You must be well aware of the Coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 global outbreak is kicking in businesses worldwide to temporarily close the doors of offices and ask their employees to Work From Home for their safety.
For us, at MyOperator, serving our customers as well as maintaining the health and well-being of our employees has always been a priority. As a step ahead in this direction, we decided to opt for Work From Home for our company.
On March 14, 2020, followed by a detailed HR session on Work From Home policy, our entire team gathered at the office and our Founder & CEO Ankit Jain addressed the team to personally break the news that MyOperator will be running on Work From Home for a while. In his address, he helped us all to understand the reasons for this change, how we will be carrying out the work, and how we will be getting support in case of getting stuck.
We had our tool and techniques well planned so that the team could work seamlessly from home. Since we are already operating on the cloud, we were certainly not skeptical about operating from home.
Well, after 2 days of working remotely, we heaved a sigh of relief! Not only all our business processes are running smoothly, but we have also achieved close to 100% completion of daily job targets. Since the entire company was working from home for the first time, we think that’s quite an achievement — something to celebrate, to share.
In this personal post, we will share with you how we designed and implemented Work From Home policy in a very short duration of less than a week, what tools and technologies are helping us, and how we are keeping every business operation running efficiently and effectively while working as a 100% distributed team. Let’s start with the infographic:
A Step-By-Step Guide To How We Implemented A Successful Work From Home Policy
Step 1: Discussions with heads of departments and team leaders
Before implementing the Work From Home, our management and HR team held detailed discussions with the heads of department and team leaders to discuss the respective requirements of each department.
We discussed beforehand what tools we already have at our disposal and what additional systems we will need.
Post discussions, we came to the conclusion that, in major, all we need is good PC with every employee, a high-speed internet connection, and tools to communicate and coordinate internally and tools to attend business calls, and yes, a calm place for every employee at home.
The next step was to run a quick survey and ask employees if they have all these things available with them.
Step 2: Company-wide survey regarding Work From Home
At MyOperator, we hear the voice of every member, no matter what. We wanted to move forward with the decision to implement Work From Home only with the participation of all our employees and after their issues on the subject has been resolved. To do that, we run a survey asking all employees:
- If they have any challenges in working from home?
- Is their PC in a good state?
- If they have a proper internet connection at home?
- If they have a quiet place at home to work?
Within hours, the survey was completed with positive responses, well enough to go ahead with the decision. PC and quiet space were not an issue and for the internet, we requested employees to cooperate and get a broadband connection. Our sales and customer support team was already using MyOperator cloud telephony, therefore they were all set to receive business calls from home.
Step 3: Circulating Work From Home policy
To ensure that everybody is clear on what they are expected to do while working from home and answer frequently asked queries regarding remote working, we circulated our Work From Home policy which answered most of the queries of the employees.
For queries not covered by the policy, we created a support tracker shared in Google sheets where employees could place their queries for the response from HR. This way, every single query was answered and the process felt smooth.
Step 4: Personally addressing the team
The best way to address a change as major as implementing a Work From Home policy is to hold a personal gathering of the entire team and tell them in person. If an in-person gathering is not possible, the second-best way to make the announcement is by video conferencing.
Well, we gathered in the hall on Saturday evening where our CEO personally made the announcement.
Step 5: Implement, monitor, change
Implementation is where the real test of a change and policy starts. Well, from Monday, we worked 100% remotely! Now, here we are; celebrating our Work From Home success story with you!
Besides, we are asking our team to provide their regular feedback on Work From Home and let us know where we can improve.
How we dealt with the challenges of remote working?
We know you must be wondering about certain aspects of remote working that are quite challenging and how we dealt with them. No worries! In this section, we will share with you how we get along with the issues generally faced in working from home.
Task assignment and reporting requirements
To set Work From Home for success, it is very important to ensure timely and efficient task assignments to your team and get performance reports. For task assignments and reporting, we are using Trello and Time Doctor.
