Several businesses worldwide face challenges because of the COVID-19 epidemic and the related protective measures. Our company is one of the lucky ones. We had the chance to react quickly without interrupting our projects or daily tasks. Our employees switched to home office all around the world seamlessly in mid-March, but this doesn’t mean that the transition was without its challenges.
We’ve asked some of our team members about their experience in home office, how they are affected by the changes, how they try to tackle the newly emerged hurdles.
Previously, our Business Development Executive and our QA Manager answered our questions. This time three members of our technical team share their thoughts: Manoj works as a Senior QA (Quality Assurance) Engineer, Raghul is a Software Engineer, and Yakesh strengthens our team as a Technical Lead.
Can you tell us a bit about your position, your daily tasks?
Manoj: I test the applications we develop and verify if the tasks are completed and the bugs are fixed by the Development Team and update the status of the task.
Raghul: As a software engineer creating WEB APIs using .NET framework and creating Stored Procedure on SQL Server are currently my tasks.
Yakesh: I have roles and responsibilities to research, design, implement and manage software programs. I identify areas for modification in existing programs and subsequently develop these modifications. I write and implement efficient code. Generally, tasks are assigned to me for the next release that contain features and fixes, and in between there are some urgent client requests that also need to be fixed.
Many companies have decided to continue work from home office for the safety of their employees, our company is among them. What kind of preparations were needed to make your position ready for home office?
Manoj: Fast internet connection is the only thing I need, because all tools and applications that I use are online or on VPN. At home, I’ve already had good internet connection. If there is any problem with the service, I will connect to the network with my smartphone and use the Hotspot. That’s the backup plan I have.
Raghul: All I need for home office is a laptop and a list of software to be installed. We had already been provided with all the tools we need for home office.
Yakesh: As developers, we need the system with the software tools installed, and of course, good internet connection. In my residential area (the suburbs, the editor), there could be occasional power cuts that might make the network connection unstable. In that case, I connect to the network via mobile.
Due to the nature of my work, I also need a quiet environment. I need to concentrate a lot to develop programs without any bugs, which is difficult if we get distracted.
How do you feel about home office? What are the new challenges and how do you try to tackle them?
Manoj: From my point of view, the most challenging aspect of working from home is the environment. We normally work in an office environment where we can easily interact with our colleagues and clarify any points, get answers to our questions.
Raghul: I couldn’t agree more as an employee who has just joined the organization. I’ve been working for the company only for a few months.
For me, it feels quite early to start working from home. But no doubt, this is what the current situation demands.
I would rather learn from experienced people, my colleagues in person than online. In the office, I can resolve any issues and doubts in just a moment; I can ask or call people in no time. But here, at home, it takes more time. Before I could get to know and get along with my colleagues and my seniors a bit more, we were transferred to home office. But I truly believe that all in all there is no problem with the communication. Information transfer goes smoothly.
Home office has a positive side as well. I’m working from the most comfortable place in the world. There is a lot of liberty in working from home. For example, there is no dress code, there is no need to be formal. The lack of commuting saves time. In cities like Chennai, it takes a lot of time to reach the office. Now, we can spend that time with work.
The given task must be finished during office hours in the office, but here, at home I can take my own time (as much time as I want) to finish the tasks on the given day.
Yakesh: In my opinion, working from home has both positive and negative aspects. I personally find it quite difficult to work from home, I struggle with the typical problems of the first-time work-from-homers. Especially, the many temptations of your home could pull you away from your work easily. I encountered distractions initially, so I isolated myself in a separate room while I’m working. The surroundings of the office give you energy to work faster where home does not.
On the other hand, there are some advantages. We save time, as we don’t need to travel. And our schedule is more flexible than in the office.
In addition to working from home, are there any changes evoked by the COVID-19 pandemic in your job?
Manoj: No, my job isn’t affected in any other way.
Raghul: Mine neither. But it’s possible that the number of Clients or projects will increase as a result.
Yakesh: Even though we are working from home, we have constant contact with our Clients. I don’t see any change apart from my home being my office.
Do you have any advice for people who are in a similar situation as you are?
Yakesh: I would like to suggest some tips to people who are also working from home.
Maintain regular hours. Set a schedule and stick to it. Take scheduled breaks. Keep a dedicated office space.
Leave your home at least once a day if you have the chance to do it safely. Your body needs to move to remain healthy. Plus, the fresh air and natural light will do you good. Do some exercises at home to reduce stress.