It’s been just 2 weeks of work-from-home (wfh) for Hypers thus far. This new wfh normal that we’re all living - I think it works just fine. I’ve personally worked from home a fair bit in the last decade so it’s not much of a change to be honest.
And yet, sometimes I step up from my chair and unconsciously walk towards the coffee machine in the pantry before course-correcting to the microwave in the kitchen. Occasionally I look up hoping to see my colleague looking up at the same time and perhaps exchange a smile.
It feels like an eternity has passed since we last stepped into office.
I miss the calming effect that the assured walk of our CTO Vignesh has on everyone. I miss watching Aadarsh sitting and meditating in his chair. I miss passing by the yoga room in the office thinking to myself, When will I restart yoga? And I definitely miss the gym at WTC.
I miss our CEO Kedar’s visible insistence on focus. “What’s the 80:20,” he’d ask in meetings. 80:20 is the Pareto ratio, which when applied to work could be interpreted as “80% of the impact comes from 20% of the effort, and the remaining 20% of impact takes a herculean 80% of effort.” So “identifying the 80:20” could mean focusing on those tasks that’ll give maximum impact.
Sometimes he’d go one step further, “What's the 80:20s of the 80:20s.” And at least once a month, he’d definitely ask, “What’s the 80:20s of the 80:20s of the 80:20s?”
I miss spotting the black Compass day planners lying on everyone’s desk as a sort of a totem that identifies Hypers. The Compass is more than a diary and is a complete system. And it’s worth noting that the diary has little pictures of elephants and rabbits drawn on the daily task pages.
Then there is the warm camaraderie of an office dominated by millenials, best demonstrated in language. The words that travelled the space between our desks in office - amaze, peace, thulped, high-funda, matcha, mama, boss - now have to travel further from one home to another across a Slack channel. To cover that distance, the words have to drop the warm tonality that gave them weight.
We communicate and over-communicate so there’s a great display of Hyperisms in Slack and over Zoom calls. And yet, there’s so much IRL stuff in “culture” that it’s hard to truly replicate all of it online. For example, what’s the Slack equivalent of a good strong high five? And can Deepak’s “noice,” or Raj’s “boss,” or Naveen’s “mama” ever read the same as they sound? How does one have a spirited debate over which curtain will remain open? How can one share a moment of unconsciously yet synchronously looking out the window, at the Sun setting over Bangalore?
HyperTribe is now working from home, but honestly speaking, I miss the office.
“Timecheck,” it’s time to stop this nostalgia.
It’s P0 (the highest priority) for us to maintain morale and productivity for our team. And we’re trying to port Hyperisms to go digital. We don’t want to “cup it” (fail). So we’ve created a new set of habits to replace the old ones (temporarily). For e.g., every morning, we’re paired with a random colleague who we can spend the equivalent of a coffee break with.
We’re searching for new habits in these trying times. What are your thoughts? If you come across something we can use, drop us an IM.