How we deal with COVID-19 at Pragmatic Coders?
About remote work at Pragmatic Coders
To safeguard employees from the COVID-19 outbreak and minimize the potential risk for our clients, as many companies worldwide, we recommended all our employees to work from home as a precautionary measure. Starting from Monday the 16th of March, for the next 2 weeks, we will be available as always, although we will work totally remotely.
On the one hand, this is nothing new for us. Since the very beginning of Pragmatic Coders, occasional remote work was something we have been practicing a lot. On the other hand, moving the entire 60 people company to a full remote setup might be challenging. We have been predicting such a possibility at the end of February, so since some of our teams developed good practices and standards for remote work in the past we simply collect them and wrap together as a common company-wide standard and Remote Work Policy. Starting from the beginning of March we noticed that many of our employees are already trying to work remotely for a few days per week so we didn’t wait with Remote Work Policy and announced it at the beginning of March. That way people had a chance to prepare better for what happened.
On March 11th we reminded about our policy and standards and announced a potential full remote preparation. So everybody was obligated to be prepared that from the very next day we might need to work fully remotely and the office will be closed.
At the end of the last, we announced that starting from March 16th, 2020 we are switching to full remote mode. At that time we also took care of our people who were abroad visiting our clients and helping in product releases on-site. Fortunately, we managed to re-book their flights and bring them back home in the last possible moment just before the borders were closed.
Pragmatic Coders teams communicate with clients as often as possible and needed through joint Slack, Hangout Meetings. So from the client perspective, nothing should change.
To foster better communication inside the team we use Discord Application https://discordapp.com/ Some of our teams have been already using it when working as a part of the decentralized team together with our clients’ developers or during occasional work from home. So the solution was battle-tested and most of our people are already familiar with it. We simply promoted it to a standard at Pragmatic Coders.
In practice, every team member is communicating with anyone else at Pragmatic Coders via continuously opened voice channels, so the feeling of cooperation and accessibility will be almost the same as when working together in the office. We do not expect that our clients will start using this tool, we are just sharing this information on how we are organizing work in this special situation.
We will look closely at the quality of collaboration during this extraordinary period and as always, but more than usual we are looking for our clients’ feedback.
As always, our clients’ data is secure, all people working remotely are required to comply with our security policy https://pragmaticcoders.com/information-security-policy/ This Security Policy was approved and implemented on May 25, 2018, by Pragmatic Coders board
After a few days of full remote work, we had a teleconference to share our experiences. From what the product team leaders said we have very different opinions. A lot depends on what motivates the person. Some praise this mode of operation very much, others miss small talk in the cantina. We talked for a while about how to ensure the social integration of the company, there were some interesting ideas – from the video party to playing on-line games.
We have always been a team working remotely from the perspective of our clients. Now our clients also have to work in a distributed model. We want to help our clients adapt to these realities. For now, everything is going well. The next few weeks are a real agility test for many companies. We are convinced that our organizational culture and positive attitude will allow us and our clients to adapt to the new reality.