A proudly African company with offices that have expanded from Johannesburg to Nairobi, London, and even Dubai, SovTech is a technology company that specialised in custom software development. Everything from web and app development to blockchain technology falls within their scope of practice.
Chase le Roux, Commercial Director of SovTech, believes that all businesses have the ability to include augmented reality and AI into their business structure today, with a focus on reinforcing their success for the future.
Le Roux says that remote work means many things to many people. A distributed workforce is nothing new to his company, which has offices around the globe. But for many businesses, a lot of panic set in when the lockdown instructions rung out over South Africa.
Remote work is not the end of the world. Rather, it is the picture Chase and many other industry leaders see as the workforce of the future. Chase and the company sat down a few years ago and did a scenario analysis on the world of work: their prediction was that something similar to what has occurred during the COVID-19 crisis would occur.
As a result, the business started implementing work-at-home weeks to test out the gains and challenges associated with a distributed workforce. Being future-focused allowed their business to use ingenuity and find a way to bolster their business against future crises such as the coronavirus pandemic. This, according to le Roux, is the importance of having leadership that can look beyond the horizon.
ADAPT OR DIE
Accountability and adaptability are the two most important factors to surviving a massive environmental shift such as the changing world of work we are currently experiencing.
The belief that only tech companies can work from home is not true. It is possible for any company to enter the realm of a distributed workforce by engaging with technology, and using digital tools like Zoom, shared working folders, and keeping in contact with employees.
Le Roux reminded us of the 2008 financial crisis, which is the only other economic event that could be considered to have impacted business on such a global scale. Many businesses that are industry giants today, such as Uber or Venmo, were created during this crisis. The businessmen who started these companies were able to do so as a result of their agility.
When faced with a turbulent and rapidly changing environment, the inability to adapt will lead to failure. Chase emphasized that agility and adaptability are not incompatible with stability, though. A solid foundation is created by having to resist tough obstacles such as these unexpected crises.
KEEPING STAFF MOTIVATED FROM HOME
This has been one of the biggest challenges for business owners everywhere. Chase believes that as a leader, the first thing you need to do is remove the idea that the only blueprint for productivity that is feasible is that of a physical office culture. Although daunting, giving employees the autonomy to choose their own working hours and giving them some freedom will lead to productivity gains.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND WELLBEING
Morning check-ins and goal setting activities can help to drive a sense of inclusiveness and purpose across the business even during work-from-home periods. He stressed that micromanaging was not the correct style to deal with this new environment.
Letting employees know that you are available and open to answer concerns and questions breeds trust and improves company culture.
The SovTech office revolves around a foosball table. If they could conduct all their meetings there, they would. Chase stressed the importance of trying to create digital social moments for employee wellbeing, like quiz nights or silent discos. Allowing employees to engage with the company and its corporate identity beyond the boardroom is vital.
There is a collective thread binding every person in the world together right now. Connection has been created, and we share commonalities with other people and businesses we may not have before the outbreak. This mutual threat has opened up the opportunity for many new businesses to flourish, and to act in a manner of integrity, sympathy, and kindness to everyone around us in business as well as in day to day life.
To find out more about what Chase has to say about technology and the future outlook post COVID-19, please visit the video here