Remote working knocked the doors of organizations across the globe in haste. The talks of enabling remote work, facilitating telecommuting and creating a more flexible working environment had been around, especially in the modern enterprises and startups for a long time, but were inconclusive. Some companies had a flexible working schedule, many permitted remote working a few days a week/month but long-term remote working was never on the cards. And then the pandemic hit.
COVID-19 not only changed the gears of the world operations but drastically transformed the attitude towards remote work. When companies had no option but to enable remote working to keep the machines running, they naturally gravitated towards accepting remote working till normalcy returns.
We at ProMobi Technologies always keep the well-being and safety of our employees in focus and hence, we enabled remote working as soon as the news of the virus hitting Pune was out, in early March. The remote working has since then, been extended. Post the nationwide ‘unlock’, we have asked our teams to continue working from home. We plan to continue the same until there is a vaccine in place to ensure the safety of our employees and their families.
The sudden shift to remote working
In all honesty, moving to remote working was sudden and we as a team were not prepared for it. All the adjustments that had to be done, were done on the fly. It took us a few weeks to settle down into the new operational method. We initially thought it was going to be fairly difficult, but the employees were very supportive and their zeal and energy ensured otherwise.
Change in workforce productivity
Initially, we had some teething problems and this affected our productivity as a company. Subsequently, as rules were established and models were finalized to operate remotely, the productivity has been steadily going up to an extent that at times it is even better than when everyone was coming to the office. I think full credit for this goes to all the employees and their managers for making this a success.
To ensure that productivity is never compromised despite working remotely, we focus more on the deliveries and keep a close eye on whether everything is released and shipped on time like it is supposed to. The individual productivity is being monitored by the team managers on the basis of tasks assigned in the daily stand-up meetings and the completion of sprints as per the targets.
Evaluation and rating of employee performance
Thanks to our consistently hard-working team, our productivity and the results are up to the mark. Hence, nothing has really changed in the evaluation criteria. We have recently completed our mid-year appraisal cycle and all evaluation criteria have remained constant. The only difference was that this time the appraisal cycle was managed remotely. Speed, completeness and quality remain the standard criteria for measuring individual productivity of the engineering team. These parameters will be different for the other teams such as sales and success, marketing, etc.
Remote working with a fresh perspective
This pandemic and the imposed remote working has certainly changed our perception of remote working as a whole. As a company, WFH was never a policy except in case of emergencies before COVID-19 and the managers had a lot of hesitation around the same. But with the dedication and productivity shown by our team, going forward we may have a different view around working from home because productivity coupled with employee well-being is all that matters!
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Mahesh Gowaikar is the Director of Operations at Scalefusion. He has over 30 years of experience in directing cross-functional & multi-cultural teams using interactive & motivational leadership for improving year-n-year success in operations and resource-wise productivity.
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