April 2020

5 Tips for Working Well from Home

Humanity is facing its toughest challenge in decades in the form of Corona virus. The pandemic has forced people to avoid travel and stay homes. However, most of the jobs today demand regular engagements and therefore, corporations are finding ways to maintain lockdown norms imposed by different countries and still work. The most workable option has been to work from home. However, most of us are not used to work from home and struggle regularly. Here are the five tips to help you manage yourself and your work better during these times-

  1. Make a Space – If you find yourself working remotely, especially if for an extended period, the first thing you should do is create a landing spot. That doesn’t mean you always work in the same place, but it does mean that you have somewhere to go when you need to hunker down and get things done. Have a spot where you can feel organized, with all of the tools you need to get work done. 
    By the way, this shouldn’t be your dining table. That doesn’t mean you can’t get good work done there, but it does mean that you should have at least one place that is set apart just for work. Even if you like working in the middle of the chaos of life, there will come a time when you’ll be glad you have a place to go when you’re facing a deadline or need some time to think.
  2. Shut the Door – Speaking of having space, it should be one with a door that you can shut. Just like working in an office, remote working has plenty of interruptions–often from your family. Sometimes that can be great, but it’s a good idea to let everyone know that if the door is shut, it’s work time. That’s especially true if your work requires lots of video meetings or phone calls. 
  3. Keep in Touch – When you aren’t working in physical proximity to your team, it takes a little creative thinking and an intentional effort to stay connected. Tools like Zoom, Slack, and MS teams make that relatively easy. The important thing is to make and have the tools in place so that you and your team know how you’re going to communicate.  
  4. Organize Your Day – One of the challenges of working from home is that you’re far more responsible for managing your own workload. That means creating a plan each day. It helps if you create your plan a day in advance. It ensures you get up in the morning in time and go ahead with a plan rather than wondering what to do.
  5. Turn off the Noise – Finally, when you really have to get work done, it can help to turn off interruptions like notifications. Set your devices to “Do Not Disturb,” and schedule a time to check email and respond to important messages. That will help you stay focused, and not get sidetracked by continuous flow of WhatsApp messages about things that can wait until later.

Now, a lot of this doesn’t remain possible in most of the houses. However, most of the homes in Paarth Arka and Aadyant residential developments have been designed with these requirements in mind. You can always find spaces that you can use to manage your office remotely.

How to support Kids during the Coronavirus Crisis?

Nurturing kids at home

As schools close and employees go work-from-home to prevent the spread of the Covid-19, parents everywhere are struggling to keep children positively engaged. If you’re anxious about how to protect and nurture kids through this crisis — often working at the same time — you will do good to read on. Here are my compilation of tips to help kids calm fears, manage stress and maintain order at home. I live in an apartment building and have to manage everything within my flat.

Design Timetable

The first tip from every expert is to setting and sticking to a regular schedule is key, even when you’re all at home all day. Kids should get up, eat and go to bed at their normal times. Planned and structured activities are calming during times of stress. Kids, especially younger ones or those who are anxious, will benefit from knowing what’s going to happen and when. It takes away one dimension of uncertainty from their day. You can do better by mimicking a school schedule, changing activities at fixed intervals, and alternating periods of study and play. It may help to discuss the schedule and their opinion every day. They can also contribute by suggesting activities, which can be managed within your house. It will also take away their feeling of losing control for not being able to go out.

Create innovative activities

Include new activities into your routine, like doing a puzzle or having family game time in the evening. In fact, a few household works can be assigned to kids, which they will enjoy while lessening the burden on you. Build in activities that help everyone get some exercise. Do a yoga session every day and throw in some meditation. Help kids know that certain amount of anxiety is such situations of lockdown is quite normal. I also use Zoom or other such applications to invite all extended family members and we play some fun games such as Tambola or Draw and guess.

Control you Emotions

It’s completely normal to be anxious right now, even for grown-ups. How do we conduct ourselves in these circumstances, has a big impact on our kids. Keeping our worries in check will help everyone around us to manage through these uncertain times easily. The uncertain employment situation and depressing news all around can sometimes make us feel low and irritated. Sometimes, we may be extra sensitive to a family member getting a fever or a cough, which would have been normal otherwise. Please try to be as calm as possible in such situation and take a logical route to thinking. Understand that a child receives signals from your behavior and your panic reaction can be extremely discomforting for him. For those moments when you do catch yourself feeling anxious, try to avoid talking about your concerns within earshot of children. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, step away and take a break.

Limit screen time

Another useful tip is to keep news consumption limited. We all know how the media in India operates and very often we see instances of over-jealous reporting. Turn the TV off and mute or unfollow friends or co-workers who are prone to sharing panic-inducing posts. Take a break from social media or make a point of following accounts that share content that take your mind off the crisis. While information is important, too much and wrong information can cloud your though process.

