October 10, 2020 | Soundhariya Viswanathan
Work-life balance is the key to healthy remote work culture
With 29%, India is the 2nd highest in the employee burnout and 41% feel that personal and professional lives are being negatively affected says Microsoft’s latest Work Trend Index that surveyed over 6,000 information and first-line workers across 8 countries.
The last 6+ months has changed the way India worked. The COVID-19 sped up remote working as the future for anybody who can telework. Since then, the line between work and personal lives has blurred. As the days pass by, the workforces across domains are trying to adapt themselves to the remote work model.
Companies have adapted to this new normal. Some have made this as a permanent shift, some are experimenting with various alternatives. Others will explore hybrid work models. A lot is still under the debate and remains uncertain.
2020 has been the most challenging year for personal and professional lives for people across spectrum. The topic of mental wellness has gained more relevance in the recent months due to the negative impact the pandemic brought on the global economy and daily lives.
At GoFloaters, as remote-first company we continue to build 100% remote company which is a motivating, vibrant and successful.
Being remote has been a part of our ethos. And so, we understand the importance of mental wellness and building a great team. As a team, we have always emphasized on the sensitizing and dealing with employee stress, isolation, depression, and other work insecurities. Our founders and key team members take the lead to engage frequently with employees and keeping a tab on our well-being.
For us, happiness with remote work matters! At a start-up it is common to have a burnout, but at GoFloaters we take work-life balance seriously. We love to inspire each other every day and create healthy work environment. There are 4 simple ways in which we analyse and keep a check on the mental well-being of our colleagues:
Over the years, at GoFloaters, we have found different ways encourage and better the art of remote working. Although, every team is different and may need to follow different approaches to building successful remote team relations. In this article, here are 3 practical ways in which we have adopted to flexi model in the remote environment has built a strong bond between our team.
For the nature of our business, being 100% remote is tough. But we continue to remain 100% distributed and flexible. One of the most sought-after benefits that we have been able to offer a non 9 to 5 approach. We let our teams decide their hours of working. Flexible work hours have always been essential.
We have our colleagues who are parents to young children; we have had colleagues who needed to provide nursing support at home, and while some preferred Indian standard timings, some preferred to work in the US shift hours. The teams and team members use the discretion to define their work (available) hours, the time they will be most productive.
Would you believe if we said, our founders are continents apart, we have teams spread across 6 plus cities in India. Yes! Texas, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Erode, Jaipur, and so on. We have never had a physical office and have always preferred to work from anywhere as long as the assigned project gets done and connectivity remains. Location independence has enabled us with the power to choose and work with the best of talents from the length and breadth of our country and
• Avoid peak hour commutes
• Traffic snarls and stress
• Saving the environment extra pollution
• Happiness with casual clothing
• Juggling with personal and professional duties.
And above all the arrangements to choose our workspace. At our convenience and depending on the need, we create our satellite office for a day and work as individually or collaborate.
We have mastered the art of remote working. We are fond of remote tools and digital products that help with resource allocation and productivity. Be it full-time employees or consultants or interns each of us are empowered with tools that help us synchronize and drive smooth flow at work. We use slack, google meet, or zoom, asana and host of other collaboration tools to foster better culture at work and harmony intact.
And finally, we create opportunities to meet and get together, both for work and pleasure. We are humans and crave for face to face interactions at some point. We may not be able to meet as a whole company but at different occasion, we have taken the opportunities to celebrate in-person milestone, birthdays, and mini conferences at a physical place. Spending time in-person is invaluable and boosts team bond.
Flexible working comes with its own challenges. But is not impossible to create a promising remote company culture. Being a flexible team may mean different things to different people and businesses. But it has a direct correlation to the mental wellness of the employees and to the productivity of the workforce.
Indian companies are still new to the progressive culture of remote working. A large part is unaware of mental issues related to work such as anxiety and stress disorders. Having workforces from different backgrounds, companies now should take onus and champion the cause of the mental well-being of the remote employees.
Over the years of our existence, we have realized nothing is more important than trust and autonomy at work. The right balance can create the right culture for a meaningful, remote work environment. Freedom at workplace enhances greater happiness.