April 19, 2020 - 4 min
How being a fully agile company helps going full remote
Having more than 130 people, with dozens of them who enjoy working from home, and many living far away from the main oice, we had to establish a beautiful and functional relationship with being remote.
Q was very open to remote work long before the Corona outbreak. Having more than 130 people, with dozens of them who enjoy working from home, and many living far away from the main oice, we had to establish a beautiful and functional relationship with being remote.
During these hard times, when the EU closed its borders and the situation in some countries is alarming, Q decided to go full remote a few weeks ago and close the oice. The concept of working remotely or working “on the go“ isn’t a new trend for Q; it’s more the status quo since 2013.
Is it a disaster or an easygoing process?
To make remote work successful, Q established some crucial techniques and processes on how to handle and organize everyone like they are only a few meters apart. The one thing that helped the most is being agile to the fullest. Scrum ceremonies take a significant part in the agile software delivery process and provide a structure for teams to get work done and set their expectations and ease team collaboration.
Luckily, Qumans transformed into agile fast and smooth, so to go fully remote, we just needed to adapt our working routines in an online form. Agile living style became the only one we know inside the company.
Keys to success
Remote work opened an opportunity to improve procedures and coordination between departments and teams by clearly defining obligations and responsibilities for each team.
Keeping it transparent, let’s talk about the challenges we faced when we faced going full remote:
- Time Management
- Noting progress and productivity.
With the awareness of all the problems mentioned above, we had to react quickly and come up with solutions and tips for all the employees. All those problems were solvable. This is what we did:
“Communication is the key!“ — the sentence that you will often hear in our oice. Our policy is that everyone inside the team needs to know the status of everyone else’s work, so that if something happens, or someone needs help, anyone can jump in.
Community management is unquestionably important to us, that’s why we work hard to make sure everyone is included in sharing experiences and ideas. Also, we share information about Q’s business status to our people.
In these times of crisis, our communication toward employees widened. We want everyone to feel comfortable, engaged, and happy as if they were physically in the oice. Therefore, we adapted our current ways of communication to online formats and even introduced some new ones which helped us be more informed and engaged during this full-remote time.
Being transparent about your work and to your colleagues is a must. Adapting it was a process, but we managed to transfigure everyone to be more open, honest, and straightforward about various operations and their behavior in general.
That’s why our management team made sure that not a single meeting was canceled. We are still working on business development daily, meaning we want to upgrade and shorten the process of some of our old procedures, but through an online communication channel.
Communication and transparency are key to the importance to build stable production and a bigger business perspective. People and their feeling of satisfaction and happiness are crucial for the company’s business, development, progress, and growth. Employees are the best ambassadors, which is why our responsibility as a company is to make sure people are informed about the situation and procedures.
They could be in the form of 1on1 or a team call. It depends on whether employees work more independently or highly collaborative. Furthermore, calls should be regular and expected, always at the agreed time. The voice of communication is always empathic, trusting, and filled with understanding.
Some rules that we established when on calls:
- Connect a few minutes prior and try to stick to the schedule!
- Turn o the microphone when not talking and make sure not to speak at the same time.
- Designate a moderator for each meeting to ensure there is no idle.
Try it; it works fantastic!
4. Time Management
Despite many perks, we should keep in mind the everyday challenges of remote work, to avoid declines in job performance and engagement. Some of them are lack of face-to-face interaction, lack of access to information, social isolation, distractions at home, or just seeing your sofa.
Therefore, we introduced some new ways of interacting with each other through quizzes, travel talks, and online board games. ”Sofa“ problems were faced with five essential rules:
- Decide on workspace
- Set work hours
- Do your morning routine
- Take breaks
- Work hard
Our HR Specialist wrote a couple of tips and tricks on how to surpass those obstacles, which you can read here.
5. Noting progress and productivity
It is useful for all employees to record their progress through daily tasks. Not only for supervising the teams’ work but for better organization of their tasks. Sometimes, things of great importance get unintentionally forgotten, and keeping notes prevents this from happening.
Implementing Agile manifestations in our way of working was the best decision we could make. Agile helped us in being fast and adaptive, which in this remote time is crucial. If you still think about going Agile, don’t think, do it.
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