It took the pandemic, the lockdowns, and the dreaded 2020 to reshape a work-from-home culture as it stands today. Boundaryless workplace model adapted by several companies make headlines as the curiosity of employees, freelancers and business owners around the world juggle in feasibility.
Digital Conversions Media (DCM) adopted boundaryless work culture in the year 2012, with work-from-home facilities even before the pandemic, while operating brick-and-mortar offices in employee-density regions including Dubai and Lahore. Not only did the company brave through the pandemic, but also thrived on the foundation that was laid a decade before the first-wave hit.
In the toughest of times, Digital Conversions Media launched new products and services like al giftcards, TicketsToDo, and many more. DCM sprawled its presence in six countries around the world including U.S, India, Philippines, and Egypt. How did Digital Conversions Media, a small-scale digital technology company in the UAE become a global organization at a time when the world had shut down?
The answer is simple; Digital Conversions Media was always a human-centric workplace. People-centric workplaces excel, especially during challenges, because employees look after the company and not the other way round. The pandemic era was the time that Digital Conversions Media could truly show its strength. With almost all companies looking to adapt the work from home culture, sooner or later, here are some of the insights that may render helpful to make boundryless work culture a success.
Trust and transparency for results:
One of the many lessons that the pandemic taught us is that the employees can be trusted to do their work, and a company is trusted to sail through tough times. Trust and transparency are the foundation of building long-term success. There are many companies that started taking screenshots of employees’ laptops to monitor their work-from-home routine, but is that really a sustainable way to build a company? At DCM, work-from-home team has their own leads, who conduct meetings, ensure that tasks are completed in teamwork and partnership, so that at the end of the day there are results to show, and not the nitty-gritty of the day’s tasks.
Building leaders for growing environment:
If you trust, you empower and empowered people create empowering environment. DCM believes in creating leaders, who will create more leaders. The holistic growth environment, available to those working from home inculcates discipline, accountability and responsibility. This practice has helped expand team beyond boundaries.
Global talents for opportunity:
Not confined by regional boundaries, the boundryless work culture has helped DCM employ members from towns and cities. For example, a small hill station in the foothills of Himalayas in India, Darjeeling, has its own set of members and interns scattered across different units and working with teams globally. Darjeeling is becoming a talent-density hub for DCM and this alone inspires a grand exposure to become a part of global workspace from any part of the world.
Non-tolerance to toxicity:
DCM identifies toxic as “anything that demotivates people.” Some of the toxic office culture such as gossiping and groupism that affects productivity can be avoided in boundryless work place culture. However, that does not mean toxicity is completely out of the picture for work-from-home employees, but steps towards identifying a toxic trait and resolving it before it gets worsen is a top HR priority at DCM.
As companies go boundryless, or even hierarchy-less, new challenges emerge, and that includes a big question of what roles the individuals have to play to be the most productive. At DCM, the answer is be versatile to do the highest-value-work, which means you do what you’re best at, and yield the best results that actually makes a difference in the company. A content writer writes blogs that fetches daily 10,000 traffic, or an SEO expert does the task of ranking number one. Being able to measure the highest value work makes every individual inter-functional and an expert.
Communication and Collaboration:
Proactive communication is the most important part of the work, even more so for work-from-home individuals. A policy to be responsive within a day, and an actual initiation from the members end, help projects cross the finish line sooner. Tools like Slack, Flock and even Google Chat, helps in quick responses, prompt calls and huddles.
One of the attributes DCM looks at when recruiting is “value-based honest hard-working people.” The company is mindful enough to invest in people with positive attitude. Growth mindset is monitored during the probation period of six months. Growth mindset is defined by learners who stretch themselves to their full potential by embracing challenges, learning from criticisms and finding inspiration in the success of peers.
Mental health is a priority:
Addressing mental health issues at work is not a taboo at DCM. When someone addresses battling anxiety because of work, or shrinking into depression, the teams are encouraged to step in and create a safe and comfortable space for them to talk about and chime in to help with work matters. Any one can be battling mental health issues, so each member is expected to be kind and respectful on how they address and work with each other.
While these are tried-and-tested examples of how boundryless work is championed at DCM, it is important to know that new kind of boundaries have emerged. More psychological than geographical, and that needs a lot of work.