Turning the Pandemic Into an Opportunity for Remote Work

Turning the Pandemic Into an Opportunity for Remote Work

The World Economic Forum is holding the Jobs Reset Summit for four days this week (20—23 October 2020). Each day will have a different theme: day 1 will tackle economic, growth, revival and transformation; day 2 will be about work, wages and job creation; day 3 will focus on education, skills and lifelong learning; day 4 will discuss equity, inclusion and social justice.

In time for the summit, Saadia Zahidi, the World Economic Forum’s Managing Director and Head of the Centre for the New Economy and Society, said that this event is an effort to leverage the effects of the COVID-19 health crisis. She believes that we can turn the pandemic into an opportunity for more work.

Effect of the pandemic

The pandemic has disrupted everything this year including global economies, world markets, and jobs. It is believed that the need for digital transformation and tech adoption will continue to increase. As the industries adapt and evolve, we would see that the changes are not only on the working setup from office to remote, but also with the nature of the tasks.

A lot of employees around the world have been displaced due to the combined effects of the health crisis, its repercussions on the economy, and the continuing rise of technology. Because of this, available job opportunities are not that many compared to the pre-pandemic times.

The future of work

The challenge now is how we can turn this disruption around and make it into something positive for workers. Though job opportunities will come from business decisions, it is still up to the employees if they want to prepare themselves for the future of work.

According to Zahidi, there is a need for reskilling and upskilling especially during this time of lockdowns and displacements. Reskilling involves training on an entirely new set of skills for a different role. Upskilling, on the other hand, means improving on the existing skills and deepening knowledge or abilities within the area of expertise for a similar role.

A study of the World Economic Forum suggests that by 2025, humans and tech will share tasks. In preparation for this, most companies and businesses believe that their current employees need reskilling and upskilling. But no matter the need for upgrading skills, the top priority right now is to understand the changes in the working environment. As mentioned earlier, the nature of the task itself will change. Currently, there are already obvious changes in how we do things or what we call as the new normal.

Final thoughts

The biggest upskilling or reskilling that employees need first is for remote work. This is especially necessary for those who are used to office-based jobs. The sudden mandatory work-from-home setup at the start of the year due to the lockdowns are not enough to introduce employees to this new working environment. They still need the proper training, reskilling for the use of remote work tools, and upskilling for their current tasks to match the needs of the new normal.

Watch the sessions we selected for you on the Future of Work from the World Economic Forum’s Jobs Reset Summit 2020.

4 Steps to Prepare for a Digitally-Ready Remote Team

4 Steps to Prepare for a Digitally-Ready Remote Team

We are now in the third quarter of 2020. So far, it has been a rollercoaster ride for companies and businesses worldwide who were forced to abruptly adapt a work-from-home setup to follow quarantine protocols. While some have already been freelancing and working remotely, there are those who still have no idea how to transition to this new normal. Their digital transformation may have been affected by the pandemic as well.

Here are the steps on how you can prepare or make sure that you have a digitally-ready remote team that can continue with business as usual despite the current crisis.

1. Rethink the workforce

At a time like this, think about the most crucial roles you need. You might only be needing freelancers, project-based employees, or consultants. The pandemic has taught companies and businesses about the importance of a blended workforce for a remote team where they strategically have a mix of full-time workers for long-term tasks, and freelancers or project-based employees for other tasks. This formation of a team increases the operational flexibility and agility while keeping up with the digital needs of today’s world.

2. Redesign work styles

As what we saw in the past 6 months, a drastic change happened to the office environment brought about by the pandemic. Work styles shifted from in-person to purely virtual. The challenge has been to maintain effective communication with the team even through video conferencing platforms. Superiors and managers will have to change how they lead in terms of having flexible and autonomous subordinates. Note how freelancers have built the foundation of trust just by means of online communication. The key to this fruitful virtual collaboration is having clear goals and objectives. Teach your remote team about the importance of being proactive and transparent while making use of online tools for work.

The changes in the working environment and work style also affected how we see the importance of skills. Right now, soft skills are what you should be aiming for and improving. Since you are preparing to work remotely, skills in communication and collaboration will come in handy. The versatility of being able to transition smoothly from office work to remote work is something that we should adapt to. Let go of what you have been used to in the office. Adjust to the needs of a virtual and remote collaboration with the team.

3. Develop agility

Of course, you cannot adjust and adapt if you are not agile. If you want to be digitally-ready, your team should be able to handle abrupt changes. In these times of uncertainty, we’ll never know what’s coming for us. Agility, flexibility, and the willingness to learn should already be embedded in our core. There are a lot of challenges and risks when it comes to creating a remote team. Instead of being afraid of changes, why not embrace them, stay curious, and have the initiative to explore on your own.

