Enhancing productivity in times of crisis, remote working the new norm

Many Organisations across India seem to be working remotely. But do they really know how to extract maximum efficiency and productivity from their employees?

A Bangalore company was recently in the news for giving its employees work from home, but only if they work in front of the camera for 9 hours. While some of us may feel ok with it and some of us may not, the key question is why would the company include such a clause for its own employees? The answer is, to keep the productivity up. Crisis or no crisis, corporate giants such as Google, Facebook, Accenture, etc. are all accustomed to remote working and have standard protocols set for the same. While on the other hand, majority of the companies might find it extremely challenging to align the remote working process.                                                                                                                                                   

Hard as it is to ignore the current challenges organizations are facing due to COVID- 19, we all can agree that it has allowed us to move to a new mode of work: the challenges of physical presence confine to the office or traveling through mass transportation means, has made Remote working popular.

Debprotim Roy, CEO and Founder, Canvs – an online community of over 10,000 designers that offers Design-as-a-service to firms via fully distributed and managed, remote design teams said, “Organizations have had to very quickly adapt to remote work, and too from home, without the liberty of movement. Remote work has certainly novelties that seem pleasant when you get started but the challenges become more obvious when you have to do that sustainably. “

He further added “Productive remote work is heavily dependent on the willingness to work, ability to manage tasks virtually, organizational skills, proactive communication chops, interpersonal skills, among a few other factors. If you don’t check most of these boxes, remote work is going to be tough for you. Today most individuals are being forced to work remotely from home and are facing challenges that crop up due to a lack of a super formal construct around work. There are quite some people around the world who have perfected the nuances of remote work, and there’s much to learn from them. Although everyone feels thrown into a situation of social distancing, it’s not too hard to forget how much we have pined for healthy personal time and space just a couple of months ago. Remote work allows you to work from anywhere which is a great middle ground. These trying times shall make us understand the importance of upholding the spirit of humanity, helping each other during need and perhaps make a paradigm shift in the way we work and allocate our precious time on earth towards work and personal time and space.”

Remote working has worked impeccably for a large number of organizations. On the one hand they have successfully benefitted from the remote working model but on the other hand, there are still some firms that are struggling to avail its benefits. Some of the key steps that should be taken to achieve efficiency in this model are – 

  • First and foremost, a system in place with set protocols for the all individuals
  • Easy and free-flowing modes of communication with your team via messaging tools
  • Siloed collaboration by allocating individual responsibilities within teams.
  • Mitigate challenges and provide execution support through proactive communication
  • Regular updates and work summary to monitor efficiency.

Your tests for remote recruitment should hence be partially objective and subjective. As conscious beings, we tend to conflate physical separation with mental separation quite naturally. Hence the, “Out of sight, out of mind” adage. Physical separation and mental detachment meet midway in a compromise through constant communication. To sustain relationships at a distance we consciously make an effort to talk more to each other. When we work remotely we do exactly that. Communication is the viscera of remote relationships. In that, the frequency of communication is a very important aspect. Tying your workspace with products leads to an inundation of notification streams. Staying in sync with people at work leads to perpetual and continuous communications since to compensate for the lack of face time.

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