Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

When the office is also a walking track

Potted plants, reading breaks and WhatsApp groupsZomato follows a millennial work code

The Zomato office in Gurugram, which can seat about 150 people, can easily be mistaken for a co-working space. There are large flat tables with 10-12 chairs each, without cabinet or storage spaces next to them. This is hot-desking at its best. People are expected to find a space, sit and start their work. Akshar Pathak, 28, who has worked with the company since 2012, and had changed three jobs before joining Zomato, says this does not bother people much—they are happy to plug in anywhere and start working. Pathak, who is the art director at Zomato, has a fixed seat though, since his work requires him to use a PC more than a laptop. When he is not working on his PC, Pathak takes his laptop and finds a standing desk. “We have high tables outside most meeting rooms which can be used as standing desks." He also uses the file storage cabinets placed against the walls, which are higher than the desks, as standing desks from time to time.

Akshar Pathak likes to walk around the office. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Akshar Pathak likes to walk around the office. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Dual purpose: “The Zomato office is almost paperless," says Pathak proudly. People use the glass walls in the meeting rooms as whiteboards. “We just take a picture and WhatsApp the information to each other. Not many people here take notes or use notebooks," he says. For video calls or phone conferences, Pathak likes to use the small phone rooms provided. “They are private and can accommodate two-three people in case we have a conference on video. These are better than meeting rooms," he says.

Stay fit: Pathak ends up clocking at least 6,000-7,000 steps on his Apple Watch during office hours. “Having a circular office has its advantages. I make sure that when I am on a phone call, or have some free time, I just walk around in the office. I usually complete my 12,000 steps on a good day and the bulk of the target gets accomplished in office," he says. Sometimes, his colleagues also join him.

The lunch-break: Since office starts by 8.30am, Pathak often gets breakfast and lunch at the café. “After lunch, I tend to find one of the sofas and read for 30 minutes or so on my Kindle. It relaxes me. Right now, I am reading Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys. This habit helps me read at least one book a week," adds Pathak.

Beautify the space: Empty flavoured-milk glass bottles have been cleaned up and used for holding plants. “These plants need very little care and just make our desks look brighter and happier," he says.

The Work Tour is a series which looks at how people are engaging with office design and how it impacts their productivity and positivity at work.

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