How to prepare your startup if your employees start loving work from home?
What if work from home becomes a new normal?
Will you be able to run your organization the same way as you did while working in the office?
It’s long been anticipated that work from home will be the future of operations for many businesses worldwide over the coming years.
However, the emergence of the devastating Coronavirus appears to have accelerated the transition of employees from the office into the comfort of their own homes.
Of the 543,000 new small businesses started each month, approximately 50 percent of them are home-based.
That number is likely to jump thanks to the prolonged need for employees to engage in social distancing and continue to work from home due to COVID-19. Employees everywhere have had to pack up their office desks and bring them home (if their jobs allow it). Now not every business can easily function with their employees working remotely, but the need to adapt has caused more and more businesses to pivot their strategy and find ways to make remote work viable.
Well, the COVID-19 lockdown has changed the way businesses operate before the
outbreak. The sudden change in the habit is now making its space and is adapted by
people as their new routine.
Based on a survey, about 54% of Americans loved work from home and want to
continue doing it while 70% of them say they would like to add this as an option to
switch their work mode often.
As more and more people are fascinated and find comfort in work from home,
remote working is surely going to be a hit for the employers as none of their
employees would like to rejoin the office to sit and work in the cubical.
Such a situation raises the question for the employers to keep up the business
working pace and also about employee evaluation and company culture.
Five questions that help startups prepare for the new WORK FROM
WORK FROM HOME # 1. What is the basis to evaluate remote employee performance?
There is a difference between walking to the desk and taking a work update and
asking the employee to be available on a Zoom call to share the screen to show their
These small odds in the work scenario make a huge difference for the employers to
judge a person’s work and activities and evaluate their performance. Here the companies need to adopt an approach where an employee can be evaluated based on the outcomes he/she produces at the end of the week or month.
The employee must also be given points for the efforts that they make to accomplish
a certain task, but these efforts have to be supported by documented facts or images
or even live examples if possible.
A weekly or monthly performance report should be a new ritual for the remote
WORK FROM HOME # 2. How to maintain the company culture remotely?
Remote working creates an unseen distance among the employees. Small gatherings
at a desk, a random joke in the office environment, the gossip at the coffee machine,
or having fun in the lunchtime eating each other’s food, the absence of such small
happy times affects the bond between the team as they are unable to spend much
Here the employers need to ensure the team spirit of their remote workers remains
intact in spite of being distant from each other. Ask your HR team to prepare a list of
virtual team building activities that can help your team have some fun time while
Organize tea breaks, where everyone in the team can share their screen and have
their tea and coffee break as they used to have in the office. Ask your employees to
join virtual office parties at the weekends where they could have some time to talk
about things apart from work, like what new things each one is exploring and some
updates from their personal lives. Apart from this, making the team play games
virtually or arranging a set up for virtual product launch or appreciation events can
ensure a company to maintain its culture even while working remotely.
WORK FROM HOME # 3. What new systems need to adapt to maintain productivity?
Well, the biggest challenge that arises while working remotely on a longer-term is to
maintain team coordination and understanding. As people are not together
physically, having a common platform or a project management software that helps each of them remain updated about the project to get a better understanding of
their work and roles is what the companies need to focus more on.
The organizations also need to redefine their work process to make streamlined
systems. Take a group video call daily to discuss the work and get clarity about the
outcomes to be expected at the day end.
The companies need to redefine policies for remote working based on the changed situation.
Like does the company want their employees to be available for specific office time
for work or they are allowed to work based on their schedule, these all changes have
to be done with proper process and must be data-driven.
WORK FROM HOME # 4. What would be the remote recruiting process?
With remote work getting a new norm, the concept of the physical office will
gradually disperse. The authorities have to adopt the new process of recruitment by
taking interviews of the candidates virtually.
The process starts with putting an ad for the vacancy, here the company has to
create such creatives that could attract the candidates to apply and make
themselves interested for an interview call.
The HR team could also add real-life videos by the CEO talking about the company or put a company impression on
candidates by showcasing cool company culture by ZOOM call recordings or videos
in the ad.
Once the candidate schedules the video meeting, the authorities based on their
interview rounds can give instructions to the candidate to follow and be available
online on the respective timings. Here the recruiter also needs to ensure that the
person on the other side of the call has enough equipment like a device and a
smooth internet connection or even software in case of IT practical round to get
through the interview process.
5. What security controls are needed to ensure enterprise data?
As employees are working out of the enterprise security network, assuring the
safety of the company data from the remote working devices becomes a must.
As everyone in the company is working under a differently secured internet
connection, the chances of endpoint vulnerabilities increase to a greater extent
making gateways for the data breach and phishing attacks. To implement a long
term remote working, ensuring enterprise communication and file transfer through
VPNs becomes a must.
Companies risk and security teams have to train the employees and impart enough
knowledge to keep their devices safe. These teams have to communicate with the
employees to help them set up devices that ensure the endpoint security of the
The company also has to improve the security controls over its
cloud-based software as their employees will be accessing the data from the cloud
network from different devices at different times which increase the chances of
The crisis is the best lesson to help people explore and find solutions to the things
they would not like to indulge in otherwise. COVID-19 outbreak is one such crisis
that helped enterprises and their workers realize that they could perform well even
while not being present in the office.
While adopting this new normal, the organizations have to get themselves through
the above questions while learning and implementing some advanced processes.
Help your team stay connected, use proper collaboration tools, ensure enterprise
data security, continue expanding your company with remote recruitments, and
boost your team spirit by helping them work remotely.
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James Vargas is an experienced business expert, startup business consultant, and manager at Get Everything Delivered, startup consulting services. With the 1.5-decade corporate experience, he is now sharing his guidance to start-ups to grow with corporate team building activities and project delivery solutions.