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Remote work: salvation or threat to the team?

January 20, 2022
7 min to read
Remote work: salvation or threat to the team?

Remote work has become a new reality today, and if some companies know how to cope with it, for most the remote regime has appeared a real challenge.

Recently we held a virtual round table where top managers and CEOs of a few creative and IT companies shared their experience of moving to a remote format. If you missed it, let us quickly brief it.

Relevance of remote work

According to a recent DOU survey, most professionals are satisfied with remote work at home, and their number has almost doubled compared to last year. What's more, one third of respondents said that they're much more productive at home than in the office. But there's also a flip side to the remote medal: overtime, lack of communication, reduced physical activity due to quarantine, and disruption of work-life balance.

Why is work remotely so acute for most businesses? When the order to introduce remote work for the quarantine period was issued, most companies adhered to it. But then the situation changed a bit. The technical and project management specialists constituted the remote majority, while top managers, HR, marketing and sales specialists, designers, system administrators, and customer support specialists used to work in the office. The relevance and priority of remote work is explained quite easily: care about health, time economy, and more attention to family.

Remote quarantine work has encouraged companies to be more flexible in organising their workflow. In addition, after it, IT companies reviewed social packages, bonuses, and other benefits they provide to employees. Never before has an employer been so flexible in working from home, working from anywhere, or hybrid type of work. Freelance also changes its conceptual meaning from something frivolous, temporary and unstable to a new normal phenomenon. The leaders in telecommuting services are finance, science, insurance, information technology, management, and education.

Remote mode processes

Let's consider the main points of remote work vs office realities. Namely, organisation of remote work, what resources should be used, and results.

Adaptation. First of all, the organisation of remote work should take into account the individual factors of each employee. Here, it's important to involve both parties: the employer and the employee. You need to clearly build your time zones and analyse the productivity and emotional state of employees. HR professionals who are constantly screening should help with this.

Resources. The workplace of the remote worker should also be staffed. It's not just about appliances, but also about furniture and even a houseplant to make it pleasing to the eye.

Results. Another aspect of remote work that worries many is the measurement of productivity. This helps to have a clear understanding of the tasks of a particular employee / department / project. This, in turn, will allow you to determine the KPI and clearly measure performance. At the same time, remote work without a daily routine isn't a guarantee of success and development of the employee.

With the right adaptation of employees to remote work from home, the company gets savings and productivity. Not all businesses are ready for such a transition, but it has already become a necessity.

If all the keys to success working remotely are followed, you'll have full reporting and data for analysis, opportunity for improvement, and experience sharing.

Features of remote format

A lot of research on the remote has already been done, and this allows us to highlight certain features.

Benefits of working remotely
  • Work at your own pace, which also allows you to add education to your schedule.
  • Time and money saving (usually connected with the transportation to the office and lunch).
  • Faster recovery due to bed rest.
  • More time for family and friends as well as the opportunity to travel with them.
  • More convenience in the workplace, from music from speakers to a feng shui table, making it easier to concentrate.
  • High mobility and flexible schedule.
Disadvantages of remote work
  • Problems with self-organisation without strict control and office environment.
  • Lack of socialisation in the usual sense.
  • No isolated workspace due to the limited area of ​​the apartment and possibly another remote employee at home.
  • Possible effect on physical form, which is also often associated with self-organisation.

What is the efficiency of the remote form of work?

What are the working from home productivity statistics? Another study involved 209 employees (71.3% women and 28.7% men). Among them, only 9.1% of employees confirmed their experience in remote work, while 91.9% faced it for the first time.

Nevertheless, according to a survey by Mercer, 94% of respondents say that productivity during the crisis remained at the same level or even increased.

ITOMYCH STUDIO experience in the transition to remote work

We have a positive experience of transitioning to remote and hybrid format. At the moment, our team consists of almost 170 people, of which 60% are office and 40% are remote team members. They successfully coexist in a flexible environment that is constantly evolving, as evidenced by declining fluidity.

The advantages of the remote work model for us outweigh the disadvantages. It all depends on wise management.

Based on our experience, we recommend starting with a clear communication strategy with each team member. The strategy involves determining the optimal channels for daily interaction. In our case, it's Slack and Google Meet, which allow you to constantly solve problems, regularly plan, and discuss intermediate results. In addition, we turn to Zoom to stream events online, email for important messages and reminders, and Jira and Confluence to describe policies, manage tasks, and track the workflow.

Remote employees can obviously find themselves in different working conditions, including the general atmosphere and available equipment. We provided our remote team members with the computers, hardware, and software they needed to work. Moreover, we take care of the physical space in which our remote employees are located, and reimburse the costs of coworking, tickets and accommodation in case of arrival at the office on a business trip or for team building purposes.

To report on our work, we use Jira and the simplified status update in Slack, either directly to the team leader, or in the appropriate group chat. And we always set up an online-meeting in advance for our remote employees so they can adjust their schedule.

Our remote employees are given the same additional benefits as their colleagues in the office. In particular, all those invited to the company's events are provided with equal opportunities for study (our lectures are broadcast live) and corporate gifts. HR conducts regular one-on-one meetings and quarterly performance reviews.

The hardest part of moving to remote work is managing teams and projects. Although our managers have faced this challenge in different ways, everyone is now managing teams effectively. Partly thanks to the management courses we conducted, as well as through the exchange of experiences within the team. The most important thing is to trust teams you don't see, otherwise management loses its meaning.

So remote is to be as a new reality.