The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak of the coronavirus a pandemic. Despite a positive trend in fighting the viral threat in China, it has now spread throughout the whole world. Stock markets and world economies react to infectious cases reported in different countries.
Quarantine or home office?
Today, the virus is spreading all over the world. In mid-March 2020, the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus reached over 150,000. Numerous economic problems affecting all spheres of business have been revealed amid the global threat. These problems are directly related to the distribution of human resources. An effective way to combat the virus is to minimize the possibility of its extension. This means isolating people, cancelling mass events, closing cinemas and factories, and recommending against public transport and communal office work. Creating conditions for remote work is the only right decision for the commercial sector in this situation to overcome the crisis caused by such pandemic.
“IT companies nearly always use practices of remote software development. Due to high competition in the labor market, it became a difficult struggle for qualified employees in a particular city or country to find work in their area. The industry now, for the most part, employs people remotely, regardless of their location. It erases a competition problem and at the same time speeds up building a team because it is easier to search for specialists in several cities or countries simultaneously, rather than in one place,” says Pavel Adylin.
Anna Znamenskaya, Chief Growth Officer at Rakuten Viber notes that over the years it has been discussed that a lot of companies are gradually refusing traditional office work.
“And it has nothing to do with situational reasons. Remote working has its benefits: employers can save on renting office space, providing employees with lunches, etc. At the same time, employees don’t waste their time on the daily commute or breaks with co-workers. The world IT giants like Apple and Google realized it long ago, and we should note that both these corporations are doing quite well. So why can’t others work in the same way? The most important thing is to identify employees who are able to perform their professional duties away from leadership. This is the task of the HR Department and a question of time – if an employee is able to prove they are an efficient worker regardless of environment. If this is found to be true, there is almost no difference from working in an office,” she says.
Artezio HR Director Iryna Dyachenko believes that IT companies have been implementing remote working practices for quite a long time. The coronavirus has just made the convenience of this method obvious.
“The practice of working from home to some extent exists in companies without the raging virus, which doesn’t stop their operations. Therefore, in a situation when there is a high risk of deterioration of the epidemiological environment, it makes sense to allow the maximum amount of people to work from home. It prevents people from using public transport where the risk to catch the virus is much higher than in the office. In most IT companies, the required infrastructure naturally allows for remote work. The most important thing is that employees should have well-equipped working places that won’t reduce their labor performance. In my opinion, it depends on the person, whether they will be able to self-organize. Some people introduce a kind of home ritual – when you put on green sneakers, then you are at work. After you take them off at 7pm, that means you are at home. In some situations, work may be disturbed by kids or family members, then, of course, the working efficiency will decrease. An ideal situation is when a person can organize a working process in a separate room where no one will distract them from work, but not work in the kitchen having tea with the family,” says Iryna Dyachenko.
IT companies – work with no risk for health
The coronavirus pandemic has shown that IT companies respond faster to situations that threaten employee health. While other companies may find it difficult to allow their employees to work from home, the IT sector has been ready for the quarantine a long time ago. For a significant amount of time, companies have had the implementation of tools for distant access to working resources. Today the demand for cloud solutions and remote work services is predicted to increase.
In the case of a pandemic, an even larger number of people will have to stay at home and work remotely. For this reason, there will most likely be an upsurge in company demand for organizing remote working places for employees.
“For companies that have the infrastructure for remote work, it won’t be difficult to shift at least a part of their employees to work from home. If a company is able to provide remote access to corporate e-mails, shareable resources, document management, such a decision won’t lead to large costs. In tech companies, the trend for remote work has existed for a long time, the mechanisms for effectively providing such work have been developed and successfully applied. The efficiency of the work itself mostly depends on employees, their responsibilities, ability to adjust to working processes at home and avoid distraction,” says Maxim Burtikov, Director at RIPE NCC.
It turns out that IT companies today could contribute to disease prevention, believes Artezio CEO Pavel Adylin.