Use virtual support network

Keep your support network strong, even when you’re only able to call or text friends and family. Socializing plays an important role in regulating your mood and helping you stay grounded. And the same is true for your children. Let the children interact with their friends on calls and/or video calls. Teach them to use some of these newly emerged tools responsibly and safely.

Plans to handle contingency

It

important to understand that Corona virus can affect anyone anytime despite best of precautions. In the face of events that are scary and largely out of our control, it’s important to be pro-active about what you can control. Making plans helps you visualize the near future. How can your kids have virtual play dates? What can your family do that would be fun together? What are favorite foods you can cook during this time? Make lists that kids can also contribute. Observing your planned approach to solve a problem situation will go a long way in inculcating these values in the kid. An important tip here is to assign kids tasks that will help them feel that they are part of the plan and making an important contribution to the family.

Be Positive

The adults may feel that a long school vacation is problematic, but for children universally, the school closure is a cause for celebration. So let it be like that at the moment and help them slowly move into home schooling for this period. Most of the schools have started online learning modules that help children keep connecting with the studies. Let kids understand how you stick to your office schedule despite working from home, and follow the same. While schools are closed and that can be cause of happiness, they need to understand quickly that studies have to continue.

Give right perspective

The fact that there are a lot of things which are changing our daily routine can be unsettling for kids. They will have questions. Things like, why can’t they go to playground or why the maid is not coming home will be in their minds. Some of the kids may ask, while other may not talk about it. Make sure, you give them the right perspective in clear terms, instead of giving them an answer which goes around. If you are keeping distance from a neighbor who is in quarantine, make sure that kids know what does it mean and why is it done. Please ensure that there is no dishonour attached to it.

It’s OK to give some liberties

It is important for us to appreciate the fact that these are not normal times. Allowing a little more screen time to your kid is just fine. Sometimes, let them do what they are looking to do instead of saying no. You, probably would not have allowed a particular action in normal circumstances but, these are abnormal times. It is affecting everybody. So a general tip here is to “Follow the route of least resistance”. Let them at times fulfil their wish, even if it means taking extraordinary liberty. There should be an understanding at times between the spouses to take turns in keeping tab on kids’ activities.

Ask for help

These are times when one should be open to ask for help. There can be different types of issues facing one and it is alright to accept one is feeling weak sometimes. You should know as to whom you can reach out to. It could be your spouse, a friend or a relative. This is especially applicable when you need someone’s support to manage kids while you are stuck with some important official work.

These are some tips to manage and support kids in Covid times. I am sure we all will come out of it unharmed and on the other side of this all, we will exchange notes on how we managed to nurture our kids during these times.

WHY TO INVEST IN REAL ESTATE IN A TUMBLING ECONOMY?

There is no doubt that these are uncertain times. Uncertainty about the future of economy and about our social relationships. For now, the focus worldwide is on creating a healthcare infrastructure that can help the civilization to sustain in the face of Corona virus. However, there are some less-reported developments, which are important for our future. Let me try to delve deeper into some of these aspects, which will have a long lasting impact on all of us.

As a response to the Covid 19 induced challenges, the governments worldwide have committed funds to fight this menace. That’s a wonderful news, because governments everywhere have shown a firmer resolve to fight a problem that has hit everyone, ever in the history of mankind. Starting from US to Japan to Europe and including middle-east to India, every government has simply opened its purse to pump in money into the businesses and healthcare infrastructure. It is estimated that all governments put together would invest close to 2% of world’s GDP into fighting Covid-19 pandemic. Now that’s a lot of money. We have never seen this kind of money supply coming all at once.

So what will this money do and where will it go. Let us look at history and try to figure out how this money would flow in and what would be the response. This money will start flowing into various infrastructure projects across the world. We have seen this story playing out so many times in past. Let’s take example of the world after Second World War. While, anyone around there at that point of time, would have thought that countries like Japan and Germany will never be able to grow out of world war devastation, what we see is completely opposite. The two countries not only repaired themselves but became the foremost world economic powers over the years after the war. Both of these economies are part of the top 5 economies of the world and the most stable ones.

The same happened during the great depression after the World War 1 and the oil price induced depression of 80s. Even if we look at our own Indian stories. In 1990, we reached a level where we felt like collapsing economically. There was a time during PM Chandrashekhar’s rule, when we didn’t have money to meet our debt commitments and we had to pledge our gold reserves. But what happened in the years after that. Did not we see the biggest asset growth in 30 years starting in 1991? It may look counter-intuitive when we are inside a crisis but when looked at retrospectively it all started making sense. The people who had the foresight to buy assets during those times of crisis, earned sweet returns on their investments. But those who were afraid and did not invest in assets, were left high and dry. The high inflation reduced the value of liquid holdings significantly.

