Covid-19 has definitely taken a toll on different industries, businesses all over the world, and it seems to stay for quite some time. People all around the world have been coping with this pandemic in several ways and are now looking at it as something that is here to stay, at least in the near future.
How we at ProMobi have been doing in this period, if you ask me – Well, none of us were prepared for this situation, not being present in the Office and doing our daily activities. At first, it was a challenge, having not known that this will be extended even further, we, like a lot of other companies did not have any plans, When the government announced the lockdown and work from home, we all were unsure how this would go.
I still remember we all had come to the office in the morning and we decided to shift to remote working. We had a quick meeting with all the managers asking them how they would go about doing it. The plans were made in like half an hour, presented, obviously not knowing that it would extend for the next couple of months, we quickly presented our plan and urged our employees to work from home. It has been a long and quite a journey from there onwards.
Well, things changed for us, but we did well at it. Thanks to all our employees who have been working and putting their best effort even when it comes to working from home. Working from home has its own ups and downs, some people feel comfortable, some of us prefer being present in office – to each his own though.
But here no one had a choice but to work from home, juggle home chores and also perform at work. It was a challenge for everyone and our people learned, coped and shined through.
As we settle into almost the fourth month of remote working, here are a few changes that we’ve incorporated into our day-to-day operations across teams:
Online Onboarding: Hiring in the time of Pandemic
This was a totally new concept for us and we have never dealt with this. Although we’ve hired employees for our offices in different locations, we would invite them to our Pune office for onboarding, training and meeting with the people in the office. Onboarding of new joiners completely online was totally different. You cannot greet them in person, there is no personal touch and you would obviously want the first day of a new joiner to be special in a new company.
We had rolled out offers for five candidates before this lockdown, and we were not prepared for an online onboarding process, to be honest. We quickly had to come up with a plan to see how we can go about doing this, this plan was also not full-proof, But we did it fairly well, nothing out of the box, kept it quite simple.
Collecting and verifying documents and conducting team inductions and training on our product online. The managers prepared a plan for them, and teammates regularly interacted to absorb them into the team as well as the work.
We also asked for a quick feedback survey of the online onboarding process, to see what the new joiners thought of the online onboarding process. We had a mixed review, as some felt that the personal touch was missing.
We are learning and adopting new methodologies as we move ahead and we’ve realized, the key is to keep interacting with the new employees, checking on them regularly as to how they are doing and if they are facing any issues.
Tech Team: Coding and collaborating virtually
Well for the tech team, you can say the journey has been quite the same, with a few challenges here and there. It is always different working together vs working from individual spaces. We have our regular standups and discussion at a given time, which makes people understand their to-do tasks. Our teams have been on their toes, if they face any hurdles, they just call their colleague, all have been quite focused and have started taking more initiatives with helping new joiners and their other teammates who joined just before the lockdown.
Regular standups, which have been an imperative part of our work culture and online team meetings help them be more focused. Managers also have been quite understanding, as many of the member’s sleep patterns have changed, some members who prefer to work at night, can do that freely and our managers/leads co-operate with it, as the tasks are being completed. There are obviously a few delays which even happen during our work from the office, hence not a big miss here.
We though are facing challenges when it comes to making physical devices available at the employee’s location, especially for our testing team, who constantly need different versions and OS devices to test the application. Well, we have not yet found a solution for this as of now, but success does come with a few challenges.
Sales & Marketing: Tiding the new wave
To begin with, we were a little apprehensive about our revenue due to this economic crash and we were not sure how this would affect us. Most of our clients are from the US and Europe where a sudden lockdown was alarming to all the industries, and a lot of big companies suffered revenue generation and laid off their employees.
Our team worked really hard and closed some big clients, our product was used for most of the current situation, where a lot of companies had the urgent need to provision and support remote working as well as remote learning. In fact, during this lockdown period when the team was working from home, our Sales and Marketing team achieved a milestone in closing accounts and generating revenue.
Support Teams: The Silent Warriors
How can we forget our support system- HR/Finance, and the IT team, who has also stood strongly during this pandemic, making sure our teams do not face any of the issues.
Our IT team made sure that any issues with laptop devices, networks were taken care of quickly, and the productivity of the employee is never jeopardized. The finance team made sure that we get our salaries on time, without any delay, a relief during the tough times. The HR team continues to keep the employees engaged, connecting with individuals on a regular basis, offering an extra ear to concerns and also ensuring that the employees are engaged and happy.
Management team: Backbone of the organizational culture
Overall during this period, the management has shown great support to all the team members, they have also made sure to take care of their employees. Even though the government has allowed 10% strength we still have not opened our office and we will continue to extend work from home provision if they wish to in the coming month. We, in fact, have told our employees who have old parents and small kids to continue to work from home.
The future of work has changed, but we’ve sailed through the tough times and are ready for the next leap of challenges.
Having said this, there seems to be a void when we have to work from home. Having those team meetings, fun Fridays, All-hands meetings, catching up with friends, discussing plans over smoke or coffee breaks, partying, looking at smiling faces, those crazy arguments….This has all been missed.
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