“Remote software development is at the core of our business. For this reason, we talk about distance work not just in relation to measures for providing the quarantine that in many countries has not been enforced yet. Yes, IT companies are in a favorable position and are able to quickly move working processes beyond local offices. When we decided to allow the majority of our employees to work remotely, we were confident that the work on projects would continue with no loss in quality. We apply a wide range of tools, available to other companies as well, to maintain the working efficiency on the required level. Among them, remote testing equipment, distributed knowledge bases, audio and video communication means, task management and control systems. For us, a possibility for remote work is not a drastic measure during the epidemic, but a tool that is applied daily. Today there are 7 development offices in the company distributed in different cities of Eastern Europe. Project teams can be formed with specialists who are based several thousands of kilometers from each other, and it doesn’t affect working efficiency in any way.”
What to do next?
Experts say that the right decision would not be to react to a situation, but to foresee it and adapt to changing conditions.
“If you want to be ahead of your competitors, then use this advantage – an opportunity to work remotely. Of course, you will have to adjust your business processes, but as a result, everyone will win. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution, you will need to think of what works for you best and make reasonable decisions, not just copy someone else’s experience,” notes RIPE NCC top manager.
Does it make sense today to transfer employees to distance work in advance during the current spread of the coronavirus? Will it help in fighting against the pandemic?
Different countries have their own epidemiological situations, and it is hard to give a universal response to this question. The attention should not be to shifting employees to work from home, but to preventing the spread of the disease. It is possible to introduce a company practice of examining employees to identify people with symptoms of a respiratory infection and let them go home timely, allowing working from home.
However, many business owners have concerns for employee health without such checkups and have moved working processes online instead of requiring in-office work.
Generally speaking, it is not difficult to organize remote work for employees of a small company. With the right IT solutions, this type of work could flourish. The main question is how to maintain work efficiency? It’s necessary to take into account requirements for easy communication, security, availability of collaboration services and system stability tools.
Yulia Medvedeva, Emigrantista Founder, lives in Italy, a country that is no stranger to the devastating effects of the coronavirus. She works remotely for the IT company and sees that distance work is a good thing today, despite its potential scare.
“I live in Italy and work for the company remotely. I think that distance work is our common future that hasn’t come yet just because people can’t work remotely and are afraid of it. We lack skilled managers who would be able to set up a remote team, we don’t know how to build processes and communication. The coronavirus quarantine is a great opportunity to practice.
In Italy, since the beginning of March, many offices have moved their staff to “smart working” mode: they’ve provided them with work computers and are allowing work from home. It was a tough decision for many top managers. Moreover, many of them still have not been able to make this decision, and their employees continue to work in offices. There haven’t been any complaints among those who took this precautionary step—productivity has remained steady. I have strong hopes that after the end of the quarantine in Italy, a new virus will spread – the virus of remote work. After several weeks working in such a way, employees and managers will find it difficult to get back into office mode, and it will be even more difficult to forget the advantages remote work offers,” she adds.
Milad Ghasemikhah reveals his Motivation to do more
Instagram star and online celebrity, Milad Ghasemi, reveals the motivation behind his success over the years
The story of social media influencing in Iran and other parts of the world cannot be complete without mentioning the name of Milad Ghasemi. The Instagram celebrity is particularly famous for his unique approach of making videos, regarded as improvisation satire. He is also a strong advocate of feminism, a value that he continues to push using his strength on social media. Milad’s success in recent times has been particularly remarkable and he recently revealed the motivation behind his works.
“I love the feeling that i can make people laugh even for a second especially in their difficult times. Every time i get a message from a fan who is thanking me for making them forget their problems even for a short time, i get all the energy i need to keep up what I’m doing,” said Milad Ghasemi Khah.
The graduate of architecture became very popular on Instagram by posting various comedy videos since 2015. Milad’s videos are spontaneous and impactful, reiterating his creativity and ingenuity, features that have endeared him to millions of people worldwide. Most of his videos feature performances and content that everyone can easily relate with, considering all subjects and creating short skits of humorous subjects, jokes, satires and humors that bring smiles to the faces of his audience.
The videos posted on his social media channels are easily comprehended by the audience, which explains the huge positive impact they have on his followers. Combining storytelling with captivating performances, Milad has grown from just being a comedian to becoming a force in making people happy and pushing for equal rights for everyone, irrespective of the age or gender.
Milad Ghasemi Khah is not looking to rest on his hoaxes as he has continued to put out thought-provoking yet amazingly entertaining videos.
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