Within a matter of a few weeks, it all changed. When COVID hit, remote working started as an alternate arrangement of working, but no one expected it to become a huge rage that would continue post pandemic.
There were days when we enjoyed staying in PGs, the daily commute with friends and colleagues, coffee breaks, chit-chat, and discussions and brainstorming with our colleagues in that office environment and cubicles.
Unfortunately, the pandemic hit the world hard, and in March 2020, like any software-based company, we also shifted to remote working.
While many thought remote working was the end of opportunities and productivity and is short-lived, it surprised many across Clootrack when it proved to be a better solution and unlocked the maximum potential of our Clootrackers.
The shift was a bit easier as we already had company laptops. The bigger concern was the uninterrupted internet connection. Having identified that requirement early on, all were offered an internet allowance so that work is not disrupted due to internet issues.
Not just that, keeping health and posture in mind, immediately all were encouraged to have a reimbursable office setup that allowed comfortable ergonomic desks and computer chairs.
As days passed, Clootrackers started loving the remote working environment - Not surprised at all – as it was made so comfortable with all the necessary things being taken care of.
Fung Basumatary, Senior Product Manager, says, “One best thing of WFH is that I do not have to spend hours in travelling to and from office. I can instead use that time to go for run and do yoga. Another, I get to spend more time with my families which would not have been possible unless I took leaves to visit them. Also, I am more productive working from home. One best thing about Clootrack is that, it does not feel like WFH is impacting the progress of the organization. Everyone is diligently performing their work and all are well connected via chats and calls.”
So started the survey to find how people felt and to check the pulse of people if they wanted to come back to the office. But every time the survey results showed that 95% of Clootrack members preferred to continue working from home.
And thus all our upcoming recruitment started to focus on remote working.
And there we go….we now have a Clootracker in almost every city of India. Take a look!
We are 100+ families now from different states of India, all along from North to South and East to West. The orange circles show the spread of our team across India, and the bigger the circle .. higher the team members in that city.
A Seamless Remote Working Experience
While we worked out a seamless remote working environment, we also focused on giving a virtual office experience. Our daily morning scrum switched to Google Meet mode, where team members can comfortably sit anywhere and give their updates and simple coffee break calls at 4 pm where people can join to discuss movies, sports, hobbies, current affairs, or even their pets and dinner plans. This is purely a fun call where members stay connected besides regular scrum calls.
Not just that, the monthly ‘All Hands Meeting’ gives a glimpse of the vision and mission, process improvements, and milestones, and ensures all are updated with new company policies, plans, and other important updates.
Bhavini V, Delivery Lead - Data & Insights, says, “For me , it has been convenient in the sense that there is no travel involved which saves a lot of time. It also allows me to work from wherever I want to . I like the fact that I can spend the remainder of my time with my family. The fact that we can have team catchups once in a while perfectly fits as one does not feel isolated.”
But for people who prefer to work from the office, there is no disappointment! If unmotivated or distracted to work in a homely environment, there is an option to work from their nearest office spaces that have been secured for Clootrackers.
Combat the Downside of Remote Working
While there are a lot of good things that we are speaking about remote working to combat the downsides, such as mental health a few programs are introduced for example ‘Your Dost’. It is introduced with the intention of fostering mental wellness where a panel consisting of psychologists, psychotherapists, counselors, life coaches, and career coaches, who understand you and guide you through completely confidential individual sessions.
Not just that, there is a constant encouragement to meet up with people in the same cities. Clootrackers from the same city meet up occasionally over lunch. And what more - that is it reimbursable!!
Now for the cherry on the topping for the remote working
We now have a yearly workation where all meet up in a fun workation and meet face to face over games, lunches, selfies, dinners, drinks, and much more…
The vacation that we had in Bangalore brought us together in a resort and spent 2 days, talked about family and hobbies, took pictures, played basketball, and danced. This has certainly helped to strengthen the bond between team members, and we became more comfortable communicating with each other.
Like how Senior Software Engineer, Gazal Agarwal, says, “It is important in getting the job done rather than from where it is done.” “Remote working has enabled us to save time by avoiding traffic and other distractions. It has also enabled us to work from anywhere and added flexibility in terms of work hours and work places.”
If our team loves remote working then there is no place for a debate over it!