Is remote work the new mainstream? COVID19 has opened a portal, to a whole new world.

Vidhya Abhijith
Apr 5 · 5 min read

Codewave reached out to 500+ Founders, HR leaders & futurists across the globe to listen to their perspective on WFH & the future of work.

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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as organizations are being vigilant to the fast-changing needs of people and trying to adapt to the new normal, we decided to seek out voices from the industry on the “WorkFromHome” movement & the future of work.

“Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one (COVID19) is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. “ — Arundhati Roy

In this article, we’ll summarize key challenges, solutions, tools / methods businesses employed to enable remote work; that emerged from our interactions with experts, so organizations can start directing conversations & questions to shape the new future we’re creating.

We asked experts two main questions:

  • What tools have you started using for seamlessly Working From Home amidst COVID-19?
  • How do we design organizations to thrive with remote work, like it’s the new mainstream?

On the remote collaboration tools — Microsoft Teams, Zoom, G-suite (Hangouts) emerged clear winners. Few organizations seem to prefer formal, secure tools (like Webx) for customer interactions and more casual tools (like Skype) for team interactions & new hire interviews.

Here are a few excerpts:

“As an organization we were using remote offshore working / support for our clients but the same was never applicable for internal use. So when a situation came to decide how to continue supporting clients ( banks are all over the world open and operating ) we extended the same technology ( VPN) and remote access to all employees who are desktop bound to ensure seamless delivery.”

— Shridhar Bhagwat, Group Head Human Resources, JMR Infotech

Zoom for video, Slack for communication, JIRA for development issues, Zendesk for support, Confluence for wiki, QLess for remote call-back queues and for Distributed Virtual Transaction Processing (DVTP)”

— Alex Backer, HR, Qless

“We are using Microsoft teams for internal quick communications (chats etc) , also using Zoom for big team meetings.”

— Shabnam Jaswal, Sr Manager HR, Icreon

“I use Teamviewer for desktop access. I also use Zoom, Signal, and iOS for video, voice, and text messages. Zoom is easy to use, but Signal is more secure, and my clients outside of the US prefer Signal.”

— Debbie Reynolds, CEO, DebbieReynoldsConsulting

Across Organisation we are connected by Microsoft Teams. Yammer for any corporate announcements, DocuSign for any document that needs to go out with official Signatures, Box & DropBox, so that documents can be accessed anytime from anywhere; OpenAir to log into Timesheets. ZOHO for People management & moving to ZOHO payroll soon.”

— Rinku Chauhan, HR, Visualbi

On the design of remote organizations —businesses seem to be open as long as the new arrangement ensures high connectedness & predictable outcomes.

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High speed internet connectivity is becoming a real hiring criteria.

Trust, Connectedness, Clarity, Predictability, Measurability emerged as fundamental needs.

Need for more robust documentation seems to be increasing, with zero face to face interactions.

Here are a few excerpts:

“We need to ensure the right norms in terms of WFH has to be set and effectively communicated from the top (Leadership level). Also the leaders on the ground need to ensure it is proactively reinforced and executed on the ground. The deliverables/expectations /timelines and other aspects need to be correctly set and tracked by using right metrics which would make WFH effective and efficient.”

Aravind Warrior, HR, RapidValueSolutions

“The tools are out there and lots of organizations already work remotely. I think the main thing is communication and clear measurement. Whereas a one sentence description of a task works great if you can walk over and discuss it, when people are working in different locations at different times, you have to document much more robustly.”

— Alex Shartsis, PerfectPrice

“Hire Right, that’s most crucial to any organization. Hire people with integrity whom you can trust. Make small teams, let them have a leader. Daily meetings & updates for working together & to stay connected.”

— Rinku Chauhan, HR, Visualbi

“Get your team on a video meeting to start the day on the same page.”

Reuben Rabbines, FutureTekNow

“This crisis has provided an opportunity for us to remove the mental block in considering candidates ( Mothers and disabled / less mobile candidates now ) as its no longer physically being present but its now more of delivery and productivity. I see more work from home options and hiring candidates from different locations without office setup. We are adding Mobility / Connectivity as a criteria for hiring all resources to ensure readiness in any future crises.”

Shridhar Bhagwat, Group Head Human Resources, JMR Infotech

“This might continue for some time and may be afterwards if the productivity is analysed to be at a good pace. We need to trust our employees and give time to them to review their work and have proper work plans in place for them to perform. Communication plays a very big role in this.”

— Shabnam Jaswal, Sr Manager HR, Icreon

To conclude, the world is waking up to the new normal and the shift organizations are making — is promising. At the heart of being a remotely thriving organization, is trust and no-matter what tools & techniques we employ to co-create outcomes, without trusting each other & accepting our vulnerabilities, we can’t make this transformation happen.

Also, though we have highly intelligent machines and advanced AI..

We’re still not sure we fully understand the significance & the human (psychological) need for physical connection & community working.

Maybe that is for us to figure out on this transformative journey of becoming a hybrid organization — that integrates both physical & digital presence.

Codewave is a design led technology development services company. Codewave has no managers. It adopts radical transparency, sharing the firms contract terms, margins and revenue with all its members. Performance review discussions happen among peers. All management practices are grounded on trust and common-sense. No silly office timings or vacation rules. It’s no surprise then that our culture is loved, attrition rates negligible and customer satisfaction high. Our practices are evoking a lot of interest and curiosity among modern day organizations.

codewave technologies

design thinking led digital transformation

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