Perspective on Remote Working: Is It an Obstacle or a Challenge?
Published date: 30.04.2020
Read time: 6 min
All businesses have to deal with difficulties and unexpected situations over the course of their history and today we are all adjusting to the new reality of working remotely for the foreseeable future. While certain processes have been disrupted, companies still have to make real-time decisions that will impact the long-term viability of the organization.
Mindy Support views this difficult time as a challenge that will ultimately lead to growth and enhance business processes. In fact, most of our team members were working remotely even before the COVID-19 crisis appeared. Our virtual assistants, back-office support personnel and data annotators have all been providing services to companies in the US and Europe remotely. Consequently, the businesses that outsourced some of their work, had an easier time transitioning to the remote work culture.
Let’s take a closer look at how Mindy Support is taking on this challenge and what we were able to learn in the process.
Work is What You Do, Not Where You Go
From the very first days when Mindy Support was founded, we put a big emphasis on collaboration, communication, and culture. We wanted to create a company that people really enjoyed working at, a place where everybody could make a meaningful contribution and realize their potential. When our team members provide data annotation or any other services, they understand the impact their work is having on the business of the client. Therefore, even though the location of their workstation changed, they understand that people are still relying on them to perform at a high level.
Our employees also view the current situation as a challenge to increase their personal skills and continue working closely with clients overseas. By showing everybody that what they do matters, it really motivates our team members to achieve new heights.
Building a Culture of Trust
There is a popular misconception out there that if people are sitting in the office at their desks, they are working and if they are at home, they are slacking off. A lot of companies are going as far as requiring their employees to periodically take selfies of themselves working. This is the wrong approach to take for many reasons. First of all, it sends your employees a message that you do not trust them. Second of all, it is a negative reflection of your management style. Is there really no other way you can judge the effectiveness of your employees other than to sit there and watch them work for eight hours?
Mindy Support, our clients team members all have mutual trust and respect for one another. The client sets tasks and KPIs that must be achieved over the course of a week, two weeks, etc. and they have periodic meetings with team leads to see how things are moving along. During the transition to remote work, we implemented task management software like Asana and Trello and provided our team members with training on how to organize processes during remote work and how to best utilize this software. We also have additional measures in place to make sure people are working which are conducted by the relevant managers as well. Today, about a month into the remote work culture we are continuing to meet our goals and work just as effectively.
Communication is a Top Priority
Since all of the team members are now separated from one another, communication has become more important than ever. However, the mistake a lot of companies make is that communication is limited to just work-related stuff. At Mindy Support, we virtualize the “watercooler” conversations with tools like Skype, Zoom, Slack, and Hangouts which allowed our employees to bond and socialize and exchange ideas as if they were in the same room together. While a lot of people are enjoying working remotely, they also miss the fun they had in the office when they could see all their friends face-to-face.
All of our internal processes have been virtualized. Our recruiting and interviews are done via Skype or Zoom and the candidates perform test tasks online as well. We provide online trainings for new hires and current employees as well to make sure they hone their skills to keep up with the fast past nature of their industry.
Start Viewing This as an Opportunity to Grow
The old adage that every cloud has a silver lining is very much true in regards to the remote work culture we are living in. Instead of thinking about how best to control your employees, it would be much better to start implementing a culture of trust that goes from the top-down and from down-up. You will start seeing that your employees are able to organize their schedules to get all of their work done while still having time for personal commitments. In turn, this will lead to greater employee loyalty, increased productivity and ultimately higher revenues.