BeeFREE
Beeline — an expert in remote work.

Oriented towards remote work and committed to helping employees find work-life balance, the BeeFREE project was introduced at Beeline in 2016 in efforts to strengthen our corporate culture. Since then, it has transformed our internal processes and infrastructure. Over 6,500 Beeline employees work remotely several times a week. This approach helps us stay focused on results, transparency and integrity.

Part of VEON Group, VimpelCom PJSC (Beeline brand) was founded in 1992 and is one of Russia's TOP-3 telecom operators. Beeline provides businesses and private clients with over 70 services, including mobile and fixed telephony, international and long-distance communication, cloud services and digital products, wireless and wired Internet access, home and mobile TV, and various business solutions based on converged mobile and fixed networks. 55 million Beeline subscribers are provided with converged rate offers
including wireless and wired Internet access, and home and mobile multi-platform television "Beeline TV" available on any device.

More about the company
BeeFREE
Beeline — an expert in remote work.

Oriented towards remote work and committed to helping employees find work-life balance, the BeeFREE project was introduced at Beeline in 2016 in efforts to strengthen our corporate culture. Since then, it has transformed our internal processes and infrastructure. Over 6,500 Beeline employees work remotely several times a week. This approach helps us stay focused on results, transparency and integrity.

Part of VEON Group, VimpelCom PJSC (Beeline brand) was founded in 1992 and is one of Russia's TOP-3 telecom operators. Beeline provides businesses and private clients with over 70 services, including mobile and fixed telephony, international and long-distance communication, cloud services and digital products, wireless and wired Internet access, home and mobile TV, and various business solutions based on converged mobile and fixed networks. 55 million Beeline subscribers are provided with converged rate offers
including wireless and wired Internet access, and home and mobile multi-platform television "Beeline TV" available on any device.

More about the company
Remote Work Rules
Sign all the necessary paperwork
Before starting to work remotely, discuss it with your supervisor and check if your role is suitable for BeeFREE. You’ll also need to check if you have a signed working contract or agreement for BeeFREE.
Plan your remote work schedule with your supervisor and get it approved on a weekly basis
It’ll help you and your colleagues work in an integrated way and avoids any shortage in office space.
Inform your colleagues that you’re working remotely
This will support teamwork — your colleagues will know where you are physically located and whether they can expect you at a meeting.
Make a to-do list for the day
A to-do list helps you organise and arrange your BeeFREE day tasks.
Our employees work all over the country. So efficient teamwork and cooperation are core to enabling long-term Beeline success. We must learn to work as a team, regardless of location, and achieve results we can be proud of. Teamwork in a cross-functional, remote working and dispersed team is based on a few simple rules.
Our employees work all over the country. So efficient teamwork and cooperation are core to enabling long-term Beeline success. We must learn to work as a team, regardless of location, and achieve results we can be proud of. Teamwork in a cross-functional, remote working and dispersed team is based on a few simple rules.
Reliable advice, applications and lifehacks for self-isolation
How to organise an efficient BeeFREE day
Recommended Books
We gathered advice from experienced BeeFREE users on organising an efficient BeeFREE day.
Advice 1. Don’t work on the sofa
Creating the right work environment is your key to success. Working on a sofa will sap your concentration. A comfortable chair, a clean table free of distracting items, and proper lighting is your minimum for a productive day. Use your home office to your advantage and create an ideal work environment around yourself.
Advice 2. Choose background music
Studies and personal experience of music professionals prove that music may contribute to work efficiency and save you from being bored. Find a list of good music resources below.

Good old YouTube You can chose your favorite music or specific playlists. E.g. Lofi hip hop mix. It is all very simple with YouTube: just type in "study music" or "music for concentration" in the search bar and chose to your taste.

Noisli A great resource for background noise. Web-version and Chrome extension are available. You can use the available background noise sets, or create your own combination and save it. There’s a wide range of tracks for you to choose from: sounds of nature, colored noises, train, café or electric fan sounds.

Brain.fm For iOS, AI-generated music that enhances concentration, helps you rest and sleep.

Ambient-mixer The service creates an atmospheric sound mix of any real or fictional place: you could visit Sherlock Holmes, the Death Star or Winterfell. Try preset mixes that could be customized and edited.
Listen To The Clouds This service overlays real air-traffic control conversations on ambient music. Sounds fascinating.
Advice 3. Focus on what’s important
It’s not easy to stay focused when working remotely. There’s always some kind of distraction. We’ve made a list of tools that will help you stay focused.

