Apr 14th, 2020

      How different IT-companies manage the remote work

      Scary statistics go around the network: all vacancies are put on hold, employees are transferred to the “holidays” at their own expense, and all processes are stopped for some companies. We opposed the general panic and collected the comments of various Ukrainian and international companies of IT-companies about how they organize work with the team and recruiting in the new conditions.
      We asked each company representative the same questions about organizing work, recruiting, motivation during quarantine, services that help maintain communication, and how not to panic and remain productive staying at home. The results are relatively stable: a complete (or almost complete) remote work, assistance to employees in technical matters and numerous rallies through video communication. Fortunately, many were able to flexibly respond to changes in the external environment and restructure their recruiting process to an online format. Among the most popular communication tools are Slack, Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Skype. More detailed results are already waiting for you below.

      Deloitte Ukraine

      Deloitte is a consulting and audit company that has been on the Fortune-500 list for the 20th time and holds its position in the Big Four. Among other things, the company is actively developing an IT department that creates innovative solutions for Deloitte clients. The company offers employees a dynamic development and a friendly atmosphere. We discussed the HR case of the company in a previous article. Our thanks to Maria Partner, People Partner Digital Solutions Lab at Deloitte Ukraine for her answers.

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      Maria Jovsa, People Partner at Deloitte Digital Solutions Lab

      How has the organization of work changed after workers began to work remotely?

      Our work pace is still dynamic:) The whole team began to work from home. We have always been flexible in terms of schedule, our team knows how to manage their time. Calls with teams, scheduled meetings, weekly meetings and work, in general, did completely come to the online format.

      How has the recruiting process changed?

      We adapt to the local and global realities that are now taking shape. Because of the quarantine, the interviews were temporarily stopped. It is important for us to get to know each candidate personally:)

      How do you motivate employees during quarantine?

      We constantly communicate with our team, call up not only for work. At this time, the emphasis is more on mutual support, rather than motivation. Now is a psychologically difficult time. Regarding motivation, we always manage it well)

      What services and software do you use for communication with your team?

      It depends on the project, each has its own features. For internal communication with the team we use work Email, Skype, and we discussed the preparation for Data Science Hackathon 2020 at MS Teams.

      What can you recommend to our readers not to panic but to stay productive in this situation?

      I would advise you to do a breathing exercise and focus on today. Due to the remote work and quarantine, you may get the impression that you are in a different reality. This can cause mixed feelings and, indeed, a sense of panic. Try to return to your usual rhythm of life, taking into account current features.

      Coralogix

      Coralogix is a foreign product company that has several R&D centers all around the world, it is engaged in the creation of DevOps tools that are used by many IT companies. In Coralogix you can not only endlessly learn and create important products but also relax on annual corporate trips. Thanks to the CEO of the company, Ariel, for all the answers we received.

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      Ariel Assaraf, CEO at Coralogix

      How has the organization of work changed after workers began to work remotely?

      We gave our employees much more flexibility to work in their own hours and shipped equipment for employees who needed to build their home station. So far, productivity increased, high attention is needed to be on the guard and prevent communication mistakes.

      How has the recruiting process changed?

      We are continuing to hire as planned, interviews are all done by remote. The onboarding process is the main challenge. 

      How do you motivate employees during quarantine?

      We provide them with everything that they need in order to properly and give them the flexibility to manage their time. In return, we expect them to give 200% of themselves to get through this period. 

      What services and software do you use for communication with your team?

      We are super happy with Discord app that helps us feel close while working remotely. Obviously Slack and Zoom are also in extensive use. 

      What can you recommend to our readers not to panic but to stay productive in this situation?

      Remember you can only control what you can control. This is a situation brought upon us and we need to do our best to thrive. Never waste a good crisis! Every crisis is also an opportunity.

      3DLOOK

      3DLOOK is a Ukrainian startup that develops an application that allows customers to try on clothes online. The company’s values are based on a focus on results and faith in the product they create. The CPO of the company, Alex, agreed to answer our questions.

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      Alex Arapov, CPO at 3DLOOK

      How has the organization of work changed after workers began to work remotely?

      All our offices have switched to remote work. The schedule has remained the same so as the times of daily/regular calls. Our initial core/sales/marketing teams were distributed between Odesa, Kyiv and London. For these teams, nothing has changed in terms of communications.
      The entire product development team in Odesa. But we are so used to carrying daily meetings that switching to video calls simply changed the format. All of us connect strictly on time and with cameras. Nobody needs to get any reminders.

      How has the recruiting process changed?

      We will change the processes and look at the results to decide how the recruiting and onboarding process will look like.

