I am the Secretary of a few schools and secretary of a couple of higher education institutions. This is in addition to being an Entrepreneur CEO of an Edutech Company called Excelsoft.
During the last one year (almost), the situation has been, as all of us are aware,
Working from Home at all locations of our business.
That meant at all our office locations, we have only a bare minimum essential staff, and all Engineering, Product development, Delivery, Support, sales, and Marketing, and more importantly “going live” has not been easy.
Yes, we use all the necessary tools for remote work management, including of course the conferencing tools. While it has definitely helped business continuity, the efficiencies of face 2 face meetings are diminished. In normal circumstances, we could call for a quick meeting, at short notice, do a town hall or an all-hands meeting. It could quickly manage escalations, resolve differences in viewpoints, discuss risks, resolve conflicts. Doing the same via video calls and emails take at least three times more effort and time, to get to the conclusion. It can be frustrating at times. Many times “Multi-tasking” has become an integral part of working from home. It is difficult to be absolutely faithful to your “calendar”. You either keep making changes very frequently, or overlaps happen. You get meeting requests on calls, Text messages, WhatsApp, emails, LinkedIn, etc. So running a busy but also smooth calendar is that much more effort. A secretary in the front office, could have been quickly tipped off on a meeting or a call or an event, and get her to update the calendar. The Manager and Secretary working in two different locations and try to keep this sync have not been easy.
Educational Institutions : Schools and Institutions of Higher Learning
The life and blood of any school or a college are the teachers and students, and the lively buzz. Over the last year, I have been frequently visiting our Offices, schools, and colleges that I am associated with, return feeling the emptiness. Without People, all these are just a few more buildings.
I should admit that these times have made homes more lively. For me, we have a houseful after a long time, with all of us at Home: my father, my father-in-law, my wife, daughter, my 4.5-year-old grandson whose school is now my home, and my 3-month-old granddaughter who keeps us busy through the night.
Let us hope it will all return to normal or new normal, sooner.
Thank God for small mercies!