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39 (134) 2019
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Human Resources

Remote working – a future-oriented work model

By Dorota Mielnik, business development manager, Eversoft
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During my discussions with potential customers about working together in a remote working model I often hear the following objection: “I understand your point of view, but I like to have my team in the office with me.”

Yes, there are many advantages of having the developers in your office. However, the remote working model is equally beneficial and it’s worth investigating the benefits and value that remote working can bring to you. Today, organisations and tools used for everyday working have developed and evolved to such an extent that the justification for daily contact and direct supervision of your team is no longer fully valid.

This trend is particularly visible in IT. Indeed, developers and testers can successfully perform their duties from anywhere in the world without the need to be in the office.

It’s worth verifying the benefits and value that the remote working model offers while considering its implementation.

Employee efficiency and flexibility

There are many studies and surveys confirming that remote employees who are not exposed to coffee-machine gossip, impromptu meetings and loud colleagues are more efficient than their colleagues working in the office every day. According to SurePayroll [1], 85% of employees admit that they need a quiet place to focus and achieve maximum efficiency. This is also acknowledged by two-thirds of managers. The survey also showed that as the number of people working remotely increases, the number of sick days and days off decreases, more so as employees can flexibly adjust their working hours.

With modern tools supporting remote working it is hardly surprising that, according to Harvard Business Review, employees who perform their duties outside the office are more involved and 87% of remote workers feel more connected through the use of video conferencing.

The possibility to select employees in the global, not only local market

Of huge value to companies is the possibility to change their workforce from local to global. Today, with a shortage of software developers, testers and other IT specialists in highly developed economies such as the UK, Germany or Scandinavia, the possibility of tapping into the global labour market is invaluable.

Real savings

Savings resulting from not having to provide employees with workspace in the office; desks and internet are obvious.

Last year I saw companies from among others, legal, financial and telecoms sectors, who encouraged their employees to work in a mixed model, deliberately reducing the number of desks available. Presently in Poland, one of the largest public institutions responsible for social security has introduced a project that allows IT departments to work remotely.

Employee wellbeing

A happy employee is invaluable to an organisation – everyone will agree on this. Especially in the case of long-term foreign projects, the possibility to work from home without having to go away for long periods of time is very important. Various statistics show that on average 80% of employees say that they are less stressed and have higher morale due to remote working.

Recently, a new term – nomad workers, has been coined. This term describes people who choose to work remotely, which definitely increases their job satisfaction. There are even special nomad support services, such as Working Nomads and Nomadlist, which include a list of the best cities for nomads.

At the Eversoft Software Development Centre, we use remote working tools for both project management and simple communication:

  • For our everyday conversations with customers we use tools like, ZOOM – an awesome piece of software, which gives us many benefits, also there is a free version.

  • For our internal discussions among teams we use Slack – an intuitive and super functional tool.

  • The exchange of applications and progress measuring is supported by JIRA.

This combination works well for us in communications between our team members and in everyday conversations with subcontractors and customers. However, if customers have their own set of tools, we will adjust the communication channels accordingly.

Another possibility, which works perfectly well for us: if a project manager of a customer in the UK believes that at some stage of the project a direct partnership is necessary, we invite them to our office. We arrange for a desk, any equipment, and hotel accommodation and in this way the need to bear the costs of travel for the whole team is replaced with the expense of travel of just one person.

Remote working model – nothing to be afraid of

“We can’t afford to work remotely because we use agile methodology.” I don’t agree with this statement and I have a good example of my own. We are currently implementing an international programming project engaging several teams, linking dozens of countries into a network for the exchange of data. In this project, several teams cooperate at the same time in agile methodology, in different locations, with scrum-masters in other countries – and everything is done effectively and online.

Remote partnerships can work very well even in the most complex of projects. Recently I enrolled in a conference showing how far the concept of remote working and connecting employees online has reached. It is a conference on remote working carried out, of course, in a remote working model!
What are your experiences in remote working? Would you like to share your opinion with us?

Please email me at dorota.mielnik@eversoft.company or contact me via LinkedIn and let me know your thoughts.

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