One way to know if a person is agile if he or she is comfortable with change and ready to adapt. Your team should learn how to handle the uncertainties of remote working and just keep on improving their skills even without the physical presence of colleagues. Embracing the new normal is already displaying agility in itself.

4. Continue learning

What is noticeable with freelancers is that they keep on developing their skills and widening their knowledge. In this way, they could provide all-around services for their teams. For remote workers aiming to be digitally-ready, technical skills are also something that you can explore. You can provide yourself or your team with access to online courses, mentoring, coaching, and interactive learning. To prepare for a digitally-ready team, you can learn more about online collaboration and productivity tools that you can use when you work remotely. As they say, learning never stops. The best way is to learn from each other as you all go through the journey of embracing the new normal and the future of work.

Final Thoughts

In order to prepare for a digitally-ready team, it is important to assess each member. Knowing their skills, whether technical or soft skills, can help a lot in determining what else you need to focus on and improve. Building a digitally-ready remote team is not a one man’s job. It is a collaborative effort into creating a team that is individually ready.

The new normal sets new standards for working. If one is not agile enough or flexible enough to adjust and adapt, the company or business will not be able to keep up with the rest of the world. Even though going digital means doing things virtually and online, the human touch through communication and our emotional intelligence will never be more superior than any technology.

On A Roll: Presenting The New Digiters

On A Roll: Presenting The New Digiters

After weeks of deliberation and preparation, the new Digiters have finally arrived. Despite the current global situation, we have proven to be unstoppable. We only compete with ourselves and improvement is our way to go. The Digiters are on a roll! 

We’re constantly evolving

The Digiters came to life around four years ago. Since then, the business model has continued to evolve to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the digital industry. This year, as an effect of the coronavirus pandemic, we are matching our services to the new normal. We are ready to face the post-COVID-19 world.

What’s new

In this latest version of the Digiters, it’s not only the website that has been revamped. The business model changed, and so did our mission, vision, and values. We are sharing our renewed purpose and that is to go digital but still be human.

People might wonder how we are going to make digital more human. The answer is simple. We do things digitally but ensure that our efforts are transformed into something that we can give back to others, specifically to less fortunate children.

You can visit our Giveback page to know more.

Driving change by working together

The Digiters are your extended team of creative and digital masters, always reliable and ready to take on your projects to help achieve your goals. We aim to provide high quality, yet affordable services delivered on time. Through our collaboration, we will be able to help save the lives of one million children which will be taken from a percentage of our profits. 

What you can expect

In the coming months, the world will definitely undergo a transformation. Lifestyles will change, work scenarios will be modified, the economy will gradually open, and people will live differently. As business industries redefine their old ways, the Digiters will be on standby for what is to come.

We are ready to provide services in web and mobile, graphics and design, digital marketing, and IT and customer service. By hiring a Digiter, you are not only keeping up with the changes in the digital era, but you also become involved in our humanitarian efforts by helping less fortunate children. Our social responsibility remains superior to what it means to become digital. It’s all about being human.

7 Tips on How to be Productive While Working from Home

7 Tips on How to be Productive While Working from Home

Since the World Health Organization already declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global pandemic, the question lies as to how businesses and companies will continue their operations. Employees around the world are advised to work from home to prevent the spread of the disease. If they are more inclined to the corporate lifestyle and office setup, how can they adjust to their new workplace? Here are some tips on how to stay productive even when working at home.

1. Explain your situation to your family members

You have to involve your family members and everyone in your household into this situation. They have to know that you will be working and not taking a vacation. Explain the need to respect your time and space. Their full cooperation will ensure a peaceful working condition at home.

2. Setup a proper work station

Sure, you have your laptop and you can take your work anywhere. But did you know that setting up a small area for working makes it more conducive? Make it more realistic by customising it to look like an office desk. You won’t feel a change of environment and you get to focus more on the tasks at hand.

3. Set a schedule and divide your time wisely

Working from home means you have all the time in the world. You just have to know how to manage it properly. Create a schedule of the things you need to do starting from when you wake up until you go to bed. This way, you would know when you should dedicate your time for working and what part of the day goes to other stuff.

4. Create your own routine

When working, set a list of things to do as a habit. Should you check emails first? What task should you do first? Would you need to check up on what your other colleagues are doing? When would you know it’s time for a virtual meeting? Following a routine makes it easier to adjust to the new home office lifestyle especially that you are working alone in an all too familiar environment.

5. Make use of technology to connect with colleagues

Having no coworkers around might make you feel anxious. Especially if you’re used to collaborating with an actual team surrounding you, the silence could be bothersome. There are a lot of online tools that help remote workers communicate and work as a team even when separated by distance. Use these technologies to your advantage. Video conferencing, virtual office, messaging apps, and task management tools can make your lives easier.

