Working from home. The way of Yobota

Sasha Mazhar, Head of People at Yobota

As the coronavirus situation unfolds, the British Government imposed measures on a national scale. At Yobota, we are doing everything we can to make sure everyone is safe and able to do their part in the company. 

Little has changed in the way we do business.

A few weeks back, we announced that, as a safety measure, all 65 members of our staff switched to working remotely. In this unpredictable situation, our goal is to keep the high standard of service we’ve accustomed our clients with. Moreover, we are proceeding with hiring as usual. The approach is a little bit different, that’s all. Instead of meeting in person, we are working from the comfort of our homes via the Internet.

This is how we do it.

So far, our activity has followed a smooth path, some people might even call it routine. To keep it that way, we are guiding ourselves by a list of rules.

Touch base every day.

We’ve replaced the teams’ collective standup with a written check-in people do in their own time on a dedicated Slack channel. 

Plan in advance.

Not everything can be done in writing. For important topics, we set up calls. We make requests in writing, via Slack, and allow a few good hours for an answer. This is how we respect each other’s schedules.

Batch questions.

When requesting information, we offer context and think of possible follow-up questions. To be efficient and shorten the response time, it’s important to try and anticipate outcomes. This goes well with the previous point of planning.

Communicate working schedules.

Working from home takes the commute out of the equation and might change our schedules. To eliminate uncertainty and frustration, we let our teammates know roughly when we are available. Changes are usually communicated in our daily check-in sessions.

Manage expectations.

We are aware of and respect each other’s work schedules. It might take longer to solve certain issues. That is because people can be focusing on different things at the same time. Once a message was sent, the only thing we can do is wait for an answer while addressing another issue.

Flag unavailability.

We are trying to make the most of technology. Slack offers some great options. ‘Away’ is a great mode to set for long lunches or similar activities. ‘Do not disturb’ flags in serious situations. However, sometimes a simple ‘I’ll get back to you in two hours’/ ‘I am busy, X might be able to help’ do the trick.

Be kind to one another.

Isolation is testing us all. Some of us tend to cope with it worse than others. At times like these, communication suffers. We are mindful that an apparently grouchy message is sometimes just that – apparent. What’s more, to relieve the stress and make up for the scarce social interaction, we set up a Hangouts session every day at 4pm. We discuss everything else besides work and coronavirus.

This is how we cope with this challenging situation at Yobota. What’s more, we’ve introduced a policy designed to help the parents in need. We also made sure our staff knows exactly what to do if they have symptoms or have already been diagnosed with the virus.

These are hard times that test our ability to work together as a team but also stay together as people. We are here to go through it all. Together.

Wishing everyone all the best,
Yobota team (all 65 of us)

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