      How do you motivate employees during quarantine?

      Most important is that we communicate more often, arrange 1-to-1 meetings.
      The biggest motivation for everyone is in the growth of the company and commercial success with current and new customers, the release of new products. As soon as external factors change, all our internal processes and habits will return. And everyone understands this.
      By the way, we arrange internal contests in Slack, Instagram :)

      What services and software do you use for communication with your team?

       - Zoom is used for video communication.
      - Trello is used for communication between departments.
      - Slack remained the primary means of communication.

      What can you recommend to our readers not to panic but to stay productive in this situation?

      Save or switch your habitual lifestyle online mode if it’s possible.
      Take English classes, fitness classes, read books. Follow all the usual “rituals” - wake up, dress, start/end work at the same time.
      Panic makes it difficult to make the right decisions. It is better to follow WHO recommendations and reduce risk in affordable ways. If it’s horrible and the panic is growing, then it is worth discussing it with the therapist online.

      Sync.me

      Product company Sync.me is working on a mobile application identifying incoming calls and block spam. And it has already had 15 million active users around the world. Thanks for the answers from Research And Development Manager’s company, Vadim.

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      Vadim Harnas, RnD Manager at Sync.me

      How has the organization of work changed after workers began to work remotely?

      We try to keep the same hours’ frame as we had before, all employees should try to work the same hours to make the process more effective and faster.
      To achieve this goal we schedule more company meetings by using remote connection platforms (e.x Zoom and Slack).
      We didn’t stop any processes and try to keep the roadmap and milestones as before.

      How has the recruiting process changed?

      We didn’t stop the recruiting process, we think that we have better opportunities to gain good candidates in this period.It seems that we might have more candidates than before, but on the other hand, it might be that candidates might not look for any changes now.

      How do you motivate employees during quarantine?

      We are talking more about the product goals and trying to keep the employees calm about the company’s financial state.It gives them the motivation to work for gaining these goals because they understand that the company is stable.We also mention that anything depends on them by staying on the right way.

      What services and software do you use for communication with your team?

      We use Zoom for conference calls and Slack for private talks.

      What can you recommend to our readers not to panic but to stay productive in this situation?

      I think that the key point that we need to transfer our employees is that the crisis is temporary and in a few months everything will return to normal.
      When employees understand that the crisis has an expiry date it keeps them more calm and safe about the company and their position.
      In addition to it every company can think about taking advantage of this crisis and develop new features, app and services that can be useful for nowadays.

      Go Interactive

      The American outstaffing company Go Interactive provides product development in the areas of cybersecurity, healthcare, insurance, tourism and many others. The company promises employees full-fledged work on projects. It helps employees in accounting and administrative business, not creating an extra bureaucracy. The company loves to organize tennis and football championships, play board games and sing at parties. We asked questions about the changes in the work Co-Founder at Go Interactive, Serge.

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      Serge Taranov, Co-Founder at Go Interactive

      How has the organization of work changed after workers began to work remotely?

      We are in quarantine mode now. All teams are transferred to a remote, they work from home. Chairs, monitors and other necessary equipment were delivered to the developers' house. The office doors are open for those who, for whatever reason, cannot work from home. One of the representatives of the administrative team is on duty at the office every day, cleaning with antiseptics is carried out daily.The manager’s team calls up daily and discusses all the news on the situation with coronavirus in the world and in the country.

      How has the recruiting process changed?

      Internal vacancies (for example, an office manager) were put on hold. Most outstaff vacancies remained at work, interviews are conducted online. The onboarding of hires made before quarantine also takes place online: the delivery of equipment to the house of a new camera, a call with an HR-manager, a call with a team, an online lunch with a team.

      How do you motivate employees during quarantine?

      HR in touch with all employees, in general chats updates are given on the situation with coronavirus in the country and in the world. To maintain team spirit, they launched a contest for the best remote workplace (while photos with cats and dogs are leading), an online session of board games and charades is planned on Friday.We are thinking of organizing a couple of workshops, now we are choosing the topic.

      What services and software do you use for communication with your team?

      Slack, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype.

      What can you recommend to our readers not to panic but to stay productive in this situation?

      A crisis is not only a time of loss and stress, but also an opportunity to be rebuilt, introduce new techniques, become more flexible, and finally optimize. Support teams, communicate more often with key players, give communication 2 times a week at least.
      You need to try to find joy in the little things and believe in the success of your teams.

      The App Solution

      The App Solution is a Ukrainian outsourcing company that specializes in developing web and mobile applications, as well as other business solutions. At the core of the company's values is helping employees to develop. In addition, they often organize and take part in a variety of events: from hackathons for developers to meetups for HR and recruiters. Head of HR company, Svetlana, agreed to talk with us.

