In light of the publicly known facts regarding COVID-19, on March 16th, 2020, we made an unprecedented decision in the history of our company. From March 17th, until further notice, 95% of Bantotal’s 340 collaborators will work from their Home Office.
Why did we make this decision?
- Prevention.We are following the recommendations of local and international health organizations, so we can take care of each other as well as the rest of the society.
- Enforceability.The past days have confirmed that this measure has been enforced in many of the countries where we operate.
- Trust. That in this modality we will remain close to our clients.
This post aims to describe what we are doing at Bantotal, how we are preparing, and how we go by our day to day, in order to contribute to others from our experience.
Our work is not done in only one geographic place. From our different offices in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Mexico, and Uruguay, as well as our clients’ homes: we develop, extend, adjust, test, and install Bantotal, giving continuity to our business.
With this change in shape, we believe our daily work will also be different: we will not share the same physical space, we will lack the morning kiss, the high-fives, the winks, a time challenge, or a finger pointing up or down when someone comes up with an idea…
The first decision we took is that the Board of Directors (the management body of the company), integrated by six people, will be in permanent session, gathering on a daily basis through videoconferences with a fixed agenda and for a thirty-minute period.
Regarding official communications (internal and external), we have decided that there should only be one spokesperson and that it should be at the highest level. The designated person was Marcelo Kosec, our General Manager.
2. Prepared means
Previous to the execution of this measure, we took action to resize the resources needed, our infrastructure: Virtual Private Networks (VPN), Servers for remotely accessing the computers, and bandwidth suited for the extra load demanded by remote working.
In this scenario, it is essential to have tools that allow for an efficient communication. Working together requires chats, conversations, meetings, seeing a document at the same time, giving a presentation, and showing a video, among others.
Therefore, it is necessary to have a specialized solution for collaborative work. In our case, we use Microsoft Teams. Of course, email is still the tool used to formally provide information.
4. How we work
Work teams are permanently in touch; area leaders arrange and monitor tasks, providing a daily summary of the activities to prevent any diversion in terms of goals and commitments.
A rotating Support and Infrastructure team is present in our headquarters to monitor and manage the performance of the whole infrastructure.
Massive events of internal nature (presentations and talks regarding relevant topics) will not be cancelled. They will be carried out through other means, aiming to keep the sense of proximity and belonging of the team.
5. Good practices
With the purpose of guiding and organizing our collaborators, we gave them a protocol and a list of habits for proper remote working.
Stablish a routine and plan your day
Same schedule, same responsibilities! Different place.
Create a space dedicated to your work
If possible, designate a place where you can work from. Try to avoid noises and distractions.
Take full advantage of online means of communication
Email and MS Teams (chats and groups).
Make good use of daily meetings and interactions with your team.
Make distances shorter by having videoconferences.
Stay in touch with clients
Take the initiative! Remember you have the “Meetings” resource in MS Teams.
Make meetings a productive instance
Plan which points should be addressed, take notes, and share them in writing.
Optimize the use of VPN conection
Use it only when you need to access Bantotal’s network resources or remote desk.
Keep applying the security policies and recommendations of our company.
Tell your boss about any eventuality that may affect your work
For example, if you get sick, if you have connectivity issues
or if you are having a hard time accessing the resources, among others.
Considering that COVID-19 allows for daily unpredicted events, we are closely monitoring the situation and aim to make informed and agile decisions, so we can adapt to the changes imposed by reality.