SourceTrace is a SaaS (Software As A Service) company that provides comprehensive solutions to manage all aspects of the agricultural value chain. Venkat Maroju, CEO, SourceTrace, tells us more regarding the future of work. Excerpts from an interview:
DQ: How are you giving employees more control over their schedules?
Venkat Maroju: Our teams are very distributed over US, Bangladesh and many locations across India. Even most of our senior management has always worked from home. So, trusting employees, giving them control over their schedule and tasks has been part of our work culture.
DQ: How are you assessing on learnings from enforced experiments around WFH?
Venkat Maroju: The whole team going remote is a first for us. While the transition was not difficult, lessons are many. From creating smaller task groups to making normal work hours optional to allowing employees to manage the latent stress better, these are lessons that will be valuable even after the crisis is over.
DQ: This is a challenging time for managers. What advice would you give them?
Venkat Maroju: Empathy! That is the most important managerial skill right now. Employees have a lot of latent stress, the lockdown poses its own problems to families and more. Managers will do good to remember that just because people are at home, they are neither resting nor absent from work. A new work culture needs to evolve and managers need to be empathetic enough to make that happen.
DQ: How does work/life balance work in a crisis like this?
Venkat Maroju: Women have been handling work and home since long but for men this is new. Work-life balance takes a whole new meaning and they have to contribute their part. Work life balance in this new world needs balance between home as office and office at home. All of this can only work when personal and organizational styles work in tandem.
DQ: How are you now facilitating digital work?
Venkat Maroju: Digital working and tools of collaboration have been a part of our DNA.
DQ: How are the latest technologies going to redefine workplace?
Venkat Maroju: During the last decade, technologies such as remote attendance and keyword loggers etc., gathered a lot of discussion and adoption. While some of them will see a comeback, the rules of decent digiwork will evolve soon.
DQ: How do you plan for a future of ‘decent digiwork’?
Venkat Maroju: This is critical for any organization. The new culture just does not have to be laid out, it has to be followed by every manager and employee too. For a smaller organization like ours, it helps that we have always been a transparent and flat organization. Dignity has been a core principle right from the start.