08 Jul 2020 00:33 IST

Let’s hear it for work sans long commutes

The managers at Flipkart gave real work assignments and modified objectives to suit remote projects

I had a fantastic experience as an intern with Flipkart this summer. It taught me more than I could have imagined. I got to work on a data science project that was interesting and important, and could make a significant difference in the way the company operates. It allowed me to learn, think, and execute constantly. I felt that hiring managers at Flipkart had done a lot of homework while providing real work assignments and had made an effort to modify project objectives to minimise the impact of it being a virtual job.

The work-from-home culture at Flipkart was very good. For instance, the Flipkart teams recognised that the boundaries between our work and home lives were blurring due to Covid-19. We used to get advice to schedule our meetings/calls with others within the 10 am to 6 pm window and take a personal day off if needed.

Flipkart, being a tech-company, had developed the infrastructure to support WFH. In that sense, they were completely prepared for the lockdown. The campus team ensured that the internship programme ran a tight ship and ascertained that the productivity and learning of interns was not affected amid the pandemic. We used to have a weekly campus team connect with all co-interns and play fun quizzes, take part in competitions like a ‘Plant for the Planet’ and ‘Know Your Interns’.

Further, every week, speakers from the executive ranks across Flipkart’s business units used to speak about the work they do and their experiences at Flipkart and beyond. We used to also have weekly sessions to learn about the activities of a fellow intern’s business unit, and to support each other’s projects in the best way possible.

The lack of face-to-face interactions at the workplace was amply compensated by these social engagements. I could enjoy my work, as I avoided long office commutes, worked in my cosy pyjamas and spent more time with loved ones.

(The writer is currently a post-graduate student of PGP/ MBA at IIMB. Before joining IIMB, he worked for two years with Alstom India and, holds a bachelor’s degree in Mech. Engg. An indoor person by nature, Sameer enjoys photography, reading books and working on new ideas for e-commerce startups.)