ESTD and Successful Remote Working in the Time of COVID19 Pandemic
As the coronavirus spreads, companies must make proactive decisions that help them protect individual employee health, keep critical work on the track, and prepare for the potential for planned business disruption. Many are revisiting policies, considering new technologies, canceling conferences, and restricting all but business-critical travels. ESTD has encouraged all employees to work from home from the 1st of March. At first, there were profound implications for how work gets done. Whether the threat is short-term or long-lasting, leaders who can enable a remote/virtual workforce to thrive will have a significant competitive advantage.
It is true that face-to-face environments have unique qualities, there’s more opportunity for informal interactions, and you have many more cues especially body language to understand how others are thinking and feeling. Because of these, we think of face-to-face time as necessary for high-stakes conversations, complex topics, or for building relationships.
But now is the time to challenge that belief. If done well, telecommuting of the workforce has some unique qualities that can actually make it better than working in the office. In this scary and uncertain time, there is one no-regrets move that you as a leader can make today. We used the following technologies for our remote working during Coronavirus age:
• The Slack, Skype, and Go-To-Meeting are technologies which we are using for video conferences and meetings There are so many benefits of video conferencing versus just dialing in, that we found: it reduces multi-tasking, creates human connection, and lets you read body language and facial expressions. It reminds you who is in the meeting and increases the likelihood that they will actively participate. We’ve made sure everyone has a working camera on their computers or phones.
• The group messaging platform of Slack has been used as an effective collaboration tools
• Using our group messaging platform, we established channels that enable the transparent, relevant, frequent, and on-demand flow of information. For example, we have project channel which is used for keeping everyone up to date, rapidly disseminating new information, alerting everyone when the project pivots, and recording decisions that have been made along the way; we have Topic-based channels which are an ideal way to rapidly build a capability or center of excellence; code review channel for reviewing and commenting on codes which have been written by developer remotely.
• For the source code management, we use GitLab; from project planning and source code management to CI/CD and monitoring, GitLab is a complete DevOps platform, delivered as a single application.
• We use the Redmine for Project Planning and Project management; Redmine is a free and open-source, web-based project management, and issue tracking tool. It allows users to manage multiple projects and associated subprojects. It features per project wikis and forums, time tracking, and flexible, role-based access control.
• The Slack, Git pushes, GitLab, Calendars, and project management system, are all linked together.
The coronavirus still is here. But even as this crisis passes, we still face the ongoing risk of climate change, worsening traffic in urban areas, and other global crises. We can help future-proof our organizations by making virtual collaboration a core capability.