Among the challenges that the coronavirus pandemic has posed for companies worldwide, the need to adapt to remote work is probably the one that has most affected their internal organization. Luckily, the IT industry was one of the best suited for facing this situation. Any successful software development company understands that its strongest pillar is its team - and the people that are part of it. Companies with a strong culture are aware of the importance of constantly finding new ways to keep their workers motivated. To those that share this mindset, the challenges presented by the pandemic have become not an obstacle but an opportunity to reinforce their culture and create more robust, more effective teams.
At eagerWorks, we have introduced a few best practices that have made it possible for us to make the best out of the experience of working remotely. Below, we have listed some of the strategies that we have undertaken during these past few months. We believe you’ll find them helpful to boost productivity in the work-from-home era that we have now entered.
1. Reinforce the bond of trust
As most companies have learned by now, remote work can improve employee satisfaction and efficiency. Still, there’s one thing that is absolutely necessary to make this possible in the first place: trust. If you are part of a team in which relationships are based on trust, then the place you work from doesn't have to make a significant difference.
Transparency is an excellent way to create and maintain a bond of trust. At eagerWorks, we always try to provide our team members with clear and thorough information about the organization, our projects, and our goals. Having access to this information helps them along in every decision-making process. Also, we make sure we do our best to convey to our team members what our central values are, constantly reinforcing our company’s culture and the human bonds within the team.
2. Make sure everybody is comfortable and rightly equipped
When our team at eagerWorks started working remotely, the first thing we needed to acknowledge was that the new situation represented first and foremost a challenge for every one of our employees individually. This meant we needed to make sure that each of them could perform their work with the right equipment and in a comfortable environment.
We encouraged our workers to find a space in their homes where they could always be quiet and free of disturbances. We also offered them headsets, monitors, and even chairs if they were needed. This way, we were able to make sure that we were helping them create the best possible working conditions and a healthy personal work environment.
3. Keep communication fluid
Fear of poor communication used to be one of the main arguments against remote work. But many companies have found out that this problem can be more or less easily overcome if they provide their teams with the right communication tools for their everyday work.
The primary communication tool we use at eagerWorks is Slack. We created a “check-in/check-out” channel where everybody can let the others know if they are online and available. Online meetings are held through Meet or Slack, and we encourage our employees to use their webcams to create a sense of proximity even when they are not together in the same room. But communication tools can also be used for purposes aside from those exclusively related to work since we consider that encouraging the team members to get to know each other better is beneficial for the company as a whole.
4. Keep the team’s spirit high
Today, most software development companies are aware that creating deep human connections beyond the activities related exclusively to work is key to maintaining their teams satisfied and productive. So one of the actions that you can undertake is scheduling online meetings where your team members can share entertaining activities or just relaxed conversations. This will offer everybody the opportunity to know each other better and more deeply.
To this end, all of our team at eagerWorks meets twice a week during lunch break to share a pleasant and relaxed moment. On Fridays, we have fun together playing online games. We also try to find different ways to express our team members how much their work is valued. Birthday cakes, experience gift cards, and home-delivered meals are all gestures welcomed by employees and intended to underline the priority of their well-being and overall satisfaction.
5. Track the team’s engagement and satisfaction periodically
Being able to measure how your team members feel about their work is an excellent way to develop strategies to keep them motivated and overcome issues when things are not going as you expect. Remote work has only emphasized the importance of this.
The strategy we used to this end was implementing a Work Climate Survey with scores and comments. Our employees can express their feelings about the current state of the projects they are working on and their ideas for improvement. This survey has become a handy tool to keep track of our team’s needs and feelings and make informed decisions about improving their satisfaction, engagement, and efficiency.
Our successful experience adapting to working remotely with our team and our partners during these past months allows us to guarantee that we can develop highly productive relationships with our partners in the US and other countries as a nearshore software development company. So if you are looking for a team of expert software developers for your Ruby on Rails project, don’t hesitate to contact us at eagerWorks.