Documentation and Schedule - Learn how Divyanshu works effectively as a Product Designer.
July 22, 2021
Divyanshu Thakur was looking for a job when India went into lockdown in March 2020. A Product Designer who had previously worked at Insider.in and Paytm, he was looking for a similar role.
At his first job at Insider.in, he was the only designer working out of Mumbai reporting to a manager who worked out of South Africa. Since he didn’t need to work with the other departments, he mostly worked from home, saving at least 2.5 hours of travel time in the process.
He had similar expectations from the new job. Going to a physical office wasn’t something he was looking forward to doing. A few offers that came by were from the US. Unwilling to work on US time and prioritizing sleep over work, he declined.
Much to his luck, Singapore-based Saas Company ReferralCandy decided to work remotely forever, thus opening up the possibility to hire talent internationally. The cogs were set into motion and Divyanshu joined them as a Product Designer.
ReferralCandy builds referral marketing products for ecom sites. Divyanshu’s role there is to engage with users; primarily entrepreneurs, to understand their needs, and then design and develop new features over various iterations.
Like everyone else, Divyanshu misses the banter and camaraderie of a physical office. When you are in the office and see someone getting a coffee, you could ask them to get you one as well and they would and you can then catch up with each other’s lives. At insider.in, he made it a point to attend farewell parties, not just for the alcohol but also for the socializing aspect of it.
Now, he has to make a conscious effort to socialize. Every now and then, he calls people up and meets them over a meal or a coffee. He joined a running group in Mumbai too but the freedom to move around has moved him out of the expensive metro for the time being.
Illustration by Divyanshu
His hunt for jobs brought Divyanshu to the Remote Indian community. He did not find jobs. What he found instead is an audience to whom he could show off his design skills. He has been educating himself on personal finances and found the finance channel on slack group quite informative. For example, he learnt to pay more attention to his finances because he found out that full-time employees are taxed differently from the way freelancers are taxed. That is when he realised that his employment then was actually as a contract-based freelancer and not a full-time employee.
At ReferralCandy, Divyanshu has been entrusted with a project - to create a document on effective remote work. His favourite tips and tricks can be boiled down to two bullet points - Documentation and Schedule.
Since everyone is working remotely, across locations and time-zones, work is always asynchronous. He believes for effective work to happen, everyone needs to document their work so that everybody is in the loop of the work that has happened and thus know what needs to be done next.
Another thing he discovered is that having a schedule is important because it brings structure to the working day. Sticking to a strict schedule makes time for important things in life and brings work-life balance.
Outside of work, Divyanshu is a comic artist. In 2009, Twitter, a new microblogging platform, was still relatively new. While everybody was busy writing to each other in 140 characters, Divyanshu was replying to tweets with his comics. He has been drawing comics since then but it is only in 2018 that he opened his Instagram up for the world to see. You can see his adorable creations here - https://www.instagram.com/dvya.nshu/
This profile is a part of the series called ‘Meet The Remote Indians’ that features the insightful stories of people who successfully managed to work remotely way before the lockdown made it inevitable.