Subrata Dey, CIO and Head – Global IT, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd, on the importance of quality time with family for a better work-life balance. By Pooja Paryani
Thanks to ever-evolving tech and the demands of IT, it’s a given that Subrata Dey’s work in IT strategy and its implementation takes over most of his life. His role at Godrej Consumer Products Ltd has him constantly facing business challenges and requires him to find innovative solutions to simplify processes, improve productivity and information availability. Subrata has 23 years experience in the IT space, and has even led the supply chain function for over two years. His work was recognised at CIO Power List 2016 where he was awarded as a SaaS Icon.
But over the years, Subrata has learnt that to maintain a good work-life balance it’s necessary to also spare a good amount of time for family. “Yes, work is important, but so is family,” says Subrata. “They are your support structure and they need to be carefully nurtured. So spend quality time with family, do activities together, travel, socialise, whatever you enjoy doing.”
Weekends are for the family
“I work long hours during the work and so I make it a point to set aside my weekends for my family. This is the time I get to connect with them and do activities together. We go out for dinners, visit friends, visit different places, and go to our native place and spend time with our parents and relatives. I personally think it is very important to spend good quality time with our children, especially during their formative years, and I therefore try to spend a sizeable amount of time with my daughter..”
Plan frequent trips
“Whenever there’s a long weekend, we try to plan a trip to some place close by just to get away from the city and spend some quality time together. Trips are a great way to strengthen bonds as well as experience something new together. If it’s a longer holiday, we try to travel to some distant location in India or travel abroad, generally somewhere we haven’t been before. We also look for places where we can relax. I love visiting places that have beaches or a lot of greenery. Since I like socialising as well, we sometimes also go with our close friends and family, and then we’re a big happy group, which is fun.
“One of our most memorable family trips without a doubt was when we went to Europe. We visited several countries and cities there. Though it was quite hectic, we really enjoyed it. Even my daughter, who does not enjoy road trips much, really liked it there. Another memorable one was our trip to Bali, which exposed us to such a wonderful, different culture and a unique variety of food. My family really had a great time there. And that’s what I strive for, to create happy memories for all of us.”
Family time rejuvenates you
“Spending time with the family is the best remedy for whatever ails you. If I’ve had a really tiring day at work, time spent with my family in the evening makes me feel energetic and ready to take on the challenges the next morning. After a weekend with them I feel rejuvenated, refreshed and stress free. This makes me better at work as I’m able to focus better, think of innovative ideas and see opportunities at work. The mental stability and peace family gives is unique.”
Encourage your team to have a work-life balance
“In our organisation we always emphasise the need for work-life balance to our employees. We also encourage them to take leaves and be with their families. Our organisation’s policy encourages our employees to plan and take annual leaves so that they can have good vacations with their family. I do not encourage my team members to come to office on Saturdays, Sundays or on holidays. All this helps employees to be more focused at work, and work with less stress as they have a good work environment and a support system to rely on. We also offer flexi working hours and allow our employees to work from home when needed so as to maintain their work-life balance. Work is important, but so is family time.”