How Has Remote Working Altered the Ecosystem?

Feb 02, 2021

The “new normal” is here.

The pandemic brought with it not just the virus, but also a reorientation of workflow dynamics. Almost a year later since the first Covid-19 case was reported it's evident that the pandemic’s impact on the future of work - and workplaces- is here to stay ?

From the Path of Resistance

  • The concept of work from home ( WFH ) or work from anywhere ( WFA) has arrived and how ? It faced major challenges in terms of acceptance, re-structuring, productivity and efficiency, to name a few.
  • The biggest fear from moving from a physical office space to a digital one, is to lose out on interacting and bonding - in person with the team.
  • Hiring and on-boarding of new recruits, has become cumbersome, and many have put these processes on hold for the time being. Induction of a recruit into the team culture can be a challenge, through virtual screens .
  • Infrastructural roadblocks that arise from working remotely are- inconsistent power outages, erratic internet connections, lack of sophisticated hardware and software tools at home front.
  • Building team spirit, improving employee engagement and creating healthier team dynamics can be a challenge, through remote working scenarios. Sometimes it's essential to bring everyone together for a sprint towards a shared vision.

….to a Path of Acceptance

Despite the initial apprehensions, the need of the hour is to make this transition. The work from home scenario does allow for flexibility of workspace, and brings with it some advantages as well, such as:

  • Time saving for employees, as the long commute hours have been removed from their daily schedules
  • Cost saving in terms of rent, operations, electricity, administration, and housekeeping expenses
  • Allows for connecting with all stakeholders virtually, without the constraints of physical infrastructure
  • Access to a wide pool of talent , where in the physical location of a resource is not a limitation to his capacity to work in any part of the world

However, anything which is not effectively streamlined, cannot be monetised. As an organisation we moved out of our office and moved into a co-working space ( one of our investee companies - The Office Pass) . We also hired remotely. At this moment , the new way is working .

Sharing the experience on the new way -

  • Common approach for remote working- make sure all your employees are on the same page, and given the same opportunity to work remotely. If some are working remotely, while others do not have that possibility, it might create a disgruntled environment. Best practice would be to structure and schedule the office calendar to create a hybrid model of working capacity of employees.
  • Make remote working smooth and seamless- to make remote work a success, its imperative the company invests in creating a creative work environment through tools and softwares, that make work communication easy. For reference-
  • (Over) Communication is the key: you need to make sure that every team member has consistent access to the same information, to do their job effectively. Various tools have evolved with time that help to communicate synchronously. Educate your team on how to use these tools appropriately and take regular feedback.
  • Performance Management: conducting regular performance reviews is critical when going remote. The team must work together at full efficiency and have a mutual goal completion strategy. Weekly videos, one-on-ones and quarterly reviews must be made a standard practice.
  • Hiring the right people: remote work does allow for hiring talent from across the globe, but it's critical to know what type of resource would “fit best” into your work culture. Make sure the new talent onboard, shares the same mutual mission, attitude and work ethic as you’d expect from an in-house employee.

Conclusion: There is no definite “secret sauce” of running a company, that will deliver total productivity in every situation. If we accept change for what it is, and focus on minimising our losses around it, we’ve got ourselves covered. Transitioning to remote work requires a deliberate approach to find out what works best for your company.

It's best to flow with the tide of change, with your own lifeboat strategy, to make it out alive!

Author(s) :
Swadha Agarwal     
Brijesh Damodaran Nair