for recruiting new employees.
While it is challenging to work remotely, this is also an opportunity for you to acquire and hone so many new skills like planning, forward-thinking, coordination in times of distress, and so on. In addition to this, it is natural that when you are working from home, you will save a lot of commute time and get to spend it with your family. You could utilise this time to plan your work, spend time with family, and help your kids manage their studies when the schools are closed.
About the author: Sarvesh Agrawal is the Founder and CEO of Internshala, an internship and training platform (internshala.com)
During the festive season, kitchens are filled with people trying to find a space for them to work, while they contribute to the eventual feast. In India, festivals are one of the most important things that bind families and friends together over food. Diwali is of those festivals that apart from being known for the colors and lights, is known and remembered by the elaborate dishes that each family doles out.
In Karnataka, parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra, and South India in general, making obbattu/ holige/ puran poli is a festive ritual. Known as Holige, more popularly in Kannada, this dish is eaten as a dessert because of its sweetness but can be eaten as a meal in itself because of its nutritious value.
Holige is traditionally a flatbread filled with jaggery, coconut, chickpeas, or channa dal. Sometimes, it has vegetables and fruits. It is popularly made to celebrate Ugadi, the Kannada new year but is also eaten during Diwali. Making Holige involves multiple steps and be incredibly fun to do when done together as a family.
The ingredients laid out to begin cooking holige Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Making Holige is very similar to making parathas. A sweet filling consists of smashed dal or chickpeas seasoned with spices like cardamom, which is rolled out. a maida-based dough which will make the outer covering is rolled into a thin circle. After cooking the dal with jaggery, it is placed in the centre of the dough and cooked until it resembles a paratha. The marbling on the dough with a characteristic yellow background is the typical Holige. Ghee is smeared at every stage and at every turn of the Holige on the pan to ensure that it holds its shape.
Holige is made only one at a time and eaten immediately off the stove as it tends to exude a lot of moisture. This comes from the melted jaggery and ghee. Holige makes for an extremely delicious dessert and is perhaps one of the most awaited festive specialties. Depending on the state it is made in, it is served with varying accompaniments.
Keywords: Holige, Diwali festival, Dessert, Obbattu, Karnataka, the festive season, Kannada new year
Kerala Kalamandalam that teaches the globally recognized art form of Kerala -- Kathakali, has for the first time in its history of 90 years, admitted girl students.
In class VII of Kalamadalam, out of 10 students admitted, 9 are girl students for its Kathakali course. Kathakali is a highly masculine art form with even the female characters being portrayed by men. The attempt is being welcomed across the world.
However several women had started practicing Kathakali in 1970 and 1990 and K.K. Gopalakrishnan, renowned art critic of Kerala in his research book, 'Kathakali Dance - Theatre', said that some women from foreign countries had trained for some short-term courses in Kerala on Kathakali.
Most of these performing women artists were either trained privately by Kathakali masters but this is the first time that Kalamandalam is taking in girl students for its long-term programme.
T.K. Narayanan, Vice-Chancellor, Kerala Kalamandalam told media persons that giving admission to girl students in Kalamadalam was a demand for several quarters since long and that this academic year the governing body has decided to give admission to girl students in a full-time programme at Kalamandalam.
Training at Kalamandalam from school days would expose the students to the teaching and guidance of experts and a diverse pool of teachers of the institute who have huge exposure and deep knowledge of the subject. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Kerala culture, Kathakali, Dance Culture, kathakali Tradition, Kerala Kalamandalam
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the Delhi government would arrange free-of-cost travel for senior citizens from Delhi to Ayodhya.
"I want every Indian should be fortunate enough to have a 'darshan' (visit) of Ram Lalla. I am a small man but Lord Ram has given me enough and I will use my position to help people to come for darshan here," Kejriwal added after offering prayers at the Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya on Tuesday.
Speaking to the media, he said, "I pray to Lord Ram to help India move ahead in the world and bring prosperity for 130 crore people."
Kejriwal, who visited the Hanuman Garhi temple, said he was fortunate enough to be in Ayodhya and seek blessings from Lord Ram for the welfare of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and the rest of the country.
The Delhi Chief Minister had arrived at the temple town on Monday and attended the 'Sarayu aarti' where he interacted with saints and seers. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Ayodhya, Ayodhya Ram Mandir, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Ram Mandir for senior citizens, Ram Janmabhoomi temple.