As novel Coronavirus pandemic spreads across the globe, many organizations are asking their employees to work from home. Over the course of the past few days, the leading tech and media companies including Google, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft notified their employees that they could work remotely. According to the public note issued by Microsoft, Seattle and Bay Area employees can work from home until March 25.
However, now it seems they have to extend the work from home period beyond March 25 as life came to a halt for the Bay Area residents due to lockdown prompted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Google’s parent company Alphabet, on the other hand, has recommended that all employees in Europe, North America, Middle East, and Africa should work remotely. While Twitter has made it mandatory for its global teams to work from home. Facebook and Amazon also instructed their staffers to work from home if their jobs allow them to do so.
Remote Work Challenges
While many organizations have asked their personnel to work from home, it remains to be seen how managers will meet project goals when their teams are working from home. This fear stems from performance anxiety as a lot of superiors believe that without the physical presence of a team lead, productivity will slide.
A few organizations might feel prepared for large scale remote work, but for others, it isn’t going to be a walk in the park as a slew of challenges await them on the road ahead.
“In a recent webinar snap poll, 91% of attending HR leaders (all in Asia/Pacific) indicated that they have implemented ‘work from home’ arrangements since the outbreak, but the biggest challenge stems from the lack of technology infrastructure and lack of comfort with new ways of working.”
The remote work debate isn’t new. But the outbreak of coronavirus has given this a new twist. A large number of executives and owners who were holding onto the traditional concept of a workflow are now being forced to manage their entire teams and operations from home. Here are some key reasons why managers prefer traditional workflow:
Lack of control
Lack of trust
Missed opportunities for collaboration
Repetitive tasks don’t get done
The Flip Side of the Coin
Shifting to ‘home office’ is the new norm. While a lot of executives aren’t too keen to embrace the remote structure, it isn’t that bad of an idea after all. Especially when you consider this series of surveys conducted by OWL Labs and ConnectSolutions have found the opposite is true.
According to the ConnectSolutions study, 77% of workers stated that they get more done in fewer hours when working outside the office. Thanks to fewer distractions such as noisy environment, frequent meetings, drop-ins and conversations by coworkers.
On the other hand, Owl Labs’ 2019 research found that 83% of the remote workers are happier at work. In fact, 74% of the respondents confessed that the ability to work from home makes them less likely to leave their employer.
This leaves us with the two most important questions:
How employers can ensure their teams remain focused and committed to achieving organizational goals?
How companies will find suitable replacements for people who get sick and can’t work at home? In a few words, have you got a solid replacement plan amid coronavirus outbreak?
How Managers can Get the Best out of their Virtual Teams?
When working remotely, seamless communication among team members is critical to achieving results, since one cannot pass by a fellow worker’s desk without clarifying a potential misunderstanding or idea.
This bounds you to set clear communication protocols as well as channels, so your workforce can effortlessly connect to exchange ideas, collaborate, and inspire each other, right from the outset.
Here are some awesome communication tools for remote work:
The video conferencing and messaging tool for mobile and desktop can be easily set up. Zoom offers a wide range of features such as HD video and audio. Even the free version of the software supports up to 100 participants in one fell swoop. You can have one-on-one meetings with your employees, and if need be, you are free to hold group meetings to discuss various issues.
It’s a shared workplace where remote teams hang out. Slack is an ideal platform for virtual teams to message one another privately or through groups that are public to the whole organization. This makes it an excellent tool to document your ongoing coordination and communication.
Want to re-evoke the feel of working in an office? PukkaTeam lets you do that no matter wherever you are. The software allows you to see the faces of your workmates, and you can easily connect with them for a quick discussion.
When you add an employee monitoring system to the mix, it simply takes it to a whole new level. For example, with Hubstaff, you can monitor employees in a remote environment. i.e. track work time, view screenshots, activity reports, and more to monitor the progress on a project. This means your remote workforce is more accountable to their output every day.
However, just having the right tools isn’t enough. Your organization should also provide clear directions and guidelines to make the most of these tools. For example, when to connect, when to get your team involved, etc. On top of it, your company should meet employees’ needs head-on.
What will this do?
Give control back to the management.
Restore trust at work.
Provide more opportunities to collaborate effectively.
Ensure that repetitive tasks aren’t overlooked.
The best part is seamless communication will eliminate emails—very nearly. This means your employees will get more productive and satisfied. So diligently invest in communication to build a solid foundation. This can save you a lot of money that usually goes into overhead costs. Use this money to work for you.
How to fill Important Vacancies amid Coronavirus Pandemic?
Already, there is a grave shortage of talent, especially when you are looking to hire software engineers. And when it comes to remote hiring, things just get more complicated. The problem twigs from the fact that there is a dearth of skilled labor. Consequently, small and medium businesses have to compete with large employers for top talent.
Unfortunately, the established firms offer unique benefits like unlimited vacation, create your own work hours, logistical benefits, high educational allotment, etc. that small and medium-tech firms simply cannot provide.
To add to it, some big tech firms have no salary caps, which enables them to meet higher salary requirements more often. People are also aware that unlike startup companies, large organizations are here to stay, which makes their offer even more enticing.
And now that the Coronavirus pandemic is on the rise, the outlook seems rather bleak for SMEs in the near term. Fortunately, in this frightening time, Gaper is helping tech companies hire the top 1%, vetted engineers.
Yup, you read that right. Gaper makes sure that it attracts the best talent for remote American jobs, so your business can automate the hiring process without any delays. The company takes care of the vetting, whether you need to hire remote software engineers or a single vetted engineer.
From front end to back end, mobile DevOps to AI engineers, and full-stack developers, Gaper helps you hire the right candidate. That too at half the price of a strong NYC software engineer.
Best of all, there are no risks involved. If you decide to stop in just two weeks’ time, Gaper won’t charge you a dime.
We hope that this post will help your organization ‘go remote’ without going insane. Because our goal was to provide you the necessary information that can enable you to continue your operations remotely without any disruptions until we’ll weather the Coronavirus pandemic crisis.