Remote Working in These Testing Times - by Amrish Kumar Jain, CIO Tally Solutions

Thanks to COVID-19, yes you read it right, our way of work, study and play have been revolutionized.

Digitalization - the fourth industrial revolution started in this century and is yet to touch the entire planet, even after almost 2 decades. But the COVID revolution evolving over the last 18 months has ensured that digitization has touched the lives of every human and is still evolving.

For the first time in the work front – both organizations and employees had to accept a new form of working – not just limited to Work From Home (WFH) but really Work From Anywhere (WFA).  

Flexibility and agility from all involved allowed for the economy to pick up after complete lockdowns. Grit and determination kept some organizations alive, while innovation and technology kept some relevant and more than alive. This current situation also offers unique insights into how well WFH operates, and it may play an important role in future policies that reshape the current structure of working hours, workplaces, hybrid models of work-on-premise and work-from-anywhere, of course dependent on the nature of the individual’s role and responsibilities.

WFH benefits employees, self-employed professionals, and organizations as a whole. The benefits include, but are not limited to - reduced commuting time, use of less office space, job satisfaction, and improved productivity. At the same time, the disadvantages of prolonged WFH — monotony, social isolation, and burnout — too, cannot be overlooked. However, as individuals, teams, and organizations, we must all find ways to capitalize on what is positive about WFH while establishing better work/life balance and while remaining connected and engaged with one another.

From our experience, we would recommend employee engagement initiatives at a regular basis, which have been tried and tested in our organization, in terms of keeping the monotony away.

Agile and flexible working arrangements which neither impinges on work-life balance nor reduce output; learning and development initiatives which encourage employees to keep sharpening their skill-sets, and to pursue their curiosity keeping themselves updated with the latest technology and industry standards in their respective areas of work; sharing some simple self-discipline suggestions on how to be more productive and effective by minimalizing distractions and taking scheduled breaks - are certain things which have worked best for us.

Every business wants to ensure it is work-as-usual independent of its workplace. To help uninterrupted working we maximized usage of technology on different fronts, and would strongly recommend one or more of these for your organizations too:

  • Enabling virtual connections from home to office
  • Individuals testing their respective system access from home for significant issues
  • Exhaustive testing of IT systems supporting in-house production to check for scalability, safety, and seamless availability from anywhere, anytime
  • Employee training on how to connect to WFA infrastructure, usage instructions, and finally, enterprise system integration to quickly enable and empower their ability to work from office-away premises, with trust and speed
  • Increased internet bandwidth support in their homes
  • Proactive enterprise business continuity plan/contingency plan to ensure "no single point of failure" across a range of critical company assets in the event of the worst-case scenario
  • Use of collaborative cloud-based tools to promote continuous and transparent two-way communication; cloud-based project management software that allows the team to collaborate efficiently
  • Secure remote access VPN was created to reduce vulnerability points; users can connect to the Internal Enterprise Network with reliable connectivity, and all Internet traffic is protected. Malicious Internet activity is automatically tracked
  • Next-generation endpoint protection solutions, a focus on collaboration, and the use of in-house enterprise software to assist remote users in staying up to date and updating their project status are all priorities

In our constant endeavor to build an IT infrastructure that is agile enough to support customers worldwide, flexible enough to allow our employees to work efficiently from remote locations, and diverse enough to support our entire eco-system, the learnings have been enormous.

While we continuously attempt to find the best way to empower an ongoing, flexible working environment in this new paradigm, organizations have a larger role to play that goes beyond providing the technology infrastructure to support remote work in these testing times. The need of the hour is to cultivate a culture in which remote teams can remain positive and motivated through consistent leadership communication and commitment.

Do hope some of the solutions we deployed and shared above will help you and your organization too in these extraordinary times. After all, extraordinary times call for extraordinary solutions.

Amrish Kumar Jain | CIO, Tally Solutions

With over 20 years of experience in the development of technology solutions in areas of enterprise applications development, product development, information security & IT services, Amrish has significantly contributed to the growth and development of businesses he has been associated with. In his current role, Amrish provides the vision and leadership for developing and implementing Enterprise Applications & Systems that align with the organisation goals.  

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