9 Lessons from Tech Firms Transforming Remote Work

The coronavirus set in motion a number of movements. One of them, indisputably, is remote work.

These days, every company that can is asking its team to work from home. Outside of the tech sector, that shift is huge: Until recently, many industries saw remote work as a way to accommodate workers with health issues, not a norm.

Because tech leaders were already up to speed on remote work, they’re now thinking through version 2.0. The first step was simply getting workers set up at home and on Slack. With no end to the pandemic in sight, the new question is: How do we make it work for the long haul? 

A number of tech companies, we learned, have found ways to do just that:

1. Expand your defensive line.

“Hackers are thrilled: Your corporate defense now has to include everyone’s home internet network, including all of the devices connected to it. Are you ready?” 

— Mike Novotny, founder and CEO of Medrio

2. Set up a hybrid system.

“For our 60-plus engineers and designers who asked for it, we’re now implementing a hybrid solution: a safe office environment, kept to the highest possible hygiene standards, while the rest of the team can continue working from home. Supporting and uniting our on-site and remote teams is our priority.”

Martín Palatnik, CEO of December Labs

3. Make mental health support a must.

“At uSERP, we do weekly team meetings via videoconferencing, daily Slack chats, and Friday happy hours to boost team unity and, more importantly, take care of everyone’s mental health. Remote work doesn’t have to be isolating.”

Jeremy Moser, co-founder of uSERP

4. Do all that you can digitally. 

“COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerabilities of businesses that rely heavily on manual processes or paper-based transactions. The silver lining is that it’s a chance for technologies like smart contracts to show that digitizing is more efficient, reduces operational risks, and streamlines remote work.”

Yuval Rooz, co-founder and CEO of Digital Asset

5. Choose your tools wisely. 

“When everyone is working remotely, it’s important that tools are accessible. Take video production: Any brand trying to engage people and create connections around their product or service must master the platform. That can’t happen if videos are tough to make, time-consuming, and late to the market. What’s needed is a tool anyone on the team can use, regardless of their video-making know-how.”

Mariela Leibovich, marketing director of Wochit

6. Beware of burnout.

“Many managers are worried about employees slacking off at home. To me, the bigger risk is burnout as the boundary between home and work blurs. Being proactive is key: In fact, one of my clients — a B2B SaaS company — is moving to a four-day workweek for the summer to give its team a break.”

Gallant Chen, independent growth advisor

7. Get back to your physical prime.

“Now that we’ve all gone to virtual bootcamp for the last few months, the second wave needs to be rebuilding our physical health. I encourage adaptations that promote wellness for those who continue to work from home, like standing on an Airex pad while using a standing desk converter.”

— Jay Oppenheim, owner of OPP Fitness

8. Don’t let breaches go undetected.

“With how sudden the migration home was, data breaches almost certainly happened along the way. Expect many of them to be announced when workers return to the office, or once security experts have had a chance to hunt for threats. Credential theft, phishing attacks, and insecure endpoints are potentially huge problems waiting to be found.”

— Jeff Multz, chief revenue officer of Digital Hands

9. Mind the details.

“We were surprised by the productivity of our team while working from home. But as time goes on, we’re noticing a lack of attention to detail. Balls are getting dropped, directives are being lost in translation, and the team’s frustrations are showing. We can’t wait to get back to the office.”

— Jess Miller, director of client services and business development of Whitehardt 

Whether working from home is the new normal or not, it’s the reality we’re all living in. The faster we find ways to adapt to, learn from, and enjoy it, the better. 

Brad Anderson

Brad Anderson

Editor In Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.

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