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      Svetlana Melnyk, Head of HR at The APP Solutions 

      How has the organization of work changed after workers began to work remotely?

      With the beginning of quarantine, the entire company completely switched to remote work. The work schedule has not changed, you start in the interval from 8 to 11 and work out 8 hours. Nobody goes to the office, PM organize the work of teams at home. For developers, nothing has changed in fact - there are task setting systems, there is a PM that monitors the work.

      How has the recruiting process changed?

      Recruiting is almost completely stopped. While the situation has not stabilized, we try to close all positions on our own.

      How do you motivate employees during quarantine?

      It is difficult to say something specific to our team in the conditions when nothing depends on us - business all around the world is at risk. Initially, we assembled a team of people who did not retreat in difficult situations and built a company culture around awareness and responsibility. We just know that we need to be patient and survive this period in order to become stronger.

      What services and software do you use for communication with your team?

      There is a corporate Workplace for communication in chats and groups. We conduct all correspondence there, post the latest company news. Video streaming can also be organized there if it is necessary. We use Zoom and Skype for calls. Some people use Hangouts.

      What can you recommend to our readers not to panic but to stay productive in this situation?

      - Equip the workplace at home and clearly outline the start and end of the working day, so as not to be distracted, but take short breaks to maintain productivity. During breaks, squat, push out and tone the body so that physical activity was kept) - Do not watch the news once again, so as not to worsen your mood and not panic. You need to be aware of the events, but it is enough to devote a limited period of time to viewing/reading the news, and then switch yourself. - In your free time watch positive films, read good books. Make cleaning the house and generally distracted in any way with useful things in order to be positive, because the virus will pass, but unwashed windows will remain:)A good mood increases productivity at times. - Take several online courses and improve your professional level. Coursera made many courses available during the quarantine. Also, interesting people all around the world posted their training programs absolutely free.

      Boardmaps

      BoardMaps is the company that develops the app helping drive effective management processes by connecting parties before, during, and after meetings and ensuring focus on decisions, actions, and results. The team of the company is client-oriented and attentive to details. We thank Jacob Bernstein for his answers.

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      Jacob Bernstein, Founder & CEO at Broadmaps

      How has the organization of work changed after workers began to work remotely?

      As a software company, we already had a positive experience with remote workers. And some of our workers were already remote. Hence, we did not have to change the organization of work at all.

      How has the recruiting process changed?

      We stopped hiring temporarily, with the exception of remote software developers. As before, we interview them through Zoom and ask detailed questions on their skills.

      How do you motivate employees during quarantine?

      Also, no change. All bonuses are paid based on results, regardless of employee locations.

      What services and software do you use for communication with your team?

      BoardMaps!

      What can you recommend to our readers not to panic but to stay productive in this situation?

      Make sure that all of your decisions and action items/workstreams are properly documented and accessible to all team members.

      Tupelo

      Tupelo is a London outsourcing company that provides consulting and software development services. One of the company's projects is the development of a service for quick communication between patients and doctors. Special attention is paid to the protection of patient data. Thanks for the responses of CTO Company, Murray.

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      Murray Rowan, CTO at Tupelo

      How has the organization of work changed after workers began to work remotely?

      Our staff often work remotely from home, so they were already well-positioned to deal with this extended remote scenario. No one has reported any issues.

      How has the recruiting process changed?

      We have not been recruiting during this quarantine period. But I don’t expect that it would impact us badly. We have completed fully remote recruiting in the past and are happy to make offers in that scenario.

      How do you motivate employees during quarantine?

      Our team remains fully engaged and is delivering well. We do not expect this to change due to remote working.

      What services and software do you use for communication with your team?

      We use Slack and Hangouts for a chat and video conferencing. These work well for us. We use Jira for Task details and workflow.

      What can you recommend to our readers not to panic but to stay productive in this situation?

      Take the opportunity to get a feel for remote working practices and tools, and consider being a more flexible company in the future. Remote has benefits if you can make it work for your company. You open up a larger market to hire from and many candidates in your local area will prefer remote or flexible working arrangements. The 5-day a week commute is a dead time and stressful for staff.

      Conclusions

      Of course, companies that are being top dog now have already practiced remote and used different tools for time management, task tracking and remote communication. But this is no reason to be upset for the other companies. Now it is the time to be flexible, to adapt to the team and current conditions. If you motivate your employees, provide all the resources for work, or maybe show your loyalty during hiring, so they will provide you 200% of results. Then quarantine will give you an opportunity for new achievements and an even stronger team than before.