Coronavirus Recovery Bytes from Kairos
Capsule #1: How good is your Remote Work Model?
This article is addressed to IT managers primarily and does serve a good read for everyone. Given the critical nature of the topic, we do not mind repeating a few “obvious” points!
This is the first article in a series from Kairos Technologies viz., Coronavirus Recovery Bytes. On par with the current trends, its time now to take quick steps towards the evolving “new normal” model. Yes, we too wish that things get back to their “old normal” mode soon. In the meanwhile, we aim to empower our customers, workforce, and the IT industry as a whole with action-provoking thoughts.
The multimillion dollar (or a billion rupee) question to the senior management in IT:
Are you just “allowing” or “empowering” your people to work remotely?
A year later from today, industry analysts will say, “it all started with resilient companies that implemented a solid Remote Work Model.”
The downturn brought by coronavirus is here to stay for the next few months; however, IT companies can quickly get on track by laying a solid foundation for the “new normal”.
A fundamental rule industry-experts reiterated is that the phenomenon of Digital Transformation has to start from within. Unfortunately, most companies digitized their customer-facing processes alone, while remaining mostly conventional on the inside. This wasn’t a big problem as long as there were physical controls and people working in the designated offices. We all know that it is a mixed scenario now, spanning both remote and in-house locations.
“Digitization of inner processes is now a survival factor.”
A Remote Work Model needs no explanation per se, but the question to ask is, “where does it stand and how to scale it in our scenario?”
Two essential aspects will help in answering this question: “Remote Work Policies” and “Remote Infrastructure.”
It is a good time now to do a 360° review of your Remote Work Model to assess where you are and kick start the improvements needed to survive. Below are some of the questions that help you get started to determine your readiness. As they say, Digital Transformation must start internally, with your entire workforce treated like the first customer!
1. Remote Work Policies :
- Does your company have policies that regulate the remote working playground, such as data security policies, when using remote computers?
- Has your HR defined and communicated the personal standards & etiquette to be followed while working remotely, such as the workspace, appearance in video conferences, and so on?
- Trust can flourish if it has a policy, written, or in the mindset! How are you establishing trust within the workforce as a cultural enabler, especially when everyone isn’t sitting in one physical location?
And how do you make them feel trusted, safe, and stay focused?
- How do you set expectations on the results that need to be produced and make the workforce feel accountable for the remote work that they do, in a non-intrusive way? Accountability through monitoring may work in ITES, but IT needs it to be built by design.
- Do you have remote-first policies that empower the employees?
Giving them the typical induction, training & support, allowance for procuring systems, high-speed internet, and other resources to set up their home office (perhaps with contextual templates to inspire from) are a few important points that should go into your list.
A set of comprehensive policies to enable remote productivity should address Governance as well as Welfare dimensions.
2. Remote Infrastructure (tools & equipment) :
- Do you employ a simple, no-nonsense, and integrated platform of digital tools, operating wherever and whenever?
- Multitrack workflows
- Shared documenting tools
- Other functional areas… [copy from the operational excellence of others!]
There are several tools that you can experiment with and select. This article does not advocate any specific ones (though you can always contact us to discuss your context-specific scenarios).
The critical thing is not to have too many tools that confuse and make their orchestration/integration difficult down the line.
- Is the “employee-facing” server-farm in your data-centers geared up to meet the remote volumes and demands? It is times higher than what was planned for, as you would have observed. VPN is the most vital example here, where the average load today is 9 times higher than what it used to be.
- Do you know what internal activities can and cannot be done remotely, and from which devices and tools?
- And this seed list continues, multi-fold!
While it is not feasible to replicate the in-office experience/results remotely, it is also possible to change the mindset of both ourselves and the workforce to gain new streams of productivity. Again, it all starts with having comprehensive “r” policies and adequate “r” infrastructure.
Let’s get it going, wherever and whenever!
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