Let us look at another aspect of this economic fight against the virus. Remember, since the world is fighting this together and it is known that if Corona virus simmers in any geography, it will affect the entire world, the movement of money will be swift across the borders. Fortunately India is at the forefront of this war against virus. There are several reasons for the same. Our large young population makes it an interesting case to watch out for how the virus story plays out here. We will discuss more about its impact in the next paragraph. Another contributing factor is our leadership position in Pharma production. Thirdly, our big IT sector. While China has been losing trust of the world as a dependable supplier, the democratic nature of our country enthuses more trust in other countries.

So why will we be better off with a younger generation? One, the mortality rate in youngsters is significantly lower than the older generation. We have a significant percentage of our population younger, which is much more than any large economy. This coupled with the fact that the way China has handled the Corona pandemic will bring India at the forefront for the corporations who want to move out of China and relocate. The Indian response to this pandemic and the statesmanship that our leadership has shown will keep us in good stead. Our leadership position in Pharma industry and our positive contributions to world society’s sure to make world look at as much more favourably. The idea of looking only at efficiencies while ignoring behaves aspects completely has made the world realizes the kind of challenges it poses. And therefore, we already see a much more positive tone for India than China or any other country.

Another significant change that the world will face on behaviour and social aspect is also a big plus for India. We are going to see a big shift in our behavior when technology will become much more important than what it has been. The social distancing will be the new norm and work from home the new corporate mantra. Outsourcing of work will get more traction and technology will be the way to go, for most developed western world. India holds a significant advantage in this area with significant progress over last 2 decades.

But how is all this going to affect me? And what should be my actions now which will benefit me economically in future. With expectation of these large government spending worldwide finding a route to India as deduced above, will create a surge in the prices of physical assets in India. While virtual assets like shares and bonds may take a long time to appreciate, physical assets like real estate will be appreciating fast and for a long term. Added to the fact, that new developments of real estate projects have already been very low as the segment has been facing head winds for years. The property prices have not appreciated for last few years and supplies are constant. With new norms of social distancing in place, the laugh of new projects will be much slower. So we will be in a state where too much money will chase too few assets. And that is when we will see a fast and sustained increase in real estate prices. Our parents have seen it and benefitted from it in earlier moments, now is our time to invest in Real Estate and earn long term. So, if you have some liquid funds, keeping it like that is sure to erode its value. However, investments in Real estate when economy is tumbling, is sure to help you make a fortune.

For more information please visit our websit:www.paarthinfra.com

Why the Architectural Design of your Home Matters

Home is the place where we spend most of our life, along with our near and dear ones. Our parents and children would need all their requirements to be met in the house you buy. It could only be achieved if a house is designed well. What we keep hearing from our friends, who have bought houses, all the times – no air-circulation, no sunlight, lot of seepage etc. This problem is more acute in an apartment than an independent house. But how does a good house design help this cause. Let’s understand.

We all understand that different parts of the world have different weather conditions. It is also well explained by scientists and engineers by now that at different times of the year, sun rays reach earth at different angles. In fact the movement of sun and where it rises (the direction) also varies through the year. Winter and summer solstices amply provide this understanding. In this situation, it is very important to realize that sun rays have to fall at different parts of an apartment at different times. Good architects use this to design great houses, which are also energy efficient.

Another aspect which affects good home designing is the fact that air movement in different parts of the world is different. It depends on factors like proximity to sea or mountains as well as the location near or away from tropics. The strength of storm-like winds is also a crucial factor to be noted. When the elements of a house or a building are designed basis this, the result will be a house which will have a good ventilation. A good ventilation always ensures a home free of micro-organisms, which is critical for good health. A well-designed home also reduces energy consumption, as it ensures optimal temperature to be maintained at all times. One can argue that with today’s technological development, Air-conditioners and heaters can be used to maintain optimum temperature, however, without proper ventilation, the air inside the house will not be healthy. Also, such devices make air drier, which has negative impact on various body organs.

But how to get a well-designed flats in Lucknow. The only answer to this is that one needs the services of a good architectural team, who understands these aspects and has a portfolio of projects can achieve it scientifically. Especially when one is talking of an apartment building, it becomes extremely important. You can’t have wannabe designers creating a house design which can provide the required amount of sunlight and air circulation. One of the best designed building, I have seen in Lucknow in Gomti Nagar Extension area in Lucknow is Paarth Infrabuild’s Arka. This is designed by Hafeez contractor, arguably the best architectural team in the country. A half-circular shape of the project ensures great air circulation to every single flat. The beauty of it lies in designing each apartment as if these have been designed individually to create perfect homes. The direction for each is managed to ensure optimal sunlight and air – circulation as needed.