Do you remember when you were a kid and got your first bicycle that had gears on it? No more single speed silliness, but a real speed machine that could take you anywhere with relative ease.
You adjusted to using the gears quickly, and you did not give it a second thought when you downshifted as you were coming up to a hill to make it easier for you to climb. Perhaps you upshifted when going down a hill to give you even more speed without the pedals spinning around so fast that you couldn't keep up with them. You adapted to your environment to increase your efficiency with the available tools at the time, and you never gave it a second thought; you were switching gears.
In sailing, it is common to reduce the boat's sail area in a strong breeze by either reefing the sail or switching to a smaller sail altogether to reduce the sail's surface area. Too much sail is not necessarily a good thing. It only serves to heel the boat over (which, yes, is sort of fun) to a level that is not efficient. You don't go any faster through the water. You just heel over more and lose control of the boat.
Conversely, if the wind is too light, you want to add sail area by the opposite means. Boat racers refer to this as "switching gears." Just like on the bicycle, you are adapting to your environment to increase your efficiency. The sailboat example tends to take a little more work and forethought, but the objective is the same.
Fast forward to your professional life, and ask yourself how you are switching gears to increase your efficiency with the tools available to you?
We are in an unprecedented time of a global pandemic, and business as we know it is changing worldwide, whether we like it or not, and whether we are prepared for it or not. People are working remotely often, and you tend to rarely, if ever, go into an actual office or have a business meeting face to face anymore, and entire segments of the industry are disappearing overnight. It is easy to throw up your hands in despair and feel like you do not have control over this. Still, you also might want to ask yourself: How can I switch gears to adjust to this environment, and how can I push my business into the forefront of adapting to this new environment?
Companies that are adapting to and even embracing these changes are on the leading edge of establishing what our new workspace is going to look like. The "new normal" is flexible, remote, and adaptable while still providing your customers with the highest level of service.
When it became apparent to us here at Quardev that we needed to adjust our processes to serve our client's needs better, we wasted no time implementing a few of the following:
- Enhancing our online coding challenges helps vet candidates' technical abilities, rather than a typical white-boarding session with our technical leads.
- Participating in video conference calls as the norm, rather than the exception.
- Assisting delivery staff and consultants to set up remote work environments.
- Increasing the contact timing frequency with clients and consultants to more rapidly adjust to their changing needs.
- Expanding our resource pool to include non-local candidates that may not have been practical when there was a requirement that all resources were on-site.
Yes, it is different. Yes, it takes a little planning and adjustment. It is time to switch gears to get in front of these changes and increase our efficiency with the tools we have.
Come and speak with us at Quardev about how we have been leading the transition into the new normal, and we might even be able to give you a few tips about how you can make it easier to switch gears too.
If you are considering hiring remote employees, check out our tips for virtual onboarding of new hires.