Work-From-Home During Coronavirus: Women Leaders Show the Way

  • Namrata Harish
  • in
  • Expert Advice
  • |
  • 20 Apr 2020


Women in Leadership Manage Their Remote Working Teams and Show Us How They Ace It


It’s been more than a month since India Inc. has taken to working from home to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. Remote working — an idea that seemed unfeasible before — has become corporate India’s mantra for success.

The credit for most of this success goes to the managers of teams within their organisations, who’ve been called to put their best foot forward in a unique situation. Not only do they have to make sure their employees are safe, healthy, calm and collected, but they also have the added responsibility of making sure that it is business as usual.

Managing a team while working from home is no easy task. And for women leaders who are managing teams, this lockdown has come with added pressure.

What Challenges Women Leaders Face Now

Working women have had to embrace a whole lot of changes that come with social distancing. Household help, a norm in India, is no longer available to many, and schools have let children off for the summer early. 

So, while they manage home and family, the woman leaders of India are also managing their team remotely — a fine balancing act.

All this is apart from the many challenges women in leadership face at work itself, such as:

  • Being held to higher standards
  • Fighting gender stereotypes
  • Managing many roles inside the office and out

But women leaders have been proving to the world that they are quite capable of climbing the ladder and making it to that corner office.

Here’s some good news:


How Women Leaders Manage Their Teams Better

In fact, research shows that women in leadership positions tend to be better at developing lasting relationships with their team members, and this in turn influences employee engagement and productivity.

Their emphasis on relationship building and collaboration within the team can result in benefits for the whole organisation.

Here are three women leaders of corporate India who have shown by example that it is possible to manage your team remotely — and not just survive, but also thrive!


Shalini Dutta, Regional Lead, Talent Management, HPE

For those among us who manage teams, it can seem like an uphill task now. However, the lockdown is a great time to get a business process in place. And the best place to start that is with your own productivity.

Shalini Dutta recommends some tried-and-tested methods to help you lead by example:

  1. Create a routine that is balanced and factors in the time needed to manage home & work. Making the best use of the calendar — factoring in the time for core work, office communication, personal and family time — helps
  2. Your family will need your attention during work. It’s okay to allow yourself these breaks and attend to them. It’s also okay to not have the perfect ambience for your calls — everybody understands
  3. Factor your wellness into your routine. Self-care is important. Allow yourself some personal time in the day


Misha Joshi, Senior Director, Professional Services Organization, VMware India

The VMware professional services team — primarily a field team — often had travel fatigue and the members often longed for home-cooked food. Now, they face a new challenge — missing their travelling days!

Here are some expert tips from Misha Joshi for dealing with new changes at this time:

  1. Plan team meetings after confirming everyone’s availability. #WorkFromHome has taught us to respect others' schedules
  2. Keep in touch with colleagues. Apart from our regular video chats, catch up to celebrate birthdays of teammates
  3. Embrace change by collaborating with customers for never-before ideas of making the workforce productive
  4. This is the best opportunity to focus on mental and physical well-being. Keep the physical activity going, along with some daily meditation to calm your senses


Sangeeta Giri, Senior Director, SDDC, VMware India

Organisations around the world are innovating to make working from home and business continuity possible in a seamless manner.

Here’s how Sangeeta Giri and her team are adapting to working from home:

  1. We rapidly scaled up our solutions to allow all our employees to work productively, securely and seamlessly, from the safety of their homes
  2. We came up with creative ways of communication through virtual rooms and digital platforms, and are guiding them to work within a secure digital environment
  3. Our quarterly ‘Smell The Coffee’ call with my team was done on a Zoom call with coffee mugs in our hands. These virtual calls have brightened our workdays, as we catch glimpses of little children or cute pets
  4. Don’t forget to spend time with your loved ones. This extra time at home shall not return


If you are managing your team remotely, do share with us how YOU are making this work-from-home time work.

Send us a photo and tips on how you handle it all.

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