VENTEUR spoke with Manoj Singh, Co-Founder and COO of Airmeet, about working from home. Airmeet is a virtual and hybrid platform that allows people to join together anytime, anywhere. Singh co-founded Airmeet in 2019, following his role as Associate Vice President of Operations at Quikr. He has more than a decade of experience in senior operations roles at high-growth and high-performing technology companies, holds a background in software engineering, and has worked at well-known companies, including Samsung India.

Manoj Singh, Co-Founder and COO of Airmeet

How vital are comfort and quiet when working from home, and why is this the case?

We usually associate comfort with relaxation, but in a work environment, it means space free from noise and chaos, allowing optimal productivity. 

Conversely, discomfort makes it a challenge to focus and work efficiently. 

Having a clean and organized workspace enhances concentration and also makes work more enjoyable in the long run. 

Studies have shown that employees are 20% more productive when working in a comfortable environment. 

Some factors that contribute to an optimal workplace include temperature, ergonomic furniture, and air quality. 

What are three out-of-the-box tips you can share to help our readers working from home create a space that works for them, and why these three? 

1. Improve Your Lighting

Lighting is essential not only for comfort but for your ongoing meetings and video chats that may take place.

A well-lit space will give you energy and bring a sense of calm as the day continues. 

Making sure you have access to natural light will allow you to get some vitamin D and feel a little more refreshed. 

Without good lighting, you can strain your eyes and even develop headaches. 

Proper lighting is one of the most important aspects of a tremendous work-from-home environment. 

2. Adjust Your Monitor Height

Reposition your monitor to ensure it's at a good height that aligns with your eyes and neck. You may not even realize your monitor is too low or too high, causing you to look down or up all day. 

This can cause tension in your neck and back. 

Adjusting your monitor with a stand or using a moving desk can also help with this issue. Adjust it a few ways, see how you feel, and reposition it again to find the perfect spot.

3. Splurge on a Comfortable Chair

You will spend so much time in your chair, so investing in a quality, comfortable, supportive chair is crucial. 

Make sure it supports your back and your spine. It's also essential to make sure you like the way it looks. 

Having an aesthetically pleasing space also makes it easier to accomplish tasks.

How can business leaders ensure that productivity remains high while working from home and operating under a decentralized working model, and why might these strategies work best?

First, working from home is becoming the norm for millions across the globe, so finding ways to keep productivity high is crucial for success. 

The first virtual step is to create a plan of action centered around keeping communication strong. 

With today's technology and virtual platforms, you can forge meaningful relationships with breakout sessions, huddles, direct messages, meetings, and more. 

This keeps employees engaged and aware of what's happening around them.

Second, implement purposeful goal setting. 

Anyone can set dozens of goals for employees, but being intentional about them will help employees continue trying to reach them. 

In addition, ensuring those goals are attainable and providing support, even from afar, is a great way to encourage them to get their work done and reach those goals.

It is easy to get disconnected from the real world when working remotely, so connecting with employees on a more personal level is essential. 

Some ways to do this are to organize virtual activities and events and coordinate remote happy hours. 

For example, send your employees a gift card or bottle of wine they can enjoy together via video conferencing. 

 Third, to ensure productivity is providing employees with the best tools to assist them in their tasks. 

Integrate the latest technology and productivity tools. 

Some tools genuinely allow people to have a place to gather and meaningfully connect from anywhere in the world. 

The company will reap those benefits when employees are set up for success. 

Manoj Singh, Co-Founder and COO of Airmeet

How can business leaders ensure that productivity remains high while working from home and conducting all interactions online?

It can be challenging when you don't see an employee regularly but micromanaging isn't an effective way to approach managing productivity. 

Instead, make sure you integrate regular one-on-one into the weekly schedule to connect and offer assistance to make certain deadlines.  

Setting clear expectations from the beginning makes it easy to monitor work and overall success. Celebrating an employee's successes and achievements is a great way to show they are not only appreciated but are doing a great job. 

These celebrations, words of encouragement, and recognition push them to continue to be productive.

Another way to ensure employees remain productive while working from home is to bolster professional and personal development. 

Find ways to help them grow in both capacities and support them along the way. 

Offer support to show you not only care about them as employees but as individuals. 

And lastly, make sure you listen. 

Sometimes managers or leaders speak, but listening is a great way to gain trust and develop a relationship. 

How can businesses adequately protect sensitive information while employees work from home, and why might these ways not work?

Businesses should also have a cybersecurity policy intact to ensure employees know their information is protected. 

Policies are significant, but it is also crucial to take all staff through training. 

Show each employee what steps they need to take on their end to protect themselves and, of course, the company's data. 

Some other important things are ensuring employees have a secure internet connection and providing each person with best-in-class tools such as encryption software, virtual private network, firewalls, antivirus and antimalware, etc.

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