In the early 2020s, many companies were faced with a big change or even concern when it was said, 'If possible, work from home'. Because of the pandemic, we too have moved from 100 per cent office life to working from home and then to adopting hybrid work in the long term and beyond.
We want to share our experiences with you in this blog article.
What options have we implemented in DevInterface?
On the topic of hybrid and remote forms of work, many different opinions and insights have emerged. We are aware that the implementation of new forms of work implies constant change, continuous reflection and a readiness to change. But above all: new forms of work require structure, organisation and trust.
In 2020 DevInterface celebrated its 10th anniversary and during these years the company has seen steady growth, without stopping even during the pandemic. 2020 proved to be an opportunity to directly experience new forms of work and to discuss which form to adopt more continuously. This required us to reflect on the choice between remote work and a mixed form, but of course we also reflected on the possibility of a full return to the office.
Our corporate culture in this respect changed because we eventually adopted:
- remote working for employees and collaborators living and working abroad, all with a perspective of expanding our staff due to projects outside national borders.
- hybrid working for employees who live close to DevInterface's headquarters, so as to foster direct interactions between colleagues and to better experience our corporate culture.
To begin with, it is necessary to ask oneself a series of questions:
- What are the wishes of each individual employee?
- Is it possible for each employee to work from home?
- What is our company culture like?
- In which direction do I want my company to develop?
- What opportunities are there in the way we work?
- What changes can occur and what does it mean for the company?
It is important to be able to answer these questions and a staff survey can be a very useful tool.
The concrete change was somewhat compulsory in 2020 and partially in 2021. However, we soon realised that the projects continued to have a high quality standard and the collaboration worked. The crucial role here was the structuring of the work. It was essential in this respect to continue setting daily and weekly goals for everyone so that we had a clear view of deadlines and priorities. Equally important was the use of suitable tools for online project sharing and remote communication. Indeed, working remotely involved a shift from synchronous communication (i.e. in real time and with all parties involved simultaneously) to asynchronous communication, with all parties participating at the same time. To make this type of communication effective and to respond effectively to the need to better document the tasks performed, we used various tools such as project management tools, wikis and our manual complete with internal documentation, reference guides and internal feedback. Lastly, the implementation of the Agile methodology, also remotely, made the work much easier.
In general, with the gradual return to normality, we were faced with three forms of work: in-presence work, remote work and hybrid work.
If with in-presence work the employee spends 100 per cent of his or her time at the company's premises, remote work means performing tasks from one's own home, which should be equipped to work as in an office (the employer's task). From these two forms of work, we applied hybrid work, a mixed form of remote work (60%) and in-presence work (40%). Of course, this does not apply to our foreign employees and collaborators. For them, we successfully apply a 100% form of remote working.
As mentioned at the beginning, the pandemic presented us with new challenges. From an initial 100% presence in the office, we were forced to react quickly and moved first to remote working and then to 100% hybrid working. Like other companies, we were soon able to draw a positive intermediate balance for the new way of working. Work did not grind to a halt, communication was not lost, information was shared, processes found new ways - even new employees were hired remotely and started their careers remotely. We quickly learnt how to navigate the 'new normal' and after a short time we could see that it works.
What do you think, is your company ready for remote working?