For most companies, COVID-19 has put a strain on their work environment. Employees are tired, demotivated, and facing excessive workload. Most people who had the habit of going to an office to work in teams now have to work remotely and alone.

Social distancing has had a severe effect on employee productivity and efficiency. Mental health foundation and MD magazine both say the lockdown has left people isolated, depressed, and lonely.

For software employees, this crisis is even more significant because people depend on software applications and websites now more than ever before. Companies are working tirelessly to ensure that they deliver quality software on time without compromising employees' mental health. Software companies like BairesDev are bringing new work policies to ensure employee’s safety, offering its employees work from home options, flexible timings, and fun online activities to keep the morale high.

All of those things are important for all of the workforce. However, we’re going to focus on one of the software development teams that’s suffering stress the most - the testing team. Why focus on them? Because they are struggling with tight deadlines, trying to ensure that new applications provide the performance and functionality people expect right out of the box. That’s a hard thing to do under normal circumstances - and the crisis has made it worse.

So, how can you help your testing team? By following the suggestions below.
1. Set suitable metrics
Metrics can help you understand which workers are efficient and which aren’t. For example, in testing, you can divide test metrics into categories like:

Process metrics: These metrics measure the efficiency of the software development life cycle (SDLC). They are overall indicators of how the product development and testing techniques are working.

Product metrics: These measure quality characteristics like defect density, degree of testing, etc.

Project metrics: These metrics measure how the team is performing towards its goals. The efficiency of the overall team and tools used is calculated by statistics such as test case percentage passed and failed.
2. Reward hard workers
Once you figure out who’s working hard, make sure to appreciate them. Appreciation from management and peers can also be attached to the emails. Appreciation emails will help employees perform better as they’ll see that their efforts are getting recognized.

You can also give live appreciation in weekly team meetings. The testers who are doing an excellent job of mitigating risks and identifying defects can be suitably rewarded/compensated.
Along with appreciation emails, you can also attach motivation messages and quotes or provide them with incentives.
3. Set goals
Clear goals should be communicated to the team to ensure that they can efficiently perform their work. These days, remote testers are performing their duties without on-site supervision or peer review. In such cases, clear goals and instructions will allow them to understand and perform their duties better.

Make sure to communicate goals regularly and try to give people new responsibilities. People working remotely may sometimes feel demotivated. If you give them new tasks and responsibilities, they might also feel interested in working. It will enhance their skills and benefit the company too.

You can give them the flexibility to complete projects on their own hours. Also, sometimes people may be handling many things simultaneously, and it may not be apparent to the manager how much work a particular worker is going at a given time. Allow them time to complete their projects before handing them a new one.
4. Online events
Online events can be organized at the project/department level to increase harmony and teamwork. You can organize code reviews where many testers from different teams collaborate over one project through a video call. You can also organize bug marathons where the whole team can work on a particular simultaneously in real-time to deliver the best possible result.

Of course, events like these need a lot of planning. You have to set up hardware, infrastructure, and software for all team members to work. You have to do a presentation on the goal of the event. You have to provide them adequate data related to the event. Create a tracker in which testers can submit all the bug reports for review. Prioritize the tasks so that when a tester completes the project, they can pick up the one that needs the most attention.

Events are a great way to do exploratory searching for projects. They enhance professional development and the sharing of ideas across the team.
5. Counseling
Crisis times can drive employees to feel depressed. They might become inefficient and slow. It’s an employer’s responsibility to treat them with empathy and humanity. You need to set clear communication lines for any professional or personal problems they might be facing. If required, you might also need to arrange counseling.
The world is going through a tough time right now. Workers across industries are working hard to deliver the best possible work through their homes and remote facilities. Many times, not being in contact with friends and colleagues can take a negative toll on a person. In times like these, you have to guide and motivate your employees.

Of course, they still need to work. But a little support, appreciation, and friendliness may go a long way in ensuring that you and your employees get through this crisis.

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Author's Bio: 

Malcom is a tech expert at BairesDev specializing in the software outsourcing industry. He has access to the latest market news and has a keen eye for innovation and what's next for technology businesses