6. Reduce distractions

Truth is, you can’t really avoid distractions when you are at home. As much as possible, lessen your exposure to what causes you to be distracted and eventually procrastinate. This could be your pets, your family members, other personal matters, or simply the act of sleeping or eating. TV and social media could also be the top sources of distraction. You might even be tempted to browse the internet for irrelevant stuff. Even if no one is watching you work, focus on your task and act as if there is a big boss hovering behind you.

7. Remember to take breaks

Because you are working at home, you are no longer confined to a 1-hour lunch break time off. You can take breaks whenever you want. There is no reason to be burned out at home when you have full control of your time. You can take a nap in between, eat snacks, or even sleep if necessary. Just don’t forget to follow your schedule and finish your work at the end of the day.

Working from home is truly a rewarding experience if you know how to handle it. The important thing to keep in mind is how you can combine work and leisure without having to sacrifice the productivity and status quo.

Are you ready to work at the comfort of your own home? Do you have what it takes to remain productive even outside the office?

Preparing to Work Remotely: Lessons from the Digiters

Preparing to Work Remotely: Lessons from the Digiters

Having face-to-face collaboration and office setup will always be better for businesses and companies in terms of productivity. It has been the status quo for employers and employees working together. Clocking in and out, sitting on a desk from 9 to 5 with immediate superiors doing rounds from time to time, recognition and promotion for a job well done, pulling teams to a meeting… These are just some of the things office workers have been used to since time immemorial.

Although most studies suggest that 2020 will be the year of gradually embracing remote work, the whole world did not anticipate that there would be a need for everyone to work remotely from the comfort of their own homes as early as the first quarter of the year.

With the World Health Organization’s recent declaration of the coronavirus as a global pandemic, we all wonder how a company can adapt to a remote setup, especially knowing its importance to ensure continuous productivity and business operations. It’s not just the need to adapt but the need to succeed that is crucial. Sure, people will eventually get used to working outside of the office. But how will success be measured and achieved?

Transitioning from an office environment to remote working doesn’t happen overnight. There is a need to restructure processes and to change the culture itself. But with the current crisis in global health and the urgency of working from home, companies and businesses need to act quickly for their employees to adjust.

For us, the Digiters, performance and output have been our key focus regardless of the physical or virtual presence. We are a team of digital masters from around the world who bring value to organisations by offering our tech, creative and marketing expertise. So how do we reach our expected result and achieve success even if we are countries and time zones apart?

The top secret is proper communication. Effective and ongoing communication is crucial to our work and is an integral part of our business. Other secrets include maximising the use of technology as work tools, sharing the same level of passion in our own fields and merging our individual uniqueness into one culture. Knowing that we can rely on each other all the time is already an accomplishment. There is no such thing as barriers or borders. We are digital masters but we make sure we don’t lose our human touch. As we always say, #GoDigitalBeHuman.

Being a growing group of purely remote workers makes it easy for us to continue with our operations even in the midst of a pandemic. All we have to do now is to make sure we stay healthy in the comfort of our own workstations.

We have been operating with this setup for three years now. Yes, things were not easy at the beginning but we are growing and learning from trial and error. Our objective is to create an environment where we can all bring out our natural best wherever we are. So part of our mission is to help introduce this possibility, where a business or company can operate successfully even if the team members are not physically together in one room.

To help you prepare to start working remotely, here are some of our key learnings while running a digital-first, global team:

Trust each other

All team members should learn the importance of trust. If they are used to seeing each other and watching how they complete their tasks in real time, it’s time to put trust and have faith that everything will fall into place and succeed. This will only be possible through proper planning, project management and constant communication.

Discipline yourself

You can gain trust from your remote team by having self-discipline. Even if you are not working in an office, practicing proper etiquette such as reporting to work on time or submitting deliverables before the deadline goes a long way. When you are highly disciplined, you are capable of making logical decisions and finishing tasks right away. There is no room for procrastination.

Set goals and expectations

Working remotely where no one can see you does not mean you are free to do nothing. It also doesn’t mean you can escape your job. It is important to have goals and daily tasks so that everyone is clear on what output to produce. Always remember that you still need to accomplish something even when you are not in the office.

Embrace flexibility

One of the perks of working remotely is having the flexibility in terms of time. This can also be applied in the choice of what productivity tools to use. Make sure you all collaborate only on the platforms you need such as video conferencing, virtual office, messaging apps, cloud-based file repository and task management tools.

Be passionate

Of course, working remotely will not work well if there is no passion. You have to love what you’re doing or else, you might have the tendency to disregard productivity altogether and eventually achieve nothing at the end of the day. Without passion, there is no focus. An employee who is used to an office environment might suffer from lack of enthusiasm when working remotely and end up being a couch potato at home.

Learned a thing or two? With all things considered, how prepared are you to work remotely? Share your experiences with us!

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