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More than 99% of our workforce is operating remotely today:Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Country Manager, SUSE India

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As a global company with a distributed workforce, SUSE has in place various processes and guidelines and tips for remote workers. During this global pandemic, all IT, finance and procurement teams have worked together to simplify our internal processes such as purchasing and expensing electronics items to allow employees to quickly adapt and set up their workspace at home, states Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Country Manager, SUSE India

As a global company with a distributed workforce, SUSE has in place various processes and guidelines and tips for remote workers. During this global pandemic, our IT, finance and procurement teams have worked together to simplify our internal processes such as purchasing and expensing electronics items to allow employees to quickly adapt and set up their workspace at home. Our employees are leveraging various communication tools from video conferencing solutions to chat apps to hold virtual meetings and discussions as face-to-face meeting no longer possible. We have also set up a dedicated virtual community space on our intranet for remote workers to share ideas and best practices on how to effectively work remotely from home. We also hold virtual talks hosted by leaders across SUSE organisations to encourage dialogues, share tips, and practical tutorials on how we can all stay engaged, healthy, and effective while working from home.

Key challenges

Remote working can become a barrier in personal communication when we rely heavily on non-verbal communication cues through social contact. Teamwork can also become a challenge when we depend a lot on face-to-face communication, however, now as we are limited to virtual communication, this sometimes could lead to miscommunication. At SUSE, we are encouraging managers and employees to be cognizant about time zone differences, individual’s home routine etc. that have been disrupted by the current pandemic situation and to follow tips and ideas shared among our leaders and staff. Network bandwidth and connectivity speed can also be an issue in some countries. Security risk can also become a heightened risk during this point in time. organisations must be prepared to adequately and conscientiously address these concerns when implementing work-from-home measures.

Best practices

Every organisation should be well equipped to deal with any crisis and ensures that work is least affected if any such situation arises. Business contingency planning needs to be re-looked to ensure agile and flexible workforce can be swiftly deployed with an adequate investment in IT infrastructure to support the operation. Companies must look into adopting, redesigning and reinventing policies that allow employees to work in any environment whether it is an office, home or any other areas especially during disaster time.

Strict cyber security rules and firewalls are essential and need to be reviewed regularly. It is equally important to keep employees engaged remotely and ensure open and caring environment is cultivated. For example, to ensure SUSE employees continue to be connected to the organisation, we have rolled out a quick pulse survey to check on the wellbeing of our employees and encourage them to use any of our dedicated COVID-19 channels (email, online community workspace for e.g.) and resources to maintain an open communication line with our leaders and managers.

Collaboration is key

Collaboration is as crucial to business success as making meaningful connections should be a priority for all leaders. This unprecedented situation has taught us that keeping employees engaged in fresh and authentic ways inspire amazing dialogues and connectedness, and telephone calls, virtual video meetings and digital collaboration will be at the heart of that. Building connections across the globe in virtual settings starts with the leadership.

Ensuring leaders are walking the talk as it comes to engagement enables a team to share a common purpose and vision. It also provides employees with the room to establish interpersonal relationships around the globe and collaborate on meaningful projects that deliver fantastic business results.   Three months ago, our workforce was 38% remote and still innovating and producing efficiently. Today, we’re seeing a shift to more than 99% of our workforce operating remotely given the current global environment, but do not anticipate a disruption to our business. We count on our employees around the world to continue productivity, while also ensuring they have flexibility to take care of their individual needs.


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