This year has been a year of change, adjustment, difficulty, and hope. Many changes and ‘new normal’ norms are getting adopted in society. The job market and workforce have been through a lot, and ‘work from home’ is the current norm.
But for ShimBi Labs employees, it was easy to work remotely, as they were already accustomed to working from home. Shimbi Labs has become a fully remote company a year earlier to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During these unprecedented times, Shimbi Labs decided to reaffirm the decision by giving up the Shimbi Labs HQ lease.
To know how their experience of remote working has been so far, I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Manas Dasgupta, Ms. Bhavana Pachpande, and Ms. Rakhi Gaud, three senior Project Leaders at Shimbi Labs.
Experience in working remotely
On asking how their work from home experience has been? According to them, it has been great, and they have been relieved of travel stress and can take better care of themselves during the day. Rakhi said that she return to Shimbi Labs just because it became a fully remote company, and she couldn’t be happier.
Motivating oneself is difficult during these challenging times, but Mr. Siddharth sends daily morning quotes on skype, which encourages them to work harder each day. Working from home also motivates them as they have to solve and complete everything on their own.
Now, Bhavana gives more time to R&D and learns a lot of new things.
Self-motivation is the key to efficient remote working. By communicating through Skype and MyProject, all colleagues encourage and motivate each other.
Even though all of them prefer to work from home, they miss the fun of being in the office with other colleagues. They suggested that they should meet to conduct a work-related discussion once a week or once a month.
Everything has its pros and cons. On asking about the issues faced by them, most of them said that they face hardware-related issues.
Laptops crash at times. If they were in the office, a technician would repair it instantly, but they have to call a technician at home, and it takes a longer time.
Manas suggests that better internet connection, laptop, hardware backup systems, and UPS devices for power failure are essential for successful remote work.
Bhavana added that even though the company provides them with proper hardware at times, issues happen. We are learning and working on problems one at a time.
For finding solutions to common technical problems, Google and YouTube search is the go-to option.
Other than that some times time management is an issue. Rakhi said that it is her first job after getting married, so she has to manage both her home and office work. She is slowly easing into her new role.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is very important to stay mentally fit and perform efficiently. While working at home, it might get a little difficult to focus due to the many distractions at home.
While asked how do they balance out their work, all of them said that they had allotted a specific time to their work and a separate time to spend with their family. They try and finish their work in the allotted time.
At Shimbi Labs, everyone is encouraged to only work from 8 am to 5 pm IST with a one-hour lunch break and five days a week.
As everyone works remotely, communication plays a significant role in smooth functioning.
To avoid miscommunication, all Shimbi Labs employees use Skype and MyProject (a homegrown project management application). Emails are strict, no to discuss the project. They discuss their projects with customers, teammates, and seniors from time to time to avoid miscommunication.
Relationship with colleagues
If you work in an office, you meet your colleagues daily. But in remote working, you don’t. Hence maintain a relationship with colleagues is necessary.
Rakhi emphasized that no extra effort is needed in maintaining a relationship with colleagues if you are friends with them. She calls and texts them. Others also use Skype and text messages to keep in touch with each other.
Contributing from home
Completing daily tasks in the given time frame is the main contribution which all the employees do towards the company.
Working from home has made them more efficient as they can concentrate more than in the office. A lot of time gets wasted during traveling and unnecessary meetings. At home, more work is done in less time.
Beyond work, other side projects can also be taken up, such as Bhavana is leading weekly presentation activity, and Rakhi decided to help her.
Future of remote working
The future of remote working has endless possibilities. Though every field, remote working is not possible. But the pandemic forced everyone to think innovative about work. Everyone is now asking whether getting a job done is important or being present at the office.
During this ongoing pandemic, many of you, for the first time, must have started working from home! Share your experience and challenges in the comment section below.
* Photo by Anna Tarazevich from Pexels