What are your company’s recommendations for successful teleworking?

What are your company’s recommendations for successful teleworking?

Now that Hoosier companies have had plenty of time to solve the bugs and challenges present in teleworking, they’ve got some recommendations to make the process even better. We reached out to several of Indiana’s leading technology firms to ask them about their strategies for making remote work successful.


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Nicole Bickett, VP of People and Administration
Springbuk

Where do employees go when they really want to tackle a big project? It typically isn’t sitting in their cube at work. Many go to their home offices or a coffee shop when they need to let the creative juices flow. Telecommuting makes it the employee’s choice as to whether or not to be interrupted which makes it easier to allow deeper thinking or “flow” to happen.

Telecommuting can also have a positive impact on employee health by giving them less stress from commuting, as well as better access to healthy food and easier exercise options at home. Employees report a better work/life balance, higher morale, lower absenteeism and more loyalty to the company when they are given telecommuting options.

Additionally, studies show that two-thirds of managers report better productivity from their remote workers. All of these create higher productivity and lower costs overall to the company.

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Christopher Day, Co-founder, CEO
DemandJump Inc.

Successful teleworking comes down to just a few core elements – 1. an amazing team and 2. finding ways to stay connected and motivated.

Each day, our Leadership Team meets via Zoom at 8:30am and 5pm to make sure we are completing tasks and meeting goals. It might seem like a lot of communication, but it is essential to keeping everyone on the same page. Each department has their own team daily check-in(s) so they can plan out their work and stay in touch with each other.

On Fridays, we have a companywide lunch meeting (Freaky Friday) to share updates from each department. We discuss ongoing projects, celebrate wins and brainstorm on ways we can improve. Staying unified as a team is crucial to the success of teleworking. By supporting each other, we become stronger together.

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Matt Hunckler, CEO
Powderkeg

Nearly every company in Indiana has had their work from home processes stress tested. Times might be unprecedented, but stress in business isn’t new. As such, we’ve made a daily 15-minute group meditation a foundation of our corporate culture.

Same time. Every day. No matter what.

Meditating as a team helps us get in the right headspace for the day. From there we springboard into a traditional daily stand-up meeting to discuss what we’re working on and roadblocks, but the 15-minute meditation is the real differentiator.

We started this practice years ago, but I’ve been really grateful for this anchor as our team has gone into full remote mode. I would encourage other teams with members working from various locations to put in place their own routines that help teams come together to stay centered and mindful.

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David Liddicoat, Vice President
Genesys

Flexibility is key to successful teleworking. Multiple Genesys locations, including our Indianapolis office with more than 820 employees, went to almost 100% teleworking early into the COVID-19 pandemic. Our shift to remote work has been practically seamless because for us business as usual has always been “business anywhere.” Most of our employees already had the tools needed to do their jobs and connect with others virtually.

Our advice to other companies is to use tools and resources such as video conferencing, online training courses and collaboration and productivity tools. In addition, companies can help employees by asking managers to stay connected with their teams, provide resources for how to work remotely and collaborate to identify and solve challenges that arise. Other suggestions are to hold open hours for video calls with managers, proactively share relevant learning and development opportunities and be responsive to employee needs.

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Shelley Meador, Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer
Allegion

There are technical things – from reliable internet access and VPN connections to collaboration tools and IT support – as well as privacy needs that should be considered.

Perhaps often overlooked, though, is continuity of relationships – particularly manager-employee relationships. According to Gallup, managers influence 70 percent of the factors that impact employee engagement. It’s likely this influence is amplified for remote employees who may not be interacting with other colleagues in the same way they would in a traditional office setting. That’s why, when employees work remotely, the power of maintaining regular connection cannot be underestimated.

The best leaders show up as coaches – offer regular check-ins and practice active listening; ensure employees have all necessary tools, including those for personal development; recognize good work that could easily go unnoticed; and clearly communicate expectations.

Engagement is key. No matter where your employees are working, you want to keep them involved, enthusiastic and committed.

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Miranda Nicholson, VP, Human Resources
Formstack

Founded in 2006, Formstack has been a remote-first company since 2013, with 60% of our current 220 employees being fully distributed. Successful teleworking requires a company-wide communication system to connect workers and maintain a cohesive culture.

It’s crucial to create a digital toolbox with multiple avenues for communication:

  • Slack has been instrumental in keeping our employees connected. We create specific Slack channels to keep communication flowing in an organized manner. For example, we have an announcements channel for company-wide communications and team channels for easy and focused communication and resource sharing among team members who work closely. Also, we have special interest channels just for fun, so co-workers can bond and chat about their hobbies or latest interests. This helps us overcome the physical distance between all our employees.
  • Additionally, Zoom is great for getting face time with our team for both small and large group meetings. It allows us to set up unique meeting URLs so that each meeting occurs in its own private space.

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U.B. Pravin Rao, Chief Operating Officer
Infosys

In difficult times, it’s natural to focus on what’s most important. For Infosys, that will always be our employees and our customers. We have advised all our employees to work from home wherever possible and have taken a number of steps to enable our employees to work remotely, leveraging collaboration technologies to stay connected with clients and colleagues.

We mobilized laptops for our workforce and relocated desktop computers to home environments. We’ve helped employees reimage their personal devices for official use, with information security policies and the ability for us to minimize security risks. We’ve improved our virtual private network bandwidth and even facilitated high-speed broadband connectivity at employee residences. These are all steps we are taking to accelerate overall employee readiness to be productive as they work remotely. Infosys Foundation is also opening up its learning platform so that teachers can continue to school students from home.

Key to all of this are having in place detailed and account-specific business continuity plans.

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Category Features, Pro Voices