Lockdown Lessons: There’s more emphasis on mental wellness & wellbeing

Vikas Chawla, Co-founder, Social Beat
Vikas Chawla, Co-founder, Social Beat

The year 2020 has taught us several harsh lessons. Barely had we entered a new year with renewed hopes and expectations, when the global COVID-19 pandemic jolted all of us out of our comfortable ‘Normal’ zone and flung us into an uncertain world. Terms like lockdown, social distancing, quarantine, work from home, new normal, unprecedented times and the dreaded ‘R’ word – Recession – have become a part and parcel of our daily lives.

India is just emerging out of an over two-month lockdown – a period that has changed our lives, behaviours and the way we conduct business forever. The lessons that we have learnt during the lockdown period and our experiences during the year so far, will help us navigate a world that we had never imagined. Adgully’s latest endeavour – Lockdown Lessons – is an attempt to present the key learnings that India’s business honchos have learnt and imbibed, and which can help the industry navigate the new normal better.

Vikas Chawla, Co-founder, Social Beat,

What are the key lockdown lessons as a professional during the lockdown period?

Working remotely has led to a change in leadership style with a lot more emphasis on mental wellness and wellbeing. At the same time, ownership of each individual is key and we have to enable them to be at their best. Communicating and helping with clarity on the way forward has also been an important learning experience and that is critical during the uncertain times we are living in.

Please tell us about some of the key takeaways in terms of life lessons from the lockdown period.

With reduced travel times, it has been great to use the time to upskill myself and it has been great to spend time teaching as part of our recently launched training initiative. Moreover, life without maids has surely been a humbling experience and brought in true appreciation for the amount of effort it truly takes to run a house.

How have you managed and achieved work-life balance while working from home?

It was initially challenging as the lines between home and work have blurred. I have consciously set aside time for personal activities and usually my evening exercise is a break between work and personal life allowing me to zone back into doing what I want to do. COVID-19 has also enabled me to read a lot more and attend amazing live sessions with leaders across the world and it has been a learning phase.

It has been more than two months since the lockdown was enforced. How are you gearing up for back-to-office mode?

We have decided to work from home till the end of July, and based on the situation at that point in time, we will be doing a staggered opening. We continue to function from 170 home offices at the moment and have also onboarded new team members since the lockdown.

Any lessons that you picked up in financial management from the lockdown period?

Cash flow has always been key, but even more important in the COVID-19 era. The first thing we did was to have a conversation with all our clients to get clarity on past payments and understand how they are doing as a business to help us predict what will be our revenue and business from them over the next few months. We also spoke to our partners and vendors and sought out extensions so that the load can be shared amongst all partners in the value chain.


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