Trello has been very helpful in systematically assigning tasks to the team members and audit the progress of those tasks. To ensure that everybody is aware of how to use it and the connected procedures, we asked respective departmental heads to brief their team members about their respective workflows. It made clear to every employee in the organization about how they will get their job done at home, what tools they will be using, and how they will collaborate.
Time Doctor helps us with remote supervision of the team members and timely reporting of tasks performed during the day. It also motivates us to stay focused on the task at hand and complete the daily tasks on time. Further, Time Doctor has all the logs of what work was performed and when, effectively removing the need for manual reporting.
For the performance review and reporting of our sales and customer support executives, we are already using the MyOperator live panel which provides real-time insights on the number of calls received, calls attended, calls missed and how much time executives talked on the phone, among others. All the call recordings are stored on the MyOperator secured cloud for quality assurance purposes.
Besides, with the help of MyOperator push reports feature, our supervisors get detailed call reports via SMS as well as an email providing a bird’s-eye view of the overall team performance.
The daily schedule and disciplinary guidelines
While working remotely, we have dedicated working hours with room for flexibility, in case anything urgent comes up.
Our daily work schedule makes sure that all our employees are online at the same time facilitating smooth coordination between all the team members. Besides, an 8-hour workday and 2-days off provides ample time for our employees to regain energy and get back to work energized!
Sales and customer support call management
As a B2B company, the sales and customer support team makes a huge part of our team. Had our team been using the traditional PBX or landlines for business calls with no other alternative, it would have been next to impossible for us to let our executives work remotely.
Thankfully, for calls management, we are already using our very own MyOperator cloud telephony services which facilitate business calls management from remote places.
Through the call routing feature, our executives are able to attend all their business calls on their personal mobile number. Therefore, there was no need to come to the office to take care of business communication.
The entire call management panel provided by MyOperator is cloud-based. Our executives are able to access their call dashboard from any system and access all call features and services online. All they need to do is just login with their credentials. With the click-to-call facility available within the dashboard, executives are able to call the customers right from their computer screen. That enables call from anywhere, with any system, at any time!
For Communication and Collaboration
We are using G Suite and Dropbox for collaborating on shared documents. For meetings, we do video conferencing with Google Hangouts and Google Chat, the new version of Google Hangouts.
And yes, to keep the gossip and fun chat around, we have set-up an informal Google Chat Room where we share jokes, memes, and fun stuff, you know!
Benefits We Have Achieved With Remote Working
Now, our employees are spending zero time on the commute. Instead, they are telecommuting. It leaves them with more time for self-care, sharing joy with family, and pursue their personal interests.
Thanks to the dedication and cooperation of our team members and effective tools and systems in place, we have seen a boost in productivity in the achievements of daily targets. Our daily goals closure rate is nearly 100%!
Above all benefits, remote working during Coronavirus has increased the safety of our employees, which is the utmost motivating factor behind Work From Home.
What we miss about working in the office?
Face to face meetings
As they say, nothing can replace a handshake! Well, that’s true. Now, while working remotely, we are conducting meetings via video conferencing. We are missing on face-to-face conversations with our colleagues. That is irreplaceable.
Working alone for the day feels lonely and isolated. We know that feeling. Sitting on your desk at home or a cafe is not as good as sitting in the open office with colleagues and friends around. Is it?
Using state-of-the-art tools for remote working, decent planning, team cooperation, and ongoing developments, we are successfully sailing the boat of remote work during this COVID-19 storm!
We are confident that this personal side of our company’s workstyle transition will inspire you to adopt remote working for your company, which is quite urgent now given the threat of Coronavirus.
Until Coronavirus goes away (we wish it to happen soon), we urge you to implement remote working for your company if the nature of your business operations allows you. Besides the smooth functioning of your business, remote working will ensure the safety of your employees,– and who knows, even improved productivity– greater loyalty and results in the long-run.