April 1, 2021. The pandemic completely changed the way companies operated globally, and Novacomp was no exception. However, due to the good results obtained in the internal evaluations and at the client level, after two years of 100% virtual mode, this work format will be permanently maintained in the company, as long as market conditions and its clients allow it.
“We are going to implement remote work permanently. We owe a lot to our customers, to the type of service we are providing. Of course, we will occupy a balance, and that is why we set up a coworking space in Curridabat and another in La Sabana, for those people who need that balance and who are asking to return to the office, even if it is partially", added Esteban Solís, Novacomp’s Talent Management Director.
The virtual or hybrid work model is gaining strength globally (especially in the IT sector). According to data from the global auditing firm KPMG, 64% of telecommunications and technology companies already implement a remote work policy. This is a great benefit for employees who live outside the city in Costa Rica.
That is the case of Juan Carlos Romero Steller, who has been working with Novacomp for nearly 4 years. He is a resident of Puntarenas, a coastal province located 90 kilometers from San José, and who, before the pandemic, traveled to his client's office every day. Today, his work life has taken a radical change thanks to the flexibility of working from home.
"The truth is that I felt very stressed, tired, and not very productive. Unfortunately, Puntarenas is a province where job options for technology professionals like me are very few, and that's why I have had to move to the Central Valley to look for work since I graduated. Remote work changed this perspective, and today, I know that there are solutions, what is needed is for more companies to join this type of ideology like Novacomp, to be able to take work to distant places where opportunities are few and where there are also very valuable professionals. that can bring great value to the company”, Juan Carlos.
For Romero Steller, remote work has benefited his performance, and now he feels more productive, focusing 100% on projects without thinking about external setbacks. In addition, at an economic level, he has had great savings since he does not have to think about transportation expenses, fuel, tolls, extra food, bus tickets, and additional clothing, among other expenses.
“Remote work has allowed me greater flexibility and autonomy, a better balance between professional and personal life, it has also given me more freedom and conformity, but at the same time, it has made me a more committed and fulfilled person in my professional functions and personal. Novacomp has allowed me to work remotely 100%, and no company had had this before. Thanks to this benefit I can enjoy life with my family, with a better economic balance, with less stress and tension”, he commented.
Another benefit that we have had by opting for the 100% virtual modality is that it has allowed us to expand the number of collaborators outside of Costa Rica. Novacomp currently has a workforce of more than 600 people located in 17 countries (Costa Rica, Canada, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, El Salvador, Brazil, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Chile, New Zealand, and Venezuela).
David Urrego is originally from Colombia, he joined Novacomp in 2022, and although he has not had physical contact with his teammates, he has felt at home. “Despite the distance, the weekly meetings with the work team and the communication tools provided by the company make one feel in the same place as them. Human Resources carries out different activities such as contests that make people closer and friendlier to each other”, he said.
For David, working remotely in a foreign company has allowed him to surround himself with people with different cultures and professional talents, which has benefited his professional growth. In his opinion, remote work has also increased his productivity exponentially, added to the fact that the flexibility of schedules has improved his personal quality of life. "I firmly believe that being able to work with foreign companies not only provides a lot of experience but also gives a lot of weight to one's resume".
“The level of quality existing in Novacomp is something that I had not experienced in another job. You can see even the smallest details or processes are thought out and carried out meticulously to guarantee the quality of the result. The work environment is extremely friendly and empathic, it is nice to be able to work with such a company”.
According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), it is recommended that all adults perform at least 150 to 300 minutes of activity of moderate-intensity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week.
Thanks to remote work, many people have managed to accommodate their schedule to adopt a healthy lifestyle, create new habits with a particular sport, or simply as a form of distraction after the day. Even WHO data indicates that remote work has reduced the incidence of hypertension, stress, and depression due to healthier lifestyles and diets at home.
Mildred Ramírez, Senior IT TA Specialist at NovaShore is a clear example that the balance between remote work and physical activity is possible. She has been working for more than a year at Novacomp, she declares herself a “runner”, a sports lover. She highlights that the flexibility of the schedule gives employees a great opportunity to venture further and work in different places inside and outside their countries.
“The remote work format has allowed me to achieve the correct balance between work, my sports life, and studies, during my day I can accommodate the different activities without affecting my objectives and work metrics, being able to work from home allows me to have a much more effective schedule since I don't waste time commuting to the office”, said Ramírez.
In addition to promoting physical activity, Novacomp seeks to practice ergonomics and active breaks, short exercises of 10 to 15 minutes at intervals of two hours, to avoid tendinitis, muscle contractures, or vision problems.
Being a mother and working was a challenge for many women before remote work. This was the case of Odeth Arias, a Novacomp collaborator for more than 4 years:
"My life was much more active since I had to get up early just the same, but with more hurry, I had to meet my son's basic needs (such as it is to prepare most of his food for the day, leave him in daycare, prepare his snacks and get his extra clothes ready). Apart from that, running to get to the office, suffering from traffic and quite long trips to fulfill as a professional”, summarized Odeth.
The pandemic meant a "before and after" in terms of remote work for mothers. For example, according to data from the Inter-American Development Bank, in Chile before the pandemic, only 4.8% of women worked from home; for the second semester, this number rose to 27.6%. The same case occurred in Brazil, wherein in this same period 6 out of 10 women did remote work.
Two years after this change to remote work, Odeth notes that she now has more time to assume her role as a mother and do remote work at the same time, all thanks to a good organization of her responsibilities. “It has helped me maintain more peace of mind, focus and, of course, the experience of growth both as a mother and as a professional since even this remote work modality has worked quite a bit for studying”.
Wendy Tencio, a consultant at Novacomp for 4 years, has also witnessed how remote work meant a before and after in her life as a mother. For her, the beginning of remote work was very special, since that day her youngest daughter was one year old. Since then, she has been able to be more present in her growth.
“Traveling from Cartago to San José 5 days a week was exhausting, I wanted Fridays to arrive, hoping it would be 4:00 p.m. to go to take the bus back and knowing that you were going to arrive almost at 6:00 p.m. to dedicate time to my daughters (8 years old and less than 1-year-old at the time) to prepare the things for the other day and to do all that in a few hours so that you can go to bed early and manage to get to the same routine the next day.
Even though in that first year I missed out on a lot, I have taken advantage of these two years as much as I can to see her achievements, to see the moment when she was able to walk alone and to know that I was there and I could even record it was too much, being present in their illnesses, managing to go on appointments with them, they fill one up as a mother and a professional because I know that at another time I would not have been able to do it”.
At the Human Resources level, Novacomp has detected that for those collaborators who are parents, the remote work modality has brought more benefits and has even influenced their productivity when carrying out their tasks within the organization.
“There are people who are more motivated by this change to remote work, they can be closer to their children, knowing that they can take them to school. Their productivity has benefited, it has empowered them within the company”, added Sara Brenes, Talent Management Generalist at Novacomp.
“Thanks to remote work, my family life has improved and today I can enjoy spending more time with my loved ones. The fact of being able to go out with my family any day to enjoy after work is a great advantage since I can do it any day, not just on special dates”, added Juan Carlos Romero Steller.
Remote work is definitely here to stay! We invite you to listen to the second episode of the first season of our Global InNovation podcast, where we talk more about the future of this work model.
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