What does remote work mean today? No one could have predicted the pandemic that took the world by storm in early 2020. Companies worldwide had to send their employees home, and quickly. The changes caused significant problems for IT teams especially for those in the middle of software development life cycle. They struggled to deal with password lockouts, cybersecurity issues, and entirely new workplace culture.
Some IT teams have taken a real hit as the pandemic forced them to work remotely. Fortunately for Epicenter, a ColdFusion web application and development firm, we work remotely and already run a successful team. Our remote developers, engineers, writers, and designers are based all around the world.
Benefits of Remote Work in Software Development & Design
- Lowered costs which translate to a better price for the client
- New technologies such as Trello, Slack, and Gsuite are simple solutions to enable remote teamwork. Just make sure you’ve dressed appropriately for a video conference.
- You can take the talent from anywhere in the world: bypassing the gaps in hiring pools due to geographical constraints. We have exceptional senior ColdFusion engineers with years under their belts, and they can work from anywhere.
- Many companies have incurred budget reductions due to the financial fallout from the virus. Luckily, a brick and mortar office is not an issue for a remote team. All of our resources are available to our clients, who need to prioritize their spending.
Remote Work Challenges and Solutions
1. Working constantly and ignoring exercise
There are downsides that Epicenter and other remote software development companies have experienced. Some employees noticed that because they worked from home, they moved around less. It took more effort to get up and walk around.
Solution: At Epicenter, the team noticed and started an exercise channel on Slack. Daily challenges get people moving with some healthy competition. It keeps it fun and encourages people to move in between meetings, walk to a park for lunch, or hop on the treadmill to one-up their teammate in daily steps.
2. Working-from-home isolation
Solution: Adeva, an on-demand developers network, had to become truly creative with a team that spans the globe. Sandra Pretova describes their favorite monthly activity, “Some of the engineers in our network are getting ready to play .gif battles – an online team-building game we started playing some time ago. Everyone gets together and competes in submitting a hilarious theme-related gif.”
The Epicenter team, when not developing high-end applications, speaks mostly in .gif.
3. Not establishing a work routine
Another challenge is productivity in your home environment. David Byers, a senior ColdFusion developer at Epicenter, suggests keeping your workspace separate from your home life. He also takes focus seriously: “I’ve curated my work environment to focus on concentration with daylight rated lights.”
Realistically speaking, no one knows how long the pandemic will last, but most companies are implementing permanent changes. Pat Byrne, the new CEO of GE Digital, writes, “The longer this lasts and people are working from home, the more people will be asking the question: How do we not only enable remote work, but how do we embrace remote work?”
If your team had to turn remote in a hurry, it’s understandable to have some bumps along the way. But there are ways to make working remotely not only manageable but fun and even cost-effective.