The pandemic-induced lockdowns catalyzed the remote work culture and ushered in the future of work. And considering the permanent work-from-home & hybrid announcements by bigshots like Spotify, Twitter, Atlassian, Shopify, Meta, Quora, and more, there’s no doubt this culture is here to stay.
At Classic Informatics, we implemented the work-from-anywhere policy within the first three months of the pandemic. It was a calculated and well-assessed decision, keeping the safety of our employees in mind. We analyzed the productivity levels, client commitments, employee feedback, and several other parameters before announcing the policy.
But through this transition from office to work-from-anywhere, we had to ensure that our employee experience was unhampered.
And that’s where the challenges sprung in.
We had to ensure that our employees had everything they needed to transition seamlessly into this new way of work. Be it devices, software, accessories, tools, or any other remote work requirement, we made sure that everything was accessible. We also had to ensure that their collaboration and communication weren’t hampered, all while promoting a positive work culture.
Today, we are successfully following the hybrid model of work. Some of our employees are permanently working from home, some are coming to the office a few days a week, and there are others who are regular office goers. In fact, our leadership is coming in almost every day to take care of major business decisions. And we’ve kept the doors to our office open for all our employees who want to come and work in physical proximity of their colleagues.
However, this didn’t happen overnight.
Ensuring Seamless Employee Experience In Hybrid Model
We started with the work-from-anywhere model three years back. In the span of time, we’ve held several surveys, meetings, and discussions among the management, employees, and HR so as to deliver a successful remote employee experience. Managing remote tech teams wasn't easy. But over a period of time, these are some of the key mantras that have helped us build an excellent experience for our employees at Classic Informatics.
#1. Maintaining Open & Clear Communication
Open and clear communication is the key to success in any workplace. And this becomes even more critical when in a remote work environment.
When it comes to remote/ work-from-anywhere, the biggest challenge that springs up is the feeling of isolation experienced by employees. And at the earliest, we knew that communication would be the most impacted facet of work in this shift to work from anywhere or hybrid work. And since then, we’ve emphasized fostering open and clear communication. We’ve put in place remote working tools and channels to drive more conversations. Be it for official discussions, meetings, water cooler discussions, and healthy office banters, we’ve ensured employees are not missing out on anything in remote work.
At Classic Informatics, we firmly believe that our commitment to being approachable and open to communication has been the key factor in delivering an exceptional remote employee experience thus far.
#2. Providing A Seamless Onboarding
The next mantra of delivering a successful remote employee experience is to ensure seamless onboarding. We ensure that the new members of our Classic Informatics family are welcomed with full warmth and complete support. From day one, we personally make sure to check in with the employees. The first quarter is incredibly crucial, where we contact them regularly and ensure all their needs are being met. They are also encouraged to get in touch with us at any point in time for anything- be it understanding the policies, getting assistance with a point of contact, or any other issue. Irrespective of their departments, our HR team members make sure to be their first point of contact to avoid confusion during the first quarter.
#3. Ensuring Employee Engagement & Well-being
The remote work environment upended how everyone interacted and engaged with each other. However, we've always focused on promoting employee engagement and well-being at Classic Informatics. We’ve always fostered a culture of having regular team meetings, discussions, quarterly chit-chats, get-togethers, and more. This was something vastly impacted by the remote work environment.
To prevent employee isolation or ensure continuity with employee engagement, we have made it a practice to check in with our team members regularly. We always encourage them to come forward and discuss any roadblocks they face, whether in their professional or personal lives. It has always been our motive to ensure that all our employees are happy and advancing in their roles.
We also hold virtual team-building activities and social events to help foster a sense of belonging among our remote team. Not just that, at the end of every quarter, we hold a Zoom meeting with all the members of Classic Informatics. Here, we introduce the new joiners, hold fun games & contests, and announce the performers of the quarter & bright beginners.
Even for every festival like Diwali, Holi, Independence Day, Christmas, and more, we get together on Zoom to have a fun, celebratory session. We also make sure to get all our teams together physically at least once a year for a gala time.
We understood that remote workplace practices changed our approach to engagement but couldn't let it hamper our level of employee engagement. Maintaining the balance between a positive remote work environment and company culture isn’t an easy task, but we’ve been able to carry out both successfully until now.
