Only IT people will survive: how IT companies switched to remote work and what was the most difficult

Top Remote Disposal Issues and Business Readiness

In one day, we transferred all offices to a remote format

work. Of course, we prepared for this a little in advance,because it was assumed that such a situation is possible. Moreover, they did it before the official order, because of concern for people, because, at least in Moscow, the risks of getting infected on the way to work were already very high. Therefore, we decided that it would be better to dismiss everyone for remote work a little earlier. Moreover, thanks to our own products, we were ready for this.

63% of companies, according to the results of our customer survey, are satisfied with the remote work format. And 41% are ready to leave this format further.It was a little surprising at first. Although there were predictions in this regard: that everyone will try remote control and understand that there is nothing to worry about, after which a massive bankruptcy of office buildings will begin. It is clear that not all companies and people are ready for this, but in general, everything is not bad.

The majority said that the main problem with remoteness is the lack of personal communications. In second place is low motivation andinvolvement, in third place is the complexity of control. For the overwhelming majority of clients, Bitrix24 has become, in fact, the main tool of work, because they no longer have the opportunity to work offline. Considering that we are faced with a similar situation in the same way, we faced a huge responsibility. Firstly, we had to provide a fairly large influx of customers and loads, since they began to use the tools much more and more often, and secondly, they correspond in terms of the product situation: what we give to customers so that they can interact in this format.

Video calling culture and office in every home

Due to the current situation, we have changed updates of mobile and desktop applications.It was important in order, firstly, to enable more people to communicate, since before that we had a maximum group call of four people, this was due to the architecture and the load on the channel. We had to redo everything, and in April we opened group calls for 12 people, today they are available for 24 people. We also worked on Tasks and Projects: we released effective Mobile Tasks, as the load on them increased greatly, and a large number of our clients began to use this service, giving each other tasks and controlling them. The next part that we put ahead of our plans is working with online sales. Due to the transition to online, the demand for them has become very high. Then we released a tool called "Sales Center" and "CRM terminal" - this is the ability to issue invoices for payment in any chat, immediately accept it, up to the point when a courier without a cash register through a CRM terminal accepts contactless payments from him ... All this diversity has been drastically revised, because we needed to give our clients the opportunity to work in new realities, and not look for other tools. In addition, we removed the restriction on the free plan. Previously, there was a limit of 12 people, but now the number of people on the free plan is not limited.

Everything turned into video calls, video conferencing and chats. We used to have an offline component when wecould meet with colleagues in meeting rooms, you could go up to a colleague, sit next to his computer and see the details, discuss something, look at the code and make a decision, help or ask for help, but now all this is not available. Despite the fact that we are already a fairly distributed office, the number of communications was great, because the marketing department constantly communicates with each other, and the developers, who are on different floors, and it is easier for them to talk via video link than to go to each other. Well, the offices communicated with each other in the same way online. To date, the number of communications has grown exponentially and is of great importance to us. Business processes are also important to us. The things we did the old-fashioned way had to be digitized.

Our task was to make the person, being at home and continuing to work on their affairs, feel the effect of being in the office. That is why we have such a culturalthe rule is that we can call on video without warning. That is, as we did before: we wrote to the chat and asked to dial, but now we can call each other without prior agreement. This keeps our employees in good shape and allows us to maintain the effect of presence, when any comrades can come to your office just to talk to you. Mandatory morning phoning at the beginning of the working day for most of our teams, which in one way or another work together, in order to greet each other, quickly discuss a short plan of action. We have a huge number of calls and communications to discuss any issues, the number of communications has increased dramatically. Another interesting feature, at least in our Moscow office, is the story of informal communication. We used to have a tradition: at five o'clock in the evening we would gather in the kitchen for 15–20 minutes just to drink tea and chat on abstract topics, we have kept this tradition, but now it happens online. It works great, it keeps people involved in the team, there is always something to talk about, share personal or work stories and maintain personal communication, which is so lacking in remote work.

We have converted a lot of logistics processes into digital. For example, by signing contracts that we havego constantly. The number of events held by the marketing department during this period still remained the same. All this is also necessary to organize, sign contracts, pay bills and closing documents, exchange with all contractors. For the majority, we were able to transfer the turnover to an electronic document, where we could not - inside we digitized everything to the maximum. And today, for example, in order to agree and sign an agreement, I do not need to do anything, except what I can do in my mobile phone. That is, I receive the text of the agreement and the notes on agreement with lawyers. I can look and make sure that everything is in order with him and put a tick “Sign”, and on this the contract will be considered signed. The same goes for my colleagues who work with these documents. They do everything online: they upload these documents, which go into the approval chain and come for approval. We have transferred most of the logistics operations online, and today, in order for the documents (about 10%), which still remain in paper format and come to the office at our address, we have to rake our hands, everything else we do in digital.

24/7 support and benefit from your own tools

The transition to a remote work format even increased the development efficiency and the speed of the release of modules and codes. For most of our counterparties, my partners, these formats have also taken root. Therefore, remote control is not so terrible as they said at first.

In order for everything to work well, we have to maintain a fairly large infrastructure. The cloud service should always be available on100%, so we have distributed our infrastructure to nine countries. Now there are more than 16 data centers, in every location, in every country where we are present in terms of infrastructure. Today more than 6 million companies are registered in our service around the world. We work in 18 languages ​​and in every country of the world: this is a separate subject for pride, probably, not to find a country or territory, or unrecognized territory on the globe, where there would not be at least one of our clients. In addition, we have two independent data centers. We managed to build a fairly efficient infrastructure, now there are more than 600 servers, designed for millions of clients. At the same time, we are practically among the ten most loaded services in Russia.

We are now just over 450 people, and we are all distributed around the world. We have our main headquarters in Kaliningrad,because our company is from there. Most of the employees work there. In addition, we have offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Kazakhstan, Belarus and so on. Several offices are located in the USA and Europe, in addition to offices, we have also had a significant staff of remote workers for more than two years. They were needed in order to provide customers 24/7 in terms of technical support, because serving customers around the world, you have to "close" all time zones, and for this our support team is very geographically distributed. Most of them are in Russia, and we have many, including native speakers of other languages, to communicate with clients around the world.

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