QA Director Erik Hittenhausen from Testronic runs us through their experience of remote working as a quality assurance company, and what has worked for them.
Pleasantly Surprised by the WFH Transition
Transitioning a massive QA team from secure labs to WFH and the timeframe we had to pull it off posed an unprecedented challenge and there were legitimate concerns whether we could pull it off.
Logistically, it was important that we reacted swiftly and comprehensively in outfitting our testers before the most strident of quarantine measures were put in place. We are fortunate to have supportive partners who were flexible and trusted us to get what we needed to get done.
In fact, the transition has gone so well, we are actively exploring the possibility to maintain certain teams working from home going forward wherever circumstances would allow for it.
IT team and VPN Routers were Critical
Our IT team carried a lot of the burden in the earliest phase of the transition and are clearly the heroes of this exercise. They were tasked with setting up a viable environment while maintaining our strict requirements for security, working 24/7 to reach these objectives.
Using dedicated VPN routers for all our remote team members was an early win for us, allowing us to provide a ‘plug and play’ solution. This allowed for a rapid transition while enabling both access to all internal tools and resources as well as best-in-class security for a WFH environment.
The Importance of Regular Video Calls
This won’t come as a shock, but regularly scheduled video meetings are essential to teams operating at the same high-performing levels as co-located office teams. Working from home can offer any number of distractions, and it’s easy to lose momentum. But regular calls can offer a routine that some need to stay focused and ensure that critical communications among team members continue. Video is great because it cuts down on typical miscommunications that can occur with audio only or text/email. Plus, it maintains the ever-important social connection within teams.
Working from Home Wellness
It was mentioned earlier, but there are clear employee health/wellness concerns when forced to work from home. While we have noticed while many people thrive in this new environment, others really do suffer from feelings of isolation and the lack of social interaction. You can never be sure who will fall into which group, so it’s important for line managers to regularly monitor the well-being of their teams.
Video calls are opportunities for employees to share concerns or problems they are having but can also provide a visual check for their managers. Irregular changes in appearance or behavior can serve as red flags for more serious wellness issues.
Finally, setting up purely ‘social’ video calls with your teams with some regularity is very beneficial both in managing peoples wellness as well as maintaining camaraderie and cohesion.
This article was written by Testronic. Testronic has over 20 years of experience partnering with video game and entertainment companies from around the world providing Quality Assurance, Localisation, Compliance and Certification, and Customer Support.
Navigating Now and Beyond
This is part of our Navigating Now and Beyond in partnership with Sports Interactive series - guest articles and guides providing technical and practical advice for games companies to navigate working now and beyond the current Covid-19 crisis.
Find more articles at our Navigating Now and Beyond hub here.