Remote Working in India in 2020

In the recent decade, remote working has picked up in many parts of the world. But in India, its acceptance has been restricted as it has largely been an untested idea. A majority of traditional organizations in India do not allow work from home. Even with new-age startups, the option to work from home is used to offer a perk or to accommodate special needs.

However, with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, remote working has become an overnight necessity to ensure employees’ health and safety, while keeping the company functional and operational. Usually, organizations engage in command and control in an office environment, but with the current situation of working from home, everything changes. 


Finding a “Jugaad”

Most Indian organizations may not have been technologically or psychologically prepared for remote working but are now being forced to adapt themselves to this idea due to the looming health crisis. Although these organizations are grappling and struggling with the challenges of working from home, Indians will find a “Jugaad”; a way and a solution to adjust to this new normal work routine.


Understanding the Benefits

Indian companies have waited for far too long to adopt the practice of remote working – a style of work that has many benefits for both employers and employees, which include:


  1. Opportunity to expand the business to other locations with employees working remotely and connecting via technology, any time of the day and from anywhere
  2. Opportunity to assign location-based projects to individuals reducing huge overheads
  3. A cost-effective approach without having to spend on office space
  4. Employees learning to use technology efficiently and effectively, thus increasing productivity and creativity
  5. An Eco-friendly approach, thus reducing the carbon footprint of traveling each day


Making Preparations

To gear up for remote working, there are certain points that companies need to abide by to be able to smoothly engage in this new practice. Some of these points include:


  1. Identify roles that can be handled remotely and train employees on do’s and don’ts of remote access
  2. Identify projects or responsibilities that can be handed over to certain remote working employees
  3. Prepare a plan of action in conjunction with junior staff and supervisors/senior managers that will be followed by everyone
  4. Ensure availability and access to infrastructure such as laptops, software, Wi-Fi, etc. to all remote employees


Finding the Right Software

There are many programs and software available online that provide support to companies opting for remote working situations through online office suites. These online office suites not only help in storing documents or databases online that all employees can access, but they also help in keeping an official and open line of communication for better project management. Some of these programs are Google Drive, Zoho, ProofHub, Scoro, etc. that are paid software (usually a bit on the higher end of costs) but provide a wide range of top features required to run a business. There are also some inexpensive database software such as BaseCamp, HighRise, Copper Project and Barvas, along with free software such as Lark and Trello which often come with limited features.

While large corporate organizations can afford to invest in expensive online office suites for the longer run, small companies may only be looking for something free and basic to connect with colleagues officially but temporarily during the remote working situation.

“Due to the sudden situation of Work From Home, we had to look for a tool to have all of our employees stay connected. Instead of using WhatsApp for communication, which can be cluttered with personal messages and forwards thus causing distraction, we wanted to use something that was more formal for official purposes. We came across Lark which fulfills our requirements. We not only use it for daily check-ins and video conferences, but we also use it to store some files online for other colleagues to access, and it can be used across all devices so there’s accessibility on the move”, said the Founder / Director of QuantHub Research which is a small organization in Market Research Analysis. 


Remote working may be a new concept for many Indian organizations, but hopefully, it will eventually dawn on Indians that this is a new normal and it is here to stay. 


If you are interested in having your own remote working experience, check out our Virtual International Internship program held in partnership with Virtual Internships!