WFH combat tricks that can help in adapting to the New Normal

Guest Column: Sanju Menon, COO, Publicis Ambience & Publicis Beehive, shares few mechanisms that helped him cope with the new challenges

e4m by Sanju Menon
Updated: Jun 29, 2020 8:54 AM
Sanju Menon

The divide between the two worlds BC (Before Covid) and AC (After Covid) — yes, there is such a term — felt surreal. I battled the idea of social distancing casting a shadow on the future of a workplace. As the pandemic intensified, so did my fears — of leaving a greater impression on my couch than on my clients and rallying a screen full of people instead of a room full of people — over relentless conference calls. Then came the overarching thought of tomorrow when I’d have to get up just to do it all over again. Phew! It was time to call it truce, lay my weary head down and embrace the reality of labouring in confinement and carry on (morbid, but stay with me). It was time to be ‘okay’ with a few things. Life did change and morph in unexpected ways and the nostalgia of being in a loud and humming workplace, is still real. But I’m not intimidated by the ‘new normal’ anymore. Through trial and error, these are some of the WFH combat tricks that WFM (worked for me) and keeps me from punching holes into the wall. 

 — It’s okay to oscillate, shift from your starting point, and land differently each time. Days are dynamic, everything is in motion, and you’re just adapting and responding to the unseen forces at hand.

 — It’s okay to bring your home to your work. Remote culture may have blurred some of the boundaries between your work life and personal life, but the sudden distractions of needing to check that the oven’s not caught fire, or other at-home paraphernalia, is fine. 

 — It’s okay to reclaim your weekends. You’ve been working hard through the week.

 — It’s okay if your weekdays still stretch into your weekends. You could again try and reclaim the next one.

— It’s okay to be slightly on the edge. You’ve been pushed to a corner. And you’re just blowing off some steam. 

 — It’s okay if someone else in your team is slightly skittish, too. They’re in a corner as well.

 — It’s okay if you’re chasing goals, completing them but not seeing any results. Perhaps the jury too is caught in the same vicious cycle.

 — It’s okay to feel like a hamster on a wheel. Go slow at times if you need to but make sure you don’t abandon it altogether, or you might lose your mojo.

 — It’s okay to be spending more time on spreadsheets than presentations. The need of the hour is to keep at the numbers.

 — It’s okay to say, ‘why, did I not think of that?’ When you say that to yourself again and again, you’re likely to get there sooner.

 — It’s okay to keep your video turned off during a video call and stay squarely in your “comfort zone”. Whether or not you’re tuned into the meeting is more important. 

 — It’s okay to attend the gazillion webinars in search of answers and exit with more questions. There are too many unknowns and the panelists in all probability are in the same quandary as you.

 — It’s okay to pretend that it’s all fine. Despite the disruption, maintaining a sense of normality is key. How else would you make it to tomorrow. 

 — It’s okay to not be okay with what’s happening, too. Because in between the normal and the ‘new normal’ there is this abnormal.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of

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