#4. Equipping Employees With The Right Tools & Technology
Having the right set of tools and technologies in place can help any organization seamlessly switch to remote work. And that’s what we’ve always held onto.
Before hiring remote developers, we created documentation of all the tools and technologies we would require. We have invested in laptops, software programs, remote work software, communication and collaboration tools, and project management tools to ensure that our employees can work efficiently and stay connected with their teams. Not just that, we also ensure to regularly assess the technology needs of our employees and make necessary upgrades to ensure that everyone has the resources they need to succeed.
At Classic Informatics, we have implemented Upgraded versions of several tools, including Slack, Basecamp, Notion, Jira, Zoho, GreytHR, and others, to ensure seamless accessibility for all.
#5. Having Policies In Place
The next thing that enabled us to ensure a smooth work environment for our remote employees was getting together the right set of policies and SOPs to be followed. We have properly documented all our policies to make the remote employee experience even more fruitful and seamless.
Whether it is SOPs, tools to be used, guidelines for work, or any other important information, we have created proper documents for each of them and circulated them on different channels and mediums. They are easily accessible at our Basecamp HQ, and anyone can go through them in case of any confusion. Our leadership team is also well-versed with all the policies and helps remote employees whenever required.
#6. Encouraging Professional Development
One of the biggest limitations perceived in remote work is the lack of career progression. Many remote employees feel that their career trajectory had hit a bar when they started as virtual employees.
We have been mindful of this ever since we started the work-from-anywhere policy. Despite the remote work culture, we have ensured that every employee gets equal opportunities for growth and development in their professional lives, irrespective of their location.
To empower our employees, our team leads have set out the initiative to research the best possible tutorials, training modules, and programs. And they are assessed on several parameters to ensure that everyone has an effective learning experience. Whether it is about new technologies or the latest version roll-outs of the frameworks we are working on, we make sure that all our employees are on-board with it. Not just that, our technical leaders also hold in-house mentoring programs with the developers to train them on new technologies, development frameworks, languages, and more for continuous learning self-learning courses. And we believe they will continue creating impact and advancing in their professions as long as they have the right path for their career progression.
#7. Defining Leadership Roles & Empowering Them
At Classic Informatics, we believe that impactful teams are created by strong leaders. And we have always fostered an environment where people can come forward and lead others. We have not just grown our leadership team over the years but also empowered and motivated everyone to become better leaders.
After assessing everyone, we’ve empowered members within our teams to come forward and take on the responsibility of leading the team. We set well-defined expectations and goals for them and provide regular constructive feedback. This enables us to ensure they efficiently take up more responsibility and know that we trust them and encourage their growth.
This enables us to continue our agile working methodology, where everyone knows their daily tasks in advance. Our leaders are readily available to resolve even the slightest of issues. Throughout the organization, we’ve ensured that everyone has a clear idea of their roles and responsibilities and how they are expected to contribute to the organization's overall growth and vice versa.
#8. Enabling Transparency
From the very beginning, Classic Informatics has been a transparent organization, be it with our customers or our employees. We know how important maintaining transparency and clarity is in building trust within our organization. However, when we started with the work-from-anywhere policy, we realized how challenging it would be to ensure all our employees share the same vision and goals.
We hold quarterly Pulse meetings with the leadership team where we discuss the progress, set up KRAs for the next quarters, and share a clear expectation of the direction in which we are moving. It also helps us ensure that the management’s vision is aligned with each department and even the newest of our CIPL members. In fact, our CEO, Mr. Rajiv Meta, has initiated sharing the company’s vision for the next quarter with all the remote team members. This helps them get an idea of the direction we are planning to go ahead and brings them on the same page.
Entering The Future Of Work
As an organization, we’ve always ensured that our employees, whether working from the office, home, or hybrid, have the right environment to grow. And with remote work being the new normal, we’ve made every effort possible to deliver an exceptional remote working experience to our employees.
We are open to discussions and suggestions, hold regular get-togethers, promote work-life balance, and ensure team bonding activities to keep our company culture intact.
And that’s not all.
We are constantly revising and updating our policies to better incorporate the employees’ requirements. Our aim is to ensure that we’ve built the right culture that promotes a more fulfilling and successful remote employee experience.