Thankfully, I have always been built for a ‘Work From Home’ culture, thanks in part to a commute that feels like time stood still and in part to my job as a media professional. On a daily basis, most media professionals can work from just about anywhere given they have internet access and a smartphone but for me specifically, home is where the work is.
As part of What Hi-Fi, a magazine the covers high-end home-theater and audio gear, part of my job includes watching movies and listening to music, both of which I prefer to do in the purpose-built in-home studio. So, besides the internet access and smartphone, you can even add popcorn to the list and my work essentials are sorted!
Indulgences aside, the quarantine period has been a time of self-discovery for many of us and served as an assessment tool for a lot of team leaders. Keeping discipline and motivation levels up is definitely a full-time job when you have to manage a team of professionals who are used to a high-strung life of events, reporting, meetings, commuting and the daily grind of ‘office’. Thanks to several apps that make it easier than ever to quickly get more than three co-workers on a call, the workflow itself isn’t hampered much. Add secure intranet server access, instant messaging apps, editing softwares, and Google Docs and the Stuff team is completely capable of churning out issues after issues remotely. The bigger problem is logistics and for a tech magazine, life without new products in hand will eventually come to a grinding halt, one way or the other.
Thankfully, just before the nationwide lockdown was imposed, I was lucky enough to get hold of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip which gave me a lot of insights (and entertainment) in isolation. The future of mobile phone form factor, the cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio screen becoming a norm and how technology always apes sci-fi are some of the matters, the Galaxy Z Flip made me think.
When I was done thinking, I realised that like every tech journalist these days, my house was littered with little nuggets of technology that begged for a deeper dive. Be it teaching my smart speaker new skills, realising that the vacuum cleaner does a better job than the house help or discovering an app that makes me sound like film stars for my Instagram videos.
There’s always something to explore and when you’re done with that, there’s also time left to introspect on how seriously helpful technology can be too. In a global crisis like this, the only reason why most of us have managed to remain sane in the safety of our home is because of technology. I am hoping that in the times to come, we all are a little more respectful of nature and a little more appreciative of the tech that drives us.
[Nishant Padhiar is Editor of two monthly technology and lifestyle magazines – Stuff India and What Hi-Fi India]