TrackingTime (tracks your computer time)
This application doesn’t just look great, it tracks all your computer activity and generates an audit for you. How much time was spent using a browser. How many hours were spent emailing. What music you listen to. Working in the background, TrackTime presents you with a diagram of your entire online life. It’s a useful tool to remind you of what’s important: if you keep switching among programs and apps with an interval of less than two minutes, you found an issue.



Notational Velocity (synсs all dispersed notes and stores them in one place).
One of the most difficult focus-related tasks for many remote workers is to collate notes, plans and research in one place. This application stores all your notes in a separate place on your desktop, adding search and synchronisation options across Simplenote or WriteRoom on your iPhone. It significantly facilitates your work.



FocusBooster (25 minutes per task)
This application combines your to-do list and time-manager. Make a to-do list and let the application track the time spent on a task. Each 25 minutes it will remind you to have some rest. It is a very simple tool to train your focus without pushing yourself too hard.

F.LUX (adapts your computer’s display to the time of day)
Looking at your computer or mobile screen for a long period of time could drive you mad. Blue screen glow may cause insomnia. Install f. lux and stay focused on your work regardless the computer’s distracting backlight. F. lux adapts the brightness and saturation of your screen to the time of day and keeps your eyes healthier.

Advice 4. Stay connected with your team
Working from a remote office doesn’t mean you lose connection with your colleagues and miss an important meeting. There are plenty of applications to help you stay involved at any given time, monitor tasks and delegate processes.

Trello An online visual project management tool based on cards and project boards.

Dropbox
Access, share and store large data files.

Evernote Reliable and very popular app that imitates a virtual office.

Hackpad Collaborative online document editor.

Draft Write, edit and study documents in collaboration with other users.

This is in addition to Skype, Zoom, Google Meet.
Advice 5. Think of your well-being and schedule breaks
Many people don’t have a decent meal even during their lunch break or go outside for some fresh air during the day.

Working from home can have its drawbacks. Your fridge being too close is one of them. It’s so important to take care of yourself and not overeat. Take short breaks, drink lots of water, try to eat healthy snacks and air your room frequently. Your body will thank you.

Plant Nanny An app game, where you plant a virtual flower and take care of it by watering it with the water you consume during the day.

Lifesum A simple calorie counter that could be useful in the kitchen.

Pravilnoe Pitanie (Healthy Diet) A cookbook app for the day including both comfort and healthy meals. You’ll find it useful if you choose not to buy expensive exotic superfoods and are more attracted to simple cheese, cereals and nuts.
Advice 6. Stay fit
If you’re taking a short break from your work tasks, don’t just flop onto a sofa or stretch out in a chair. Try to make the most of working from home and choose activities that you are unlikely to perform in the office. A change in activities is as good as a rest. Instead of idle internet surfing, make yourself a cup of tea, take a shower or work out.
Advice 7. Don’t abandon your private life
The main downside of working from home lies in the blurring of boundaries between your work and private life. It’s important to plan how you’ll spend your time away from work, even if you’re still going to be inside your house. What is there to do at home when Instagram and Facebook are boring you rigid?

Watch an old or new movie or a boxset that you’ve been wanting to watch for a while.

Read your favourite books or dive into new ones.

Start cooking. When did you last have so much quality time at home? It’s a great time to boost your culinary skills?

Sport. YouTube gives access to a wide range of home fitness routines for various levels. If you’re tired of videos try Nike Training Club.

Figure out your spring wardrobe. When the quarantine is finally over, have your shopping list ready.

Get through that list of longstanding tasks. Clear out your phone storage, sort and get rid of the things you don’t need, or enjoy an early spring clean. Learn something new. For example, you can take an online course at Beeline University or listen to podcasts.

We selected four books that will help you meet deadlines, work BeeFREE and achieve high performance.
Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It
Сali Ressler and Jody Thompson

This book will teach you about new ways of living and working. The authors have created a new system called Results Only Work Environment — ROWE. A workplace where employees can do whatever they want, whenever they want—meeting the deadline is what matters. The new environment will seem practical and simple, but it won’t be easy to make the change. This system is a life-changer, yet all you need to do is revise how you think about your job.
REMOTE: Office not Required
Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

A book about how to work together, remotely, from any desk, in any place, anytime, anywhere. What could be better than wake up at 7 am and go to work? What could be better than kill two hours in traffic jams or in a rush hour subway, packed with the same sleepy poor souls? Or imagine summertime… Would you rather enjoy a hot summer day through your office window or catch a cold from office air conditioner? Working from the office doesn’t sound so great, does it?
The Anti-Procrastination Habit
S J Scott

We’d all like to get things done and become more productive. But too often we put off important tasks and get overwhelmed by the number of things to do. The solution is simple: develop healthy habits that will teach you avoid procrastination. This guidebook will help you by giving you a structured catalogue of practical ideas and down to business tips.
The Daily Edge: Simple Strategies to Increase Efficiency and Make an Impact Every Day
David Horsager

35 simple strategies to increase efficiency and make an impact every day. No empty talk.

