Sometimes the situation forces you to make important business decisions in minutes. Last Tuesday, with regard to the coronavirus situation, we decided to allow our employees to work fully remotely. Moreover, we shift to the 100% home office model on Thursday. So far only 10% of members of our 40-people team have been working from home. We’re more than happy the remote work implementation for the entire company took only two days.
Before making the decision we weren’t even close to panic – there were only three confirmed coronavirus cases in our neighborhood, not risky at all. Considering the business purpose, even if our company creates time tracking software, most of the employees preferred working at the office, so the processes were not suited to the remote work.
But one thing was sure – our employees’ health was the most important because it guarantees the business’ stability. During the 20-minutes meeting, we decided to make the work fully remote.
👉 Read our remote project management guide.
Here are some of our thoughts and concerns on remote work!
The effectiveness may decrease due to the new routine implementation
Most of our programmers work in the office – the remote work forced us to change the entire workflow, as well as the way we manage tasks and communicate. That means less face to face conversations that require using collaboration tools to get the answer immediately.
Working in a home environment can make us more distracted – there are many things around that affect our focus badly. But on the other hand, there are as many distractions as in the office – meetings, chit-chats, the noise at all, that’s why we were not afraid of implementing the remote work in our company.
Read more: Working remotely: evaluating the pros and cons
Beyond the business issues, staying at home prevents employees from spreading the coronavirus and reduces the risk of infection.
A stable business
By implementing remote work, the risk of missing the deadlines and other delays is reduced, because there’s no chance that the employees will be unexpectedly unavailable.
The new situations create new opportunities for your business: by implementing the remote work you can recruit new talented employees from outside your local job market.
The culture of gaining knowledge
The remote communication requires sharing the company-related issues in writing. What does it mean to your business? The decisions are based on clear information instead of guesses and conjectures.
Read more: What Is Knowledge Management?
Steps made towards the remote work in our company:
We verified if all our employees are able to perform their duties working at home
Fortunately, the IT department tasks don’t require contact with the customers. But what about the administrative matters carried out mostly by the post? We agreed that the person responsible for post reception will appear in the office once a week.
Our sales representatives are working in 99% of the time remotely, by Skype or via phone calls. Next week we would have an important meeting with one of the biggest customers in the company’s history, but we decided it would be taken online. Both sides agreed.
New choices of used applications
Until now, some of the team members used the Zoom for remote calls, while others preferred Whereby. To maintain the highest level of online communication, we decided to use Google Meet that allows multiple workers to join the conversation.
When it comes to the other apps that make the remote work easier, we still use our own tools – TimeCamp for time tracking and HeySpace for task management and collaboration. Additionally, since we have used Google Apps for document collaboration, nothing changed now – we all have access to the company-related files.
The need to change the habits
Monitoring the work’s progress in the office is a piece of cake, having all your employees at your fingertips. But thanks to the wise approach to remote work, it’s also achievable!
👉 Read also about Work From Home Monitoring.
To increase the transparency of our remote team we created a Stand-ups space in HeySpace with a special Zap to allow the employees boasting of their progress and other achievements.
Remote work handbook
Until now, only 10% of our employees worked from home. The rest preferred staying at the office and its rules of performance.
How to separate workspace from personal space? How to bill the remote employees accurately? What’s the timeframe of employees’ availability? To avoid most of the other companies’ mistakes and resolve all the doubts, we decided to create our own remote work handbook.
The need for equipment
To make the remote work even more convenient, we asked our employees if they need any special equipment. Most of them didn’t consider buying the new stuff important, but we decided to equip our sales representatives with the new headphones with a microphone. Moreover, one of the team members received the prepaid Internet card because of the low internet connection at home.
We use TimeCamp for time tracking and employee billing. All of the full-time employees are obliged to work effectively for 6.5 hours per day. Our tool delivers clear information on how they perform.
Read more: Save More Time Working Remotely!
Despite it didn’t take long since we decided to shift for remote work, we’re convinced that it would benefit the company and the way we work. One we know for sure – it will allow us to build the work culture that we hope many new employees (from both our and outside local job market) find attractive.