Like many companies, in the spring we switched to a remote mode of operation, and now we continue to work this way. Of course, there are employees who sometimes need to appear in offices one way or another, but those whose work responsibilities can be quite successfully performed from home do it from home.
In this post we will tell you what exactly helped to make the transition in a large composition and in a short time, share experience and useful resources. Maybe you will also come in handy if you decide to leave your employees in this mode of operation. As polls (and news) show, some companies have already come to this.
To complete the picture, let’s start with the fact that in terms of Rostelecom employees today it is:
- 7 federal districts of presence
- 11 time zones
- 65 branches
- Over 150,000 people
Processes and solutions
In startups and mid-sized companies, negotiating a transition is a bit easier. Deploy a VPN, agree with everyone what kind of software / messenger you use to work, how you fix and set tasks and, in fact, start working.
In a corporation of such a size as Rostelecom, it is almost always necessary to first write a detailed plan of action in order to try to foresee everything and then not slip at some stage, because such a slip risks very, very substantial braking of everything that you have in mind.
Therefore, we prepared IT for the remote in 5 main steps.
- Basic IT preparation for the transition
- Study of the solution and staff readiness for a new mode of work
- Forecast of possible scenarios
- Forecast of possible scenarios of our teams
- Defining teamwork and communication tools
Of course, we already had VPN gateways, as well as employees working remotely with their help. But their number was not designed for that horde, which now also required full-fledged secure access to the corporate network.
Therefore, in all macro-regional branches of the company, we, together with colleagues from information security, conducted a thorough audit of existing VPN gateways. Then they decided to increase their capacity by 5 times, as well as add backup ones. Just in case.
We worked on the issue of mass access for employees. It all sounds pretty obvious, but it’s important – how exactly do these processes work for you. Because if an employee from home needs to create an application for access and a VPN, but for this he just needs to do something from the office computer at some stage, this is at least strange. Yes, it is safe, secure and generally accepted. But you can change such processes without losing security.
We should also mention the work of call centers – we provided the guys with remote desktops with full-fledged transfer of voice traffic to home PCs.
Such a scheme of work helped us.
It is important to collect information that is associated with the transition to a new mode of operation, on a single resource. Otherwise, employees will constantly ask in the chat what to do, where to find this or that instruction, a link to the software, and the setup procedure. Or, in general, send each other in confluence, which does not work for half, because first you need to make applications for access. Instructions for which are also in confluence.
Therefore, a separate portal with detailed information, accessible from an external network, but some sections of which are opened only after login to the working account.
On such a site you can collect everything – information on how those who need or want to work in the office now How are things with business trips around the country and abroad. Basic information about maintaining health. Motivation and efficiency on a remote site. Links to the necessary tools and instructions for setting them up. And many many others.
The main thing here is to first launch the portal in a basic form with critical information at the start, and only then in the process to supplement it. Because in attempts to first collect a cool resource that will be as full as possible, convenient, buggy and beautiful, you can get into a situation when you start it in about six months. And then, if the team will have few perfectionists.
Here is an example of such a site, which we have made for employees, if it is useful and useful for you, take it into service. Remote.rt.ru
But not single employees. Fortunately, many services responded to the situation, and began to provide people with the opportunity to work normally, relax, study right from home, making their services free, or offering non-weak discounts.
For 40 hours of work, we put together a service “AccessAll.RF” / dostupvsem.ruwhere we collect stocks and offers from companies from all sectors. Telemedicine, food and grocery delivery, educational and entertainment services. And we continue to collect them, the list is open, if you want to add your service – just write to us. While there are 214 companies on the site, the leaders in attendance today are LitRes (1st place) and Wink (second place).
What is worth doing if you want to leave everyone on a remote site for a long time, including new employees
- Simplify as much as possible all processes associated with applications for access, software, tokens, and more. The faster a person can properly configure access for himself, the faster he will begin to work quietly, and not delve into applications. To simplify does not mean to lose security, get ready for a couple of hours with the guys from IS and find a convenient way to do this.
- Create a portal with detailed information for employees, what and how it works for you now. To whom to turn for help. How to set up a PC and get a token. On any platform convenient for you, you can never be beautiful and do not meet the requirements of modern design systems and the web – but that it just works and gives your employees answers to questions. Finish it later. We made a website, and significantly improved the mobile application for employees.
- Take heart rate polls. More important than it seems. Conduct them anonymously, because sometimes companies start voting on such polls non-anonymously and almost with reference to the work account. And a surprise – as a result of the survey, everyone is always happy with everything, everything works fine for everyone and generally no problems.
Therefore, anonymous voting and the most honest answer options. It helps to grope pain points, solve problems, and also to understand how to build work in the future. Because it is one thing, the very first survey about the attitude to such a schedule, another thing is a survey a couple of months later. You will know what percentage of your employees actually feel fine on a remote site and are ready to stay on it.
We have such numbers so far that we plan to leave about 30% of all employees to work from home.
And now, a couple of months after working from home, let’s be honest – how are you doing with this schedule?