Well-known speaker and consultant David Horsager frequently talks about his clients—upper management personnel and executives who lament that they lack the time to complete all the tasks they have on their plates every day. Over the years of practical and consulting work he has developed and adopted dozens of extraordinary practical time- and energy-saving techniques that could help today’s leader.
Preliminary BeeFREE Project Results
Preliminary BeeFREE Project Results
We assess BeeFREE indicators on a yearly basis to find out what our employees value at BeeFREE its impact on efficiency and teamwork, and whether they recommend remote work. Here are our 2019 results:

  • The amount of Beeline employees choosing to work BeeFREE is growing every year.
  • An impressive 57% of our employees work several days per week out of the office.
  • Over 90% of BeeFree users would recommend a remote way of working.
  • 30% of employees who work several days per week out of the office agree that BeeFREE positively influences their choice of Beeline as an employer
  • The effect of cooperation with colleagues using BeeFREE is flat: 77% don't believe that BeeFREE affects teamwork, 12% of the surveys show improvement in teamwork.
Beeline employee feedback
Interesting questions about BeeFREE
Is it possible to work BeeFREE outside Russia?
Yes, check out the additional agreements to your BeeFREE contract. If you’re outside Russia for more than 180 days within one calendar year, you need to inform your supervisor and employer (HR department) and attach supporting documents (scans of passport stamps, visas and other documents) within one month after spending 180 days outside Russia from the beginning of the year.

Is it possible to track work time in BeeFREE by the hour and not by the day? E.g. half a day in the office, half a day from home.
We use term "work day" in BeeFREE and don’t track time by the hour. We advise choosing 1−2 days to work in the office to keep connected with your team, be present in the workplace and resolve any issues that demand your physical presence. If you’re absent from the office for half a working day, it’s regarded as a BeeFREE day—you need to set your status to BeeFREE and make a to-do list.

Is it possible to develop your career in BeeFREE? Are there live examples?
Skills and experience alone won’t drive you up the corporate ladder. You need to be proactive. For instance, monitor current vacancies and take active part in the competition.

Look at your colleagues who work remotely on a permanent basis. Our regional employees have been promoted to higher positions in HQ — even 100% lack of personal contact will not impact your career development.
If I take part in an outside corporate event, does it count as a BeeFREE day?
If this outside event is part of your business trip, this isn’t regarded as a BeeFREE day. There is no need to set your status to BeeFREE and fill out a to-do list in Space. Your schedule will read "Business trip" and business tasks will be assigned to you when the trip is organised. If this outside event is not part of the business trip, it is regarded as an out-of-the-office work session and a BeeFREE day. You need to set your status to BeeFREE and fill out the to-do list in Space.
BeeFREE is an interesting project. It’s organisational and technical aspects are elaborated in detail. The project team is highly professional, friendly and I have high respect for it.

However, there is room for employee laziness and detachment from the team. The project makes integration for new colleagues harder and might even complicate cooperation of functions and departments.

What projects and initiatives are there to counter the negative effect of working BeeFREE?
You are absolutely right. "Laziness" is a worrying issue for many employees, especially executives responsible for team performance. The supervisor bears the main load of responsibility for mitigating the negative side of this work format. But any actions the leader has to take are already part of their duties. We’ve created specific tools and training courses both for leaders and employees that give detailed information about how to make BeeFREE work efficiently.

Do you have questions regarding your employee’s progress? Check their to-do list. Do you want to know where your colleague is today? Check their BeeFREE tick in Space. Is your employee not answering calls or messages during BeeFREE? Introduce unified cooperation rules for teamwork. For example, if an employee can’t answer a call, they need to message you when they will call you back.

We plan to launch an Absence Schedule for Space in the first quarter of 2020 that will help leaders and teams in their work.

Lengthy absence from the office is not advised — we all need live social communication. That’s why 100% BeeFREE is recommended to only a few specific employees. For the rest of our employees, I’d advise working from the office 