Ajitesh Bohra, Creative Associate, Delhi
My dog is sick. And I am at the vet now. My office has shrunk from a 13” laptop to a 6” phone.
“Going to the vet, brb”— I update my status on Tandem.
_Waiting in the queue at the vet, I jump back into a memory_
It was exactly one month ago from the day - my first day at my first job. I had no idea how things worked, or proceeded. Since I could recall, I always saw what the movies and the TV shows showed me, the way I saw my father and his father before him: you pack your lunch, you go to the office, you work, you come back. That was still the image I had in mind of a job. A job and an office, these two words were almost married to each other. On day one, honestly, I was perplexed. How is it going to be? How do I log in? How will I meet people? How will I know what to do? How will I let them know what I have done? Would there be a lot of phone calls? I was prepared for a ton of hassle.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t. In all honesty, it was one of the most streamlined experiences I had in my life. Yashika, the strategy lead, guided me beforehand. Post that, it was a breeze. I was so amazed by how organized everything was. At 12, everyone logged in on Tandem, our virtual office , and I met everyone over a video call, I got everything charted out for me in Notion, our choice of data and project management, and I was added to the review groups in Slack, our go to organizer with persistent chat rooms organized by topic, private groups, and direct messaging. A month later, my typical day starts exactly like my first one. A meeting over Tandem, workflow planning and execution over Notion, and reviews and edits on Slack; all the while being aware of what everyone else is doing.
As a creative who loves making art and writing, the space that I am in can significantly affect the creative process. I write on my desk, I draw on my couch, sometimes in a café; you never know where creativity can strike, or what inspires you. Remote culture really gives me the freedom to be in the mental and physical space I want to be in, along with seamless coordination with all of my teammates. I can vouch for the fact that working in your preferred space is much more optimal and productive than when someone is constantly glancing over your shoulder.
The startup culture is known for its free flow interactions and its collaborative environment, as well as its sheer lack of operational delays. I had doubts initially, how remote working, with its lack of face to face interactions and operational lags will come in the way of the startup spirit. But it doesn't. The ‘fun’ element which defines startups was perpetually present, because in the end we figured it’s not a place that makes the people, but people who make the place. With such enthusiastic and multi-dimensional teammates, it doesn’t seem like I have known them for barely a month. This is what good camaraderie does— it makes you want to be productive, rather than force you to be.
_A ping on my cellphone nudged me back from my reverie_
My dog is sick. And I am at the vet now. My office has shrunk from a 13” laptop to a 6” phone. “Going to the vet, brb”— I update my status on Tandem. I look at my dog, and she looks at me, thanking me silently for being around. Reaching back home, I am flooded not with questions about where I had been but a barrage of concerned messages about her.
I won’t call these people my colleagues. They are my friends.