Debprotim Roy, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Canvs

An entrepreneur, strategist, and a creative, fact-based thinker, Debprotim Roy is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Canvs. In his role, Debprotim leads a young and growing team at Canvs, providing all aspects of leadership, and in doing so is continually analysing business models, building new processes, and systemising structures to develop a holistic service for his client and partners.

 

We are living in a strange world at this moment. With remote working platforms seeing huge demand, this period will serve as a reckoning for remote work in general. As the lockdown eases, employees still prefer to work from home. It will not be a simple return to work. Employers will need to plan to incorporate physical distancing into their workspaces, only limited staff and implement employee health monitoring systems. With remote working platforms seeing a massive spike in demand, this period will serve as a reckoning for remote work in general and enhance the company’s technology and communication platforms to accommodate employees who continue to work remotely. The new normal will be a hybrid of working from home and working in physical work locations, or some organisations will go completely remote because we have learned so much and there’s so much muscle around working remotely.

One should understand the implementation of remote working is broader and deeper than most organisations realise. While enterprises, government and small and medium-sized businesses learn to adjust to the new normal, organisations are building strategies to leverage partners to supplement provision and capacity to ensure robust remote working environments. We are going to see a much more distributed workforce. The entire employee experience will need to be as effective digitally or in a distributed new world as it would be in person.

To maintain productivity, a structural adoption of remote working is a must. Organisations need to keep their businesses running smoothly till things return to normalcy. And, as they do that they need to plan for continued growth, resilience, stability, and security. Dozens of business-oriented applications are now connecting homebound workers to collaborative tools that enable business continuity.  However, enhancing productivity through remote working brings several obstacles in times of crisis. Several companies had been operating with centralised infrastructure and tools available before the crisis but are now realising that it is not enough to simply provide the employees with the necessary infrastructure and tools. Tools are essential, but a successful migration also requires leadership, clear guidelines, and commitment to deliver the work. Companies now must organise everything remotely. This requires in-depth security changes and structural adjustments. This should not be taken lightly, as several cases of cybercrime have increased during the outbreak. While the technology involved is a crucial medium for remote working, the biggest challenge is that there was no preparation for this drastic shift to a digital way of working.  It also requires the commitment of each employee to securely navigate their work tools.

The topic of balancing work and private lives of employees also needs to be addressed effectively with remote working becoming the new normal. Through the immediate introduction of homeworking, employees are experiencing a thin line between their work and private life. Therefore, actively investing in your employees’ well-being becomes an added responsibility for organisations.

Productive remote working heavily depends on the willingness to work, ability to manage tasks virtually, organisational skills, proactive communication chops, interpersonal skills, among a few other factors. If you do not check most of these boxes, remote work is going to be tough for you.

Today most individuals are being forced to work remotely from home and are facing challenges that crop up due to a lack of a super formal construct around work. There are quite some people around the world who have perfected the nuances of remote work, and there is much to learn from them. Although everyone feels thrown into a situation of social distancing, it is not too hard to forget how much we pined for healthy personal time and space just a couple of months ago. Remote work allows you to work from anywhere, which is a great middle ground. These trying times shall make us understand the importance of upholding the spirit of humanity, helping each other during need and perhaps make a paradigm shift in the way we work and allocate our precious time on earth towards work and personal time and space.

Remote working has worked impeccably for many organisations. On the one hand, they have successfully benefitted from the remote working model, but on the other hand, there are still some firms that are struggling to avail its benefits. Some of the key steps that should be taken to achieve efficiency in this model are –

  • First and foremost, a system in place with set protocols for all individuals
  • Easy and free-flowing modes of communication with your team via messaging tools
  • Silted collaboration by allocating individual responsibilities within teams
  • Mitigate challenges and provide execution support through proactive communication
  • Regular updates and work summary to monitor the efficiency

Your tests for remote recruitment should hence be partially objective and subjective. As conscious beings, we tend to conflate physical separation with mental separation quite naturally. Thus, the ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ adage, Physical separation and psychological detachment meet midway in a compromise through constant communication. To sustain relationships at a distance, we consciously try to talk more to each other. When we work remotely, we do precisely that. Communication is the viscera of remote relationships. In that, the frequency of communication is an important aspect. Tying your workspace with products leads to an inundation of notification streams. Staying in sync with people at work leads to constant and continuous communications since to compensate for the lack of face time.

Ultimately, the current scenario might act as a catalyst for employers to allow more flexible working in future, given they will have adapted their capabilities to enable this now. In that environment, we could see the rise of the un-bossed organisation, where companies place more clear trust in the employees and distribute decision making.

Organisations will look at what they learned during the pandemic, focus in on its values and purposes and determine what skills and capabilities it needs to thrive in the post-coronavirus world. At the same time, we need to maintain all that newfound crisis response capability, because we will likely be facing the second and potentially the third wave before the vaccine is developed.

More about Debprotim Roy and Canvs

With a hands-on approach to solving problems, Debprotim has numerous credits to his name in developing complex fintech products. As a Physics graduate from IIT-Bombay, he employs his Engineering & Applied Physics knowledge to ensure flawless execution and meet client and partner satisfaction. Debprotim’s profound interest in machine learning, coupled with his deep insight into product design and emerging technologies is a powerful combination poised to take Canvs to greater heights.

Canvs is an online community of over 10,000 designers that offers Design-as-a-service to firms looking to fulfil their product design needs. This solution by Canvs called Canvs Club comprises of a smaller community of managed, vetted, distributed design teams of a variety of skills and domain experience. While providing access to a varied ensemble of skills via virtual teams, Canvs also provides a real touchpoint to companies via product managers leading the teams, who work with the client-side product and development teams on one side, while managing the entire design pipeline from Canvs’ end on the other side.

 

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