A new work order—work from home—has come to the forefront with COVID-19, impacting global businesses. The impact of the virus has led to restrictions on international and domestic travel, cancellation of events, and forcing organizations to close down their offices.
In an effort to help prevent the spread of the virus, organizations are now making it mandatory for their employees to work from home. Some organizations had been extending the option to work from home to their employees for some years now. However, it was more of an exception rather than the rule. In this emergency-like situation a lot of companies, including Arkose Labs, are embracing remote working to ensure the safety of their workforce.
Technology platforms will form the backbone
To make remote working successful, it is absolutely critical that the business infrastructure is robust enough to handle the extra stress on the network resources. Seamless availability of employee productivity tools and collaboration platforms is crucial to maintaining productivity and business continuity, as well as to minimize the isolation employees can feel when they first transition to working remotely.
Technology platforms, therefore, will form the backbone of this new work order where employees leverage the convenience of communication platforms, flexible storage, and office tools. In an environment where all interaction and collaboration happens online, it is critical that the online environment is secure from unwarranted access. As a result, technology platforms are under tremendous stress as well as a heightened risk of fraud and online abuse.
Keeping the morale high
Apart from securing their remote work environment to ensure business continuity, organizations are doing everything they can to keep the morale of their employees high. Human resources teams across organizations are taking many steps to ensure working from home does not become daunting for the employees. While working remotely is second nature to some, others need to adjust their mindset, and also, their physical space to stay engaged, productive and most importantly, connected to their coworkers, their teams and their managers.
At Arkose Labs, we have made remote working mandatory for all our employees until the pandemic is contained. We understand it can be challenging for employees to work from home. Therefore, to make it more comfortable, our CEO Kevin Gosschalk has decided to provide every employee with reimbursements worth up to $1000 (in their local currency), which they can use to deck out their home office. We are helping our employees buy items that can help them become more productive. These include monitors, ergonomic work chairs, desks, keyboard and mouse, and any other item that facilitates working from home. Employees can also use the said amount to fund the extra childcare support needs if required.
Collaborate and have fun online
To promote collaboration and help employees interact with each other, we have set up virtual lunches at 12 noon in each country. Employees can join in to check on each other and catch up on the projects or just chat. In Australia and the US, the People's team is setting up one-on-ones with managers to provide weekly check-ins as well as coaching to assist managers in navigating and managing a remote team.
We are providing ongoing guidance to employees who may be struggling with the new work from home scenarios. We are also putting together a comprehensive work from home resource guide for everyone. To ensure our employees do not miss out on their weekly fun time, we have moved our Friday Social Get-together online, with a round table review of the week and then games played virtually. I have set up an open 'coffee talk' every morning at 8 am for anyone to join and discuss any topic.
These are difficult times which we must overcome together by helping each other as much as we can. We must reach out to those who may face challenges adjusting to this new work order. Above all, we must stay calm and keep our chins up, as this too shall pass.