As the world came to a standstill owing lockdowns across the globe due to Covid-19 pandemic, small businesses faced a great challenge, as a world wide economic crisis engulfed us. There was a health scare, helplessness, many countries rushing in with emergency measures to keep some livelihoods going, but this was truly insufficient. Lay offs were happening, salaries were being slashed, and these were even more pronounced in Third World countries like India.
Despite a huge stride in digital penetration, work culture in India essentially meant going to the office daily, and logging in hours. Many companies, even those that deal in Software, were not ready for such a transition whereby physical presence in the office could be ruled out. After the initial optimism that the situation would turn normal in a few months, it was evident that the pandemic was to stay. It was then that the companies started taking Work From Home option seriously, but with a rider that it would be a temporary switch. As covid cases declined and the lockdown was lifted, management and staff decided to go back to the old traditional ways. However, the recent spurt in covid cases has again posed a challenge, and it is becoming evident that Remote operations are here to stay.
Many companies, in the course of events, realized that Work From Home Permanently could be a good business decision going forward. With tools like Video Conferencing, Team collaborative platforms, Project Management Tools, such a possibility can in fact improve efficiency and keep the staff safe and more available. The time and effort spent in transportation, office management can be reduced considerably and the same can be invested in improving office digital infrastructure instead.
During the course of transition, IDEA Foundation saw an opportunity to grow its talent pool that does not face location challenges. This has been a big step forward, as we transitioned from a physical space to virtual team rooms, well scheduled meetings, online HR tools, and reporting systems. The time saved has been diverted to upskill existing manpower.
Encouraged by the results, we opened our Training & Placement Drive to new entrants. It has been a truly enriching experience as we were approached by amazing resources who were left in the lurch as placement drives through colleges dried up following pandemic.
It is time that organizations in India – at least IT related industry, management companies, think tanks, academic consultants – accept this transition and see this as an opportunity to go beyond physical confines and touch larger segments of the society that transcends geographical barriers.