Covid-19 has transformed our daily routine. From going out for groceries to important business meetings, it is all new to us. Staying home during lockdown has proven frustrating for some yet brought out good in many too. Having time to reflect has boosted creativity and performance in a lot of us. While many offices find it hard to manage their teams online, Daastan has had to face nearly no change at all! Yes you read that right. We have had to change none of our working habits, rather improved even more. Want to know the secret to our growing success? Keep scrolling!
Combating Covid-19 – Da’Knights On A Mission!
Team Daastan, better known as Da’Knights, work in a virtual office since day 1. Our team of diverse and talented individuals are spread across Pakistan. From Islamabad to Peshawar, Lahore and Hyderabad, our team operates from all corners of the country. We know its unusual, we know it seems unrealistic, but trust us when we say this, our team is more supportive and helpful then any office in the country. Online meetings were our norm. Through automation and digitalization, we have equipped our team in all spheres of work. So when lockdown happened, we were ready to take action!
Daastan’s Work From Home Approach
Perhaps the only difference we faced during the present Covid-19 is a shift from ‘work-from-anywhere’ to ‘work-from-home’. We talked to our CEO Mr. Ommer Amer about how he manages a virtual office. Read his comments below:
Q. How does Daastan manage remote-working? Has it ever affected your performance or been a hurdle for growth?
We use digital collaboration tools to track and plan work. Furthermore, since our team is relatively small, we follow a flat communication structure. Everyone assigns each other tasks and speaks directly. A central database with task lists segregated on a weekly, quarterly and annual basis helps in keeping everyone aligned to company’s goals.
Umm, yes, sometimes it does become an issue because of power outage or internet connectivity but since we keep everything planned and structured, it doesn’t cause much problem.
Being far from each other, how do you make sure your team maintains work harmony?
We have a very strict hiring process where we make sure that people who really live and breathe literature are chosen for the roles. We take passion, punctuality and honesty very seriously. Anyone lacking any of these three traits will never make it into the team. Once they land in, then it’s just a matter of time when a debate on a book starts and then we all jump in like voracious readers.
Tell us the challenges you faced while establishing a virtual office.
Our early years were super tough, primarily because I had limited experience in running an actual business and ensuring that we generate cash and pay team. Creating value for which people pay is a challenge. We tried to manage things using google docs and excel sheets, sometimes on emails. We tried tonnes of stuff but everything failed. Some tools were good but the team couldn’t adapt to them and what our team would adapt with was either too expensive for us to afford or too cumbersome to scale. Finally, after many iterations, we settled with Hubspot, Zoho Mail, Weekdone and Timedoctor.
What are the benefits of working in a virtual office?
It is cost effective and easily scalable. What I really love is that it brings accountability and transparency in the company’s culture. Everyone knows what others are working on and how much they are contributing in the company. It’s a win win for everyone.
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