Works’ long-standing proficiency in remote labour has helped the firm to keep operating normally despite the economic downturn.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that remote working is becoming more commonplace. Businesses which are primarily based in physical locations and thus cannot operate in the increasing number of areas which have implemented lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic are finding it difficult to adjust. It is undoubtedly best for everyone if people stay at home, but unfortunately this means that the productivity of many businesses is likely to suffer.
It is clear that there has been a dramatic move to the digital world, yet unfortunately, many organisations of different sizes and industries are struggling to maintain their services as they had previously. This is the biggest mistake that could be made in such a significant transition.
It is evident that managing a remote workforce is not the same as managing staff in a physical office. It is not necessarily more challenging or straightforward than the other. Many businesses are having difficulty adapting to this new approach; however, I believe I can be of assistance in this regard.
At Works, we have been committed to remote working for over a decade, and the recent transition to an entirely remote workforce has been relatively seamless. We are proud to have over a thousand employees across the Americas, and we are continuing to expand our team with no indication of slowing down.
Despite the economic downturn, our remote-working mentality has enabled us to carry on conducting business as usual. At Works, our staff are all remote-based, and our customers continue to work with dispersed teams of the highest calibre IT professionals in Latin America. Without a doubt, there is no better place to learn the best practices for remote working than here.
What should be avoided may be examined here.
There Are Three Typical Problems that Might Arise While Working from Home.
1. Failure to Trust
It is evident that trust is the cornerstone of any successful relationship between managers and their remote teams. Without trust, a whole series of problems can arise, making it difficult for both parties to work efficiently. It is therefore paramount that trust is established between managers and their teams. Managers must have faith in their team’s commitment to their roles and teams must trust the decisions of their managers. Clear communication and mutual respect are essential for creating and maintaining trust.
It appears that there has been a current tendency for managers to express dissatisfaction by airing grievances on LinkedIn regarding how suddenly their authority over their departments has been undermined. Taking a break from time to time is a necessary measure for everyone; it is reasonable to assume that some mistakes may be made during this period. However, I would question whether this is a new occurrence or not; after all, these individuals were working with you before, and those who appreciated their work then will likely still do so now.
Every day, I am responsible for managing distributed teams for Works. I am fully aware, from personal experience, that trust is essential for our success and that we have been able to reach our current level of success due to the trust established between all parties. The agile methodology and project management systems that we use enable us to provide accurate instructions, articulate strict standards, and track the progress of projects. It is evident that a lack of trust can lead to lower levels of productivity. In the following paragraphs I will explain why this is the case.
2. Group Meetings Based on the SCRUM Framework
Holding SCRUM meetings is a highly effective way of ensuring your team has all the resources they need to reach their full potential. Even when dealing with remote teams, it doesn’t have to be complicated – it can even be broken down into smaller, more manageable sections, such as:
- Pick out some kind of video chat programme. Zoom is what we use, but there are many more to choose from.
- Make sure your staff knows how to utilise it effectively. Put together your own lessons or guide.
- Plan the gathering when everyone can attend. Over an hour is probably too long.
- Manager the meeting. Allow everyone an opportunity to share their thoughts. Inquire, update, and get reactions in the end.
At Works, we firmly believe that agility is at the heart of our values. As such, we take SCRUM meetings extremely seriously. These meetings provide an opportunity for every team member to share their successes, challenges, and new ideas. We firmly believe that these meetings are essential for ensuring that our teams are working together effectively and efficiently.
3. Constant and Intrusive Oversight
As an example, consider a scenario in which you have been assigned a project to complete at work. It is imperative that you begin working on it immediately and keep your manager informed about the progress of the task. You are allowed to progress with the project as much as possible within the given timeframe, with no obstacles preventing its completion.
A micromanager has a tendency to oversee every single detail of a task, demanding regular updates on progress, even when they are not necessary. This approach leaves no room for experimentation, failure or independent thinking, as the individual is expected to strictly adhere to the micromanager’s instructions.
It is not simply a waste of time to be subjected to micromanagement; it can also have a detrimental effect on morale, lead to burnout, and put the team into a rut. Such practices can prevent a team from reaching its full potential, as it encourages employees to become overly reliant on their superiors, and stifles creativity and innovation.
From my perspective, the best way to avoid micromanagement is to focus on achieving predefined targets. It is essential to order tasks in accordance with the company’s objectives, and to ensure that the outcomes are measurable, achievable, and beneficial to the organisation’s development. For added impact, endeavour to make the tasks creative and challenging. Utilising project management software, such as Jira, is a great way to ensure that objectives are met in a timely manner.
Work’s Isolated Societal Values
Allow me to enlighten you about the culture of distant Works.
Paul Azorin and I embarked on creating the foundations of what Works is today in 2009, during a challenging period of global economic recession. Our aim is to draw in the most talented and capable Information Technology (IT) professionals from Latin America, a region which is flourishing economically and is home to a large number of extremely qualified IT experts. The most efficient way to achieve this was to adopt a culture of remote working.
Given that we expected the greatest IT talents to be spread throughout multiple locations, we realised that no single country or even region would have the most of these experts. Therefore, by formalising remote working, we were able to extend our scope considerably and start forming dispersed teams made up of the most experienced people. By removing geographical boundaries, it became simpler than ever to form strong teams.
More than ten years ago, remote methods of working had not yet become as widespread as they are today. Overcoming any initial obstacles, our organisation has since gone on to earn the trust and confidence of customers, building an excellent reputation in the realm of software development. We now compete with some of the world’s largest software outsourcing companies.
Works has been recognised with numerous accolades in recognition of its outstanding performance and contribution to the international market. Over the course of three years, Works has experienced a growth of 792%, placing it among Inc. magazine’s listing of the 5000 most rapidly expanding private companies in the United States. Clutch also commended the business, awarding it top B2B service provider and top software development firm in the region.
Our expertise in utilising remote techniques gives us the capability to access more software applications than any of our competitors in Latin America. Each year, we receive applications from over 240,000 people spanning the globe; however, only 1% of these applicants make it through our rigorous selection process. We only accept the most talented and capable IT professionals to work on our customers’ projects, but those that do are highly capable of delivering outstanding results.
Through the implementation of centralised remote operations, we have experienced significant success. Our dedicated efforts have enabled us to remain fully operational despite the current situation. We have developed an extensive understanding of this area and are continuously striving to refine our remote processes, so that we can be prepared for any eventuality.