As we all know social distancing is the need of time amidst COVID-19, remote workplaces also become mandatory. When conventional business operations such as manufacturing and supply chain may not be able to create a distributed workforce, IT industry is taking a lead.

How Come? Unlike other industries with traditional working styles such as automobiles production processes, the information technology industry can easily move their in-house business processes to remote setups.

And, this is the best thing you may ever experience about IT service providers that their agile teams can build software solutions while sitting anywhere; provided they are having all equipment and facilities; for instance, high-speed internet, laptops and software testing gadgets.

As a top-notch IT outsourcing company in Pakistan, ArhamSoft (Pvt) Ltd. comprehended the importance of social distancing amidst COVID-19 pandemic and immediately switched to WFH (work-from-home) model.

Working from home is vital in keeping the social distancing cause alive and reducing the infection risks. However, at the same time, it is equally essential to keep your teams motivated and productive. Some of your programmers may already be accustomed to remote working practices.

However, it could be challenging for your full-time employees who need to work remotely. Seamless team collaboration, timely and effectively, is another pain in the neck while working from home.

To address all these concerns, we bring you a few tips we are practicing for smooth business operations when all our teams are remote.

1- Keep your Webcams Turned On
Having witty, supportive and encouraging teammates around is a spectacular source of motivation. Mostly people crave face-to-face chit chat with their co-workers. So, it becomes important to leverage them with easy and all-times connectivity with their teammates. For successful teamwork, make sure all members have their webcams turned on during live calls.

This practice will cultivate a sense of working in the office where you can observe everyone’s body language and their facial expressions; giving you the clue of their wellbeing and sending your way the inspiration you seek. It appears more natural when you stay live with your team members just like in office setup, while working online.

Pro Tip

Use of webcams with professional-looking backgrounds and good lighting. Mute individual audios to avoid uncalled-for interruptions.

2- Keep Everyone Well-Engaged
Let people speak. The true essence of video conferencing is to allow every individual to share his perspective about the topic under discussion. It is critically important, in all virtual meetups, to ask your teammates if they want to add anything – be it a feedback or suggestion, or a smart joke to keep the environment lively, pleasant and friendly nearly identical to office space.

Team leads and managers specifically need to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. And, also make sure to address their concerns. In present days of quarantine, it’s too important to keep your workforce motivated and for this allow them to express themselves. Listen to them and often use positive gestures like thumbs up or clap as a token of appreciation for anything well-said.

Pro Tip

Don’t sit back or zone out unless too busy to be productive in some crucial task. In this case, pay attention to your work. Else, proactively communicate with your co-workers.

3- Communicate on a Deeper Level
Social distancing may keep you safe from coronavirus, but simultaneously it will hit you with the grave feeling of isolation. Even if you are with your family, there remains the need to have casual conversation with your colleagues throughout the day. Stay connected with your coworkers on a personal level, individually as well as in the groups, at all channels; be it skype, whatsapp or phone calls.

Online group activities will be a plus to combat loneliness. Create a cushion in routine tasks and spend some time playing icebreaker games that could be a brainstorming session, personality quiz, or a fun question of the day. It will not only encourage connection in individual capacities, but also promote team bonding on a deeper level.

Pro Tip

Help people feel connected by initiating healthy conversations and always conclude your day on a positive note.

4- Make the Best Out of Collaboration Tools
Who knows better than offshore outsourcing companies about agile teams and project management tools? JIRA, Zoho and Trello are few of the software solutions that help all teams interconnect and hence ensure high performing productivity. Moreover, Zapier allows you to build the exact workflows that help increase the work efficiency of your remote employees.

Our personal favorite after JIRA is Slack. You will be now curious about the reason. Slack, as a chat app, is a great resource of maximizing your team’s productivity and allowing all members to ask questions that pop up in their minds all day long.

Pro Tip

Encourage all voices when it comes to boosted motivation and enhanced productivity. Show empathy and allow people to work in their pace; provided they are meeting their everyday goals.

The Verdict:
Remote working practices help people stay safe by not coming in contact with a coronavirus carrier, which could be a co-worker or public transport. However, staying at home from dawn till dusk and keep doing mundane tasks dilutes the productivity potential of remote employees. So, you must make all possible efforts to keep them motivated and for this try bringing them the office-like alive and kicking environment in WFH setup.