Office Set-up on a Different Floor Helps this CEO Strike Work-life Balance

Deepak Mittal CEO and Co-founder, TO THE NEW feels working from home isn’t as daunting as it is considered to be. He told ET Panache, "Of course, it is something that most of us weren’t used to or weren’t prepared for, so to say. Fortunately, I have a proper home office, so it never really felt like a drastic transition. I am an early riser and begin office at 8 am and try to wrap up by 7 pm usually. Though I would admit, I juggled in the initial two weeks."

He eventually realised that setting a routine and sticking to it is what would help sail through.

"Wishing the team good morning and saying things like ‘Signing out for the day’ at the end of the day are some other habits that help me get a good work-life balance. Everyone needs to put their own unique spin to it and get started at some point. Acceptance plays a key role; once you come to terms with the fact that this is going to be a long-term milieu, you kind of set your pace and try to stabilise things as quickly as you can," Mittal said.

This business scenario has brought to fore the qualities that we never thought we had feels the TO THE NEW CEO.

"After a week or two, things started to fall in place, I could see my mind changing and adjusting to the new normal. Today, I intend to continue working from home even when office resumes. This is simply driven by the fact that working remotely has given me more quality time to de-clutter and focus on strategic planning," he said.

Mittal has been heavily dependent on Google Suite for collaboration for years now. And with the lockdown, the usage just increased exponentially.

Almost all these apps that I am currently using have been a part of my work-life even before the lockdown. G Suite has been very effective for collaborating with everyone in real-time and for everything right from tracking the financial progress to project management. Nowadays, I also find myself on Video Conferencing Apps - Zoom and Google Meet for about four to five hours a day. Adjusting to this was indeed a big deal initially but I got used to it and found it to be more effective than voice calls, giving me facetime with my team," he said.

"Thankfully, I could swiftly overcome both challenges. As for getting used to being on video calls, I have come to realize that it is indeed effective to turn the Video on while you’re meeting people virtually as it helps to personalise the interaction. For managing the boundaries between work hours and personal time, I have made it a practice to not take work outside of my home office. I have seen a lot of people struggle because they take their laptop everywhere," he shared.

Mittal has a designated work station where he has a desktop computer and essentially everything he might need, so that he doesn’t need to switch between rooms or step out unnecessarily.

"This helps in defining the boundaries even while at home. After I check out of the office, I dedicate my complete time to myself and the family.
 In order to de-stress during the day, I take about four to five breaks. I make green tea for myself, there’s a lunch break, and I try to take short five-minute screen-breaks to improve concentration and ensure minimal eye-strain. What really helped strike a balance between my professional and personal life was having my home office on a different floor. So it actually felt like being in the office physically," Mittal said.

It’s very important to not get distracted by the advantages of being at home; or of being with the family feels the TO THE NEW CEO.

"So, while the epicenter of activity at home is on the ground floor, I stay on the second floor during the work hours. When I need a break sometimes, I pick up a book and read a few pages before heading back to work. At the beginning of this year, I had put out a post on LinkedIn asking for recommendations on books that are timeless, and a lot of people in my network suggested some really good ones. I have a list of those books, and the idea is to read as many as possible," he shared.

Mittal is currently reading Principles by Ray Dalio which he is really liking.

"In the last 3 months, I have finished reading many books. In fact, there are some books that I try and read again every year. One of them is Good to Great by James C. Collins, I have read it for the fifth time. Other books that I read during this period include Conscious Leadership by Chapman, Jim Dethmer, and Kaley Klemp and Lead with a Story by Paul Smith," he said.

See the media coverage here.

Published in