Interview of Smruti Alinje Bhalerao on working in the times of COVID has tested our patience when it comes to keeping calm and hopeful of the better tomorrow. yet we are trying our best to stick to both of them.
Right from doctors, police, and bankers, who have worked regularly and continuously in the lockdown by being onsite to other professions who have resonated to work from home, everyone has a tough time maintaining work balance.
On the one hand, a massive pile of work stares at us while, on the other hand, our bed calls us for a peaceful nap – thanks to work from home.
Jokes apart, but this lockdown has brought several changes and tensions in our work life, and to tackle those changes, we have had numerous alterations.
We interviewed Smruti Bhalerao Alinje, founder of Prittle Prattle, publicity, and PR agency.
Smruti is an extraordinary entrepreneur who has dreamt of all her life of starting her PR firm. In such an intense situation, we thought of interviewing her about how she deals with lockdown, how she has managed to be a workaholic in such an extraordinary case.
1) Were you afraid when the lockdown began?
No, I and my time weren’t afraid when the lockdown began. Initially, we didn’t know that it was going to be such a big thing. We had thought that the situation might end in a month or so; hence lockdown didn’t bother us that much in the beginning. Another and the most important thing is, Mumbai has always taught us to move on. Mumbai’s spirit lies in everyone’s veins, which always motivates me to handle any situation that comes forth.
2) Has your work been affected by lockdown?
Yes, it undoubtedly has affected, but not in terms of service. Pre lockdown, we also communicated more through WhatsApp, video calls, and mails, so communication hasn’t been changed. But when it comes to new projects, we have faced a few setbacks. Many clients wanted to take a break for a while because of financial issues and other barriers; hence in terms of new projects, our work has been affected.
3) What is your strategy post lockdown?
There isn’t any strategy as such, we have decided to take as it comes. So far, the situation has been entirely out of hand, and hence planning nothing at all can be the best plans at times.
4) How are you going to tackle your work post lockdown?
We are going to address all the onsite projects at first. Due to lockdown, they have suffered a bit, and also, we are incredibly eager to get back at them. We have also started our news portal amidst the intense situation of the lockdown, so of course, our second focus is going to be that. We are eager to publish as many exclusive things as possible.
5) How are you trying to communicate with your employees in this situation?
We have a day group discussion before and after finishing the day. Working in an office together was always more fun, and hence we are missing on it. But, to make out days better, we have Saturday video calls with each other, wherein we also discuss work and talk about each other’s lives. Other than that, we have an excel sheet that is supposed to be updated by every employee throughout the day.
6) Is working at home a bit distracting?
Yes, honestly, it is a bit distracting as the atmosphere at home is entirely different from the office; there are too many interruptions, and there are a lot of other responsibilities as well. So, once a while, I do feel lazy to work. But, I also believe in dedication. Once I decide that I have to work, then there is no looking back.
7) What is one advice you will give to entrepreneurs who are having a tough time in the lockdown?
We all are learning and getting better at what we do; hence there is no such advice that I would want to share. I want to tell them always to remember what your goal is and why you started the business or work in the first place. These things are enough to motivate you.