How to Ace WFH Set-up: The STU Way

August 13, 2020

Who would have known? We are as clueless as you. Last year, everything was doing well, but then 2020 shifted gears. Some companies have to bid goodbye, others barely struggle to survive. Offices became empty, bedside tables transformed into office desks. The world has changed, so as our work set-up. 

It’s been four months and Startechup has successfully tread the tide. We are not a perfect company but we, thus far, have continually evolved into a more dynamic team, for us to safely say, that we are acing the work from home set-up. 

Here’s how. 

1. Use of Proper Communication Tools

While it is known that communication is necessary to maximise productivity, choosing the best tool that best compliments your developers’ and company’s needs should not be  tolerated. Luckily, Startechup utilized the best tools and methods to improve communication, some of them created internally.

Tool #1. Project Management App

The web/mobile app integrates Trello to update and organize tasks, Slack for real-time communication between the client, the developers and the Management and Bitbucket to keep the team updated for whatever changes and implementations related to a project code base.

Tool #2. Project Time Tracker

This web app takes track of our developers’ time dedicated to different projects. It also automates our bi-weekly emails – weekly plan and wrap-up – for efficient communication of updates and progresses.

The app also enables our developer to jump from one project to another with ease without losing track of time.

But, wait! Though these apps are internally-made and personalized, the tools that are being utilized and integrated here are readily available for use – Trello, Slack and other email services. All you need to do is create a plan to organize communication within your company.

2. Company Support

The pandemic has caused lives, jobs and relationships. Many suffered and still are. In the middle of this crisis, to whom do you ask for help? To whom do you gather strength from? Who do you run to?

Luckily for us, our company has been ever since our source of hope and support – from giving out pocket wifis to make sure we stay connected at home, handing out bikes for transportation, and distributing food packs – fruits and vegetables – so the team need not go out and avoid and lessen the risk of contracting the virus. 

Our company has been thinking highly of the team’s welfare. Has your company extended a hand yet?

3. Know your Team’s Response

Aside from the clients, and more than anything else, the backbone that keeps our company standing still despite the challenges industries face today, are our employees – our most valuable assets. It should be in our best interest to know how they feel about the newly-introduced work set-up. 

Below is an actual Slack Poll conducted to get a picture of how the team feels about the work from home arrangement. This is our way of identifying emotional states brought about by our new approach to work.

As you can see, a large number of our employees feel fairly satisfied with the new set-up, a few even rated very satisfied. With this result, it is evident that the WFH set-up is successful in as far as the employee’s mental state is concerned. It also opens windows for discussion when employees expressed dissatisfaction, thus making room for re-evaluation and assessment to make situations better for every employee.

Bonus: How STU Team Ease Boredom

It is a known fact that boredom is an inevitable effect of working from home. Surprisingly, the team came up with a lot of ways to have fun while at home. When asked of ways to escape the feeling of being bored, here’s what the team says:

Aside from the common things like listening to music and watching movies, which got a higher number of members who engaged in them, cooking and gardening as a form of entertainment were also considered. 

There are also other ways the team find amusing while at home. From working out to reading books, to singing, to playing online games, to spending time with family, to playing with kids, to surfing the internet and watching tutorial videos, to video chatting with friends and loved ones, from eating to sleeping, and from annoying and playing with their pets to building gundam kits. 

Takeaway: What to Learn from STU

Working from home can sometimes be stressful for both employers and employees; may result in low productivity, reliability and lack of accountability. However, with the proper tools to aid communication and the right amount of company support, along with the team’s acceptance of the new work set-up, we are positive that you too can ace the work from home arrangement. 

About the author: Ryan Wabe - Operation Manager

After spending 10 years in the ESL industry, Ryan joined Startechup team as operation manager. In charge of HR ( part of the following processes: screening, interviewing, recruitment), manages company Social Media accounts - creating content, posting. And more. View on Linkedin