Technology is playing a vital role in reducing the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on people and organizations worldwide, by helping families and friends to stay connected, allowing people to order food and supplies online and, last but not least, making sure that employees are still productive at work when they’re not able to be there physically during this global lockdown.
The recent coronavirus outbreak has been a test for companies all over the globe. Unprepared businesses have suffered, having to learn very quickly how to respond. Organizations that are more advanced in their digital transformation journey have faced less disruptions as their processes are mature and supported by robust and flexible solutions, mostly on the cloud.
As Jordan’s leading IT Service Provider, Aspire has always been agile, working with the digital latest technologies and a flexible delivery model. Remote work is not something new for us and we have always made sure that our employees can work remotely if they wish, without sacrificing quality, communication, productivity, collaboration and security. In fact, even before the government introduced the lockdown formally, we had started executing on our business continuity plan which enabled 99% of our workforce to work remotely from their homes. Coupled with continuous messages on the guidelines to handle the COVID-19 situation, the digitally savvy teams at Aspire have been able to deliver uninterrupted services for our customers in Jordan and around the world.
There are enough posts online with tips and tricks on how to work remotely, how to be more productive and how to stay sane under these circumstances, however, we would like you to hear from our Aspirers themselves, on how they have been impacted by COVID-19.
According to one of our Senior Software Engineers, Omar Al Khalili, the COVID-19 pandemic and remote working situation has pros and cons. “The pros are: time management is more simple and easy due to less interruptions. Communication in my opinion is more effective, because I am the type of person who prefers written communication, virtual meetings and recorded webinars. You get to enjoy the things you have at home that you sometimes take for granted. You also get the chance to walk and be outside more often, in contact with nature, even if it’s just in your own garden due to social isolation.
On the other hand, there are a few cons as well, such as: after a few days, you will start to feel bored and that might affect your passion and productivity. Since we work with deliverables, this doesn’t tend to be such a big issue. The internet speed at home is not as good as in the office, which can slow you down when working on big complex components. The learning curve for new things becomes longer especially when an implementation involves a lot of client related logic. Lastly, due to social isolation we don’t have much of a social life at all, apart from social media, literally.”
As one of the relatively new entrants to Aspire, Abir Ghosh, our Director of Emerging Technologies & Partnerships, has an outside-in view of the situation. He stated that: “I was pleasantly surprised how easily, Aspirers have adjusted to the new way of work. For me working remotely or on the go is not new since it has been part of my life for more than a decade as a consultant. What is different currently are two things in particular – the first one being the uncertain duration and secondly, the physical isolation. I had been mentally ready for more than a week that I would need to work remotely due to the imminent lockdown. However, the open-ended duration made it a little overwhelming in the initial days.
Nevertheless, I made it a point to have a mental routine for my day mapped out and, soon enough, I was able to get into this new rhythm. Now, the work day passes by in jiffy with meetings and work lined up. The one thing that I try to stick to is a schedule and set a cut off time to stop working in the evening because it is rather easy to keep on working late when you are at home, especially all alone like myself.
The digital platforms available at Aspire have ensured almost seamless working – I use one or more of the online meeting platforms for calls/meetings. For other deliverables, most are collaborative in nature, we have been using one of the online document management solutions which has made our lives so much easier. Online chats over Slack, Skype, WhatsApp and other instant messaging apps keeps me updated on the latest happenings with colleagues, business partners and personal contacts. To be honest, I’ve not had to change our working style that much because of this lockdown, but look, I am definitely looking forward to going back and meeting people in-person soon. On a side note, there are some excellent online learning resources available these days, I have signed up for a couple to keep learning. Lastly, the threat of the COVID-19 spread in the background and the feeling of being physically disconnected has been hard mentally, especially with my family being back home. I try to catch up with all of them regularly and keep abreast of the latest happenings in India, Jordan and the world at large through the news and social media.”
One of our Web Developers, Mohammad Mujahed, identified that: “Honestly, during this pandemic, it’s been really boring to just stay at home, but what keeps me sane is working on my hobbies and communicating with people I love. My teammates are amazing! The way that we collaborate and communicate feels like we are working from the office even though we are remote, however, I do miss seeing them in person.”
Ahmad Fayyas, one of our Senior iOS Developers mentioned that: “Not much has changed in my routine. Aspire provides a flexible working environment, so I already used to work a couple of days a week from home. Luckily enough all I need is Wi-Fi, my pc and tools like Zoom, Slack, Jira, Zeplin and GitHub to get things done.
Our Talent Acquisition Specialist, Leen Khnouf, stated that: “Remote working ‘full-time’ is a new idea to most of us, myself included. It might be hard to apply it at first, because you have entire teams working remotely and not just a few people. Things could take longer to process because communication is much easier when you’re working at the office and you can just knock on someone’s door, or pop over to their desks, especially if you’re part of the HR Team and interact with people all day long. However, we’re overcoming those difficulties by communicating with all Aspirers and potential Aspirers on a daily basis.
Recruitment is still going strong at Aspire. We’ve actually just published a few more jobs on the website, we have over 20 open positions, so make sure to check them out! All of our interviews have gone online on Zoom, Skype and/or GoToMeeting since mid-March. So, if you receive a call from us and get invited for an interview, look on the bright side, you might get the chance to work at one of the coolest tech companies in Jordan, and no need to dress up, just put on a nice shirt and pajama pants and join the call. Apply now, we are hiring!”
Finally, to those who are managing a remote workforce for the first time, listen to your employees, communication and trust are very important steps to take. Most of the issues faced “on-prem” will also be the ones you face remotely. Sick days will happen, technology issues will happen (especially network and hardware related problems), employees having bad days and lacking motivation will happen, and concentration will be a big one for parents with kids that are now home from school. This combination will make for a challenging workforce to manage, be it online or in-person. We are here to support our employees and customers every step of the way, reducing the friction of adopting the newest technologies, working smoothly and seamlessly getting the most out of their tools while automating as much as possible along the way. Aspire is digital, and you can be too. Click here to start.