WFH Becoming The Future In IT Sector:
I recently saw this article where Gartner (Gartner Research) published an article about how working remotely will be a rising trend and most of them will follow WFH on high demand, most businesses didn’t agree with the approach, especially in the Indian workplace. First, many organizations prefer employees to be physically present in the office, rather than being in different locations. Second, many of them believe that productivity will be affected if employees work from home. And also there are many possibilities of this approach being misused.
Before Pandemic only below 10% of employees work from home. In India, there are too low. In 2013, International debate on WFH started when the CEO of Yahoo introduced a ban on working from home. Most of the organizations agreed and opposed. But, see who is working remotely now?
While most of the companies adopted remote work during the pandemic and others are still in process of adapting to this new trend. In the future, businesses will have this as their key tool to maintain business. They may also offer their company support, work from home policy, and other security changes. Nowadays, organizations have also faced increasing scams too.
Challenges Faced By Software Testers Working Remotely :
1. Communication :
The major challenge faced by any tester in WFH is communication which takes place between a tester and developer whether about the bug or new release. Even within the team members that involve any critical cases. Although individuals use effective communication tools like Slack or Google Meet, sometimes it becomes awkward to clarify the tone and urgency of some messages.
2. Team Building :
When you’re working in a team that is distributed globally, it becomes difficult to communicate with them continuously. Most testers need some help of their team members on test data, having doubts about new builds, new flows, and other requirements which end up losing lot of time
3. Tech Issues :
Most remote working teams use a various number of components or systems which runs multiple number of application at the same parallel time. Even though our laptop and work machines have higher configurations, we never know when things will go wrong if there is any power failure or any other internet issue, software or hardware issue, etc. these can delay the deliverable on time when you’re in the middle of any testing phase. I always recommend checking everything before you start the process. So that you can eliminate most of the issues and save time productively.
4. Multitask :
The key challenge every tester will face is Multitasking where they have to look after multiple things at the same time like test execution, following up on bugs, observing queries, providing test data within teammates, and other similar dynamic tasks in between. I highly recommend every tester to create a note on a notepad or sticky note and write down their daily tasks, follow-ups, meetings, application URLs, POCs, etc. so that it will be helpful to them to remember and there won’t be any confusion.
5. Security :
The biggest challenge faced by many testers working remotely, especially for the mobile testing team to test the app on virtual mobile which is difficult. Most of the organizations are providing a set of testing devices but some or not. They need to understand how difficult it is for a tester to test in a virtual application like mobile while the application will be too slow or some functionality can’t be covered without the physical devices. And as a security part, once the product finished the testing phase and is ready for release, testers need to communicate with product owners, teammates, developers, clients, etc. It’s better to keep all the information confidential using cloud-based applications for storing any kind of documentation, passwords, test data, configurations, etc.
How is QA overcoming the challenges :
1. Improving Online Communication :
While working remotely, you should expect a number of meetings other online communication as you cannot physically connect with your team members. Get comfortable with Chats, Mails, and Calls.
- Create the right channel to communicate based upon the needs and requirement
- Don’t hesitate to give your updates, share your knowledge, about your blockers, or even raise any queries and concerns
- Make use of the status of the chat application to know whether you’re available or not to other teammates
- Always reply to the messages or queries when someone pings you as soon as possible, even you can’t explain at that time just tell them you’ll get back to this later
- To save time make use of shared applications like Google Docs, Sheets, extra so that other team members can also update simultaneously
2. Collaborative Workspace :
Here are some top remote collaboration and automation tools below:
- Messaging and video conferencing – Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom
- Remote collaboration tools: Jira, Confluence, HP ALM
3. Be Consistent With Your Working Schedules :
In dealing with distractions while working from home as QA, setting up working schedules and sticking to them will greatly help you. Get your devices not related to work away from a sight where it may distract you. Avoid opening and using social media while during working time.
4. Being Productive :
So I saw an article to solve this problem. Here are some scientific facts from research that is based on the most common productivity killers:
- Multitasking lowers productivity up to 40%
- Performance will be decreased after 50-60 minutes of continuous work
- It takes up to 24 minutes to regain the focus after any distraction
To overcome the above productivity issues, I suggest you follow these four-step to maximize productivity,
- Avoid Multitasking
- Take Frequent Breaks
- Don’t Distract Easily
- Have a better Work Environment
Why Remote Work is the Future:
Most employees create their own workspace virtually in their home where they can be managing their work life and personal life. Employees also find that remote work continues long term even after the pandemic and so the businesses are, since its positive impact on productivity and the work environment.
Many organization won’t continue their remote work policy after the pandemic ends, while some continue flexible work options for their employees. Flexible work policies will introduce a growing need for co-working or shared workspaces office models.
Why is Remote work good for QA :
When the COVID-19 pandemic started, many companies all over the world send their employees home to work virtually, remote work was a big question then. Yes, that rush to be in the new model and working from home. It has also been difficult for many employers to suddenly change the pattern of the work model. But after everyone settled in, many employees were adapted to the new work model and got used to enjoying this more than going office and working.
Employees could be productive and focused when not in the office and Employers everywhere began to understand that remote work really works. As a QA, don’t depend on any other teammates that much as like other employees in other departments. Because once the development team finished developing the build, we can start our testing process based on the requirements.
The main thing before starting the testing is that we need to know whether we have a knowledge of the application and the new changes in the built. To overcome this we’re implementing Demo/Grooming sessions from a developer to the QA team members once the development is in the deployment stage.
This will reduce a lacking of knowledge for the QA team and start testing the functionalities on their own without missing any functionalities. Nowadays, many organizations are providing virtual mobile or browser testing applications to the QA team members where they can perform testing without depending on the physical/real test devices. So it’s making the team easier to test on various cross-devices and browsers. Even before this work from a home model, in many organizations, the Dev team and QA team will be working from different places and communicating virtually. So, even in these times, it’s becoming uncomplicated to be in and adapt this Work from Home as a QA.
Remote work has several benefits for QA Professionals, that includes higher productivity, flexibility, and a good work-life balance. Despite these advantages, there are also challenges. The good thing is, all the challenges can be resolved. If you strive hard, you can enjoy your work at the same time you can have a highly fulfilling experience as a remote QA Professional.
Written by Rajaperumal