How a Remote Working Team of Females is Branding and Marketing
Lakshmi Thampi the lady leading the marketing team at Teknospire remember her days of struggle, post maternity when she had an urge to resume her career, but her motherly instincts insisted her to stay at home. She was keen to ‘work’ day n night to meet the deadlines, but the idea of leaving her baby with daycare or maid was horrifying. She would browse numerous jobs sites to get “one” opportunity that allows her to work remotely or provides an in-house creche but all in vain…
She waited patiently, reskilling herself and when she resumed her career as Digital Strategist at Teknospire, she didn’t want young mothers to face the problems she did. She decided to open up doors to young mothers in her team who can work remotely balancing career and home. Meet our Sheroes Lakshmi Thampi and her team working from all parts of India, with the belief that if the work is defined, it can execute from anywhere.
Adopting The Practical Approach
In most of the discussion or meetups, Lakshmi receives a frown on knowing that the whole of her team is working remotely. But she explains it to them this way – it’s not the facility that ever could go wrong if someone is misusing work from home option that means you have hired a wrong person. For her work execution is what matters and in this age of technology, it sounds bit “orthodox” that you cannot work from home.
Swati shared an unconventional perspective, Web Developer from Mumbai, says it’s an irony that while I tried umpteenth times during face to face discussion to get a job, but I could sail smoothly towards a common goal with my team since last one and half years whom I haven’t met even once
Lakshmi says - I have professionals working from Bhubaneshwar, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and even Zimbabwe. Mostly when there are open positions, I float vacancies on social media and specific women job portals like Sheroes. I have never been disheartened every time I get a pool of resumes and to pick just one is a tough choice.
Smitha another team member who is a UI Designer working from Bangalore says - I was looking out for a job that would give me a work-life balance as I had to take care of my child and work at the same. Since I had taken a career break of nearly three years, which is considered a vast gap in the technical race; I found myself gaining minimal pace in adapting the current trends.
I started job hunting with very less hope as most of the places do not have a flexible schedule, and then I met Lakshmi Thampi, who was managing a team of people remotely. Without any second thoughts, I joined her side and hadn’t looked back ever since
How Do You Stay Connected?
Thampi states - We have a Whatsapp group where all team member interact with each other. Also, we schedule calls to stay connected. People in Bangalore whenever the need arises also visit the office, all the sessions presented in office involve remote working team as well. So they know what’s going on in the office concerning technology and solutions and even office people know we have our an extended team working remotely. Also, Tools like Task schedulers, Messenger and Video call tools help in communication with the team.
On asking Divya social media manager of Teknospire based out of Bangalore who often visits the office, is it tedious to go to the office when you have the comfort of working from home? She says - Not really. Going to office opens new ideas, meeting, interacting with the team is an experience in itself. You sync up with the energy in the office and are more focused and confident to deliver the best in you.
On Teknospire and its Policies?
Teknospire is a two-year-old fintech startup aiming to enable financial inclusion. Build and deliver the right technology, and keep it rolling with partner banks for the masses is the mission and purpose. Our offerings vary from the FinX-Payment and Agency Banking Suite, FinX- Mobile Money Suite, Data Analytics, FinX-Payment SwitchOut flagship product FINX
Reg Policies and work ethics, Lakshmi says - we believe in gender diversity and equal opportunity to all our employees. Our team in Bangalore do have an option to work from home, but they can avail it whenever the need arises.
Is Remote Working Offered only By Startups?
Lakshmi says - Many MNC’s also offer work from home, and the decision maker in big firms are the “Managers,” and at the end of the day it all depends upon the rapport you have with your immediate manager. In start-ups it differs, many times due to long working hours or limitation of office supplies people do allow work from home option as it is budget friendly and offers work-life balance to the employee.
On asking Lakshmi about the compensation for a remote employee, she says - In Teknospire Wages/Salary is not decided whether the person is working from home or in office, it is determined based on the number of hours and the value the person could bring in to take firm more closer to its goal. For example, a person who is putting 2 hours a day would be paid less when compared to another person with the same experience that devotes 8 hours [also comparing the value derived in these hours]. So the salary for our remote employees is also with identical logic.
Divya, however, has an impressive view she says – like for a fresher out of college, gaining work experience is a must and once you have achieved, you can negotiate the price for the hours you put in and the value you derive. Hence compensation is directly proportional to the value a professional could get from the number of hours.
On the other hand, Pallavi a Social Media Marketer from Bhubaneshwar says - Yes, if you compare it with a full-time job its low, but then we are not devoting complete 8-hours. Makes sense in the beginning as it's a part-time + remote + career restart. Pay would change based on what is your productivity, and how much you are contributing to the company. All part-time/remote/freelancing pay is directly proportional to what result we bring. So, All we need to do is keep a right balance and contribute well to the success of the company!
Missing Office Gossip? Chat?
While Smitha who is based out of Bangalore says – Not really, We have stand up meetings at the beginning of every week and deliverables are set for every person. We do have lunch meet-ups once in a while at our Bangalore office. Also, I am fortunate enough that my mentor Lakshmi invites me to all the office parties and social gatherings.
Pallavi contributing from Bhubaneshwar narrates - At the office, it was a ritual to talk to everyone almost every day. Friends are quite addictive you know. :-) Yes, I do miss all these things. But there are many positive aspects to it, so it doesn’t matter to me anymore like I feel I am utilizing my time productively towards my goal and my son. So, it’s entirely a focussed and productive energy flowing in.
Swati however who would like to continue as a remote worker misses chit-chats and tea breaks. She says - this is the time where we get to relax and chit chat. Here at home no breaks, round the clock, work and work.
An Interesting Incident On Remote Working?
One of the incidents shared by a teammate from Hyderabad is quite impressive – It was the rainy season, and after about a week’s rain, it was sunny. As a perfect homemaker, she picked all her clothes and hung them outside in the sun. During our call, she heard a familiar sound of raindrops, as she was on call she cant hung up, with the phone she couldn’t go outside and with miserable eyes she watched her clothes getting drenched in the rain…
She continues, what could happen in a home occupied with toddlers, kids or pets? Well, we hear cooker whistling, doorbell sound, a kid singing his rhyme, or a toddler yelling Mummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmy…. Or your neighbor visiting you with an empty bowl to borrow few spoons of sugar or the courier guy who came to deliver the package.
To this Lakshmi adds - Well, all of this and much more, but yet my team deliver things and keep the ball rolling to help Teknospire in branding and marketing. All are females who had taken a break or working as a freelancer post maternity. I could sense a particular kind of bonding amongst them [ in spite of the facts many haven’t met each other face to face], and that could be due to the reason they are sailing in the same boat. All of them are proactive and quick learners, eager to prove to the world their importance.