Anurag Vijayvergia is the Co-Founder & CPO of Lio – a mobile app that simplifies the process of recording and data management for its users. One of the key responsibilities he is trusted with at the firm is heading the Product and Engineering team. As the Chief Product Officer, he drives product direction and manages development.He is also closely involved in product analytics and user research initiatives.
A lot has changed in the last two years. The pandemic forced a large workforce segment globally to work from home, and many organisations are using the remote-first approach as their modus-operandi. In India, a report suggests that as many as 95% of organizations plan to continue working remotely for the next two years. Therefore, digital technology adoption has become a necessity in the pandemic zeitgeist.
Over 94% of companies have expedited their digital transformation programs this year. Moreover, the digital adopters in India have grown from 33% in 2018 to 55.3% in 2020, catalysed by the pandemic challenges. However, the remote-first approach has its set of challenges.
The imperatives for any organisation are the employees’ camaraderie, which makes a strong core working force, but the informal conversations over a cup of coffee are no longer the trend. New entrants face challenges as the good-old veteran supervision is missing. Every update needs an alert rather than a simple ‘have a look’ pat on the back. While they have their charm and importance, these factors hold little significance in today’s world, as remote-first solutions have given a counter to all these drawbacks.
Over the last decade, there has been wide acceptance of work from home models in many sectors which were niche. Gradually, it has become mainstream in most industries. The recent statement from the Indian government that IT employees can be allowed to work from anywhere in the country is testimony to the new era of the working landscape.
Having suitable applications and tools for employees working from home is paramount for smooth sailing. The right tools can help increase the visibility of work across different teams, thus, ensuring a transparent working space that can replicate physical presence to some degree. The more transparent an online working environment is, it would translate into lesser meetings and higher productivity.
In a traditional working space, synchronous communication is the way to go. However, when working from home, companies must develop good asynchronous communication practices to avoid errors and confusion. Organizations must use several collaboration tools to communicate effectively. Several apps enable employers and employees to set up chat channels that can be used to share information or participate in an online discussion. Video conferencing applications have seen a spike in the growth rate since the pandemic. These applications are no more an optional innovation but have become an essential corporate requirement.
Productivity and remote-first approach, a synonymous pair
The future of work is hybrid, as it’s not about the place; it’s about the potential. Accenture surveyed 9000 workers globally in April 2021, and the report suggests that around 83% of the surveyed workforce said they prefer a hybrid work model. Why? Because it brings the best of both worlds. The only way to be more efficient while working from home is to use tech-based applications that enable you to share documents with multiple stakeholders. It will not only save you time, but you will be able to access the data on the go.
Determining goal made easy
Goal tracking and management can be tedious tasks for any manager. Coupling it up with setting goals and helping employees achieve the same can be even more dreadful. Many companies enable you to focus on attaining your goals instead of managing them. OKR or objectives and key result applications are the platforms that aid managers in a remote-first world to a great extent. Several industry giants are finding OKRs to be more effective in focusing on what matters and embrace a strategic intent.
Reworking the spreadsheet model
In today’s day and age, the importance of cloud computing is more than ever before. With the hybrid work culture in place, the companies are relying on cloud services instead of collating physical data in their premises, and rightly so. Even though spreadsheet software has been paramount to the corporate world since forever, there is an increased need to access them anywhere and any time. Several companies, especially small businesses, are using intuitive yet straightforward applications to create customisable intelligent tables. They are not only feature-rich but also easy-to-use and accessible. With work from home becoming the new normal and the increased mobile and internet penetration in the country, it’s wise to say that a mobile-first approach is the need of the hour.
As more employees demand flexibility, the hybrid working model will become even more common by the day. Companies must put in place the right kind of in-house policies and use the right applications and software to ensure productivity and employee retention. The applications which help employees work on the go are the preferred options for streamlining working schedules. For what is predicted by the best of analysts, WFH is here to stay, and the mobile-first applications will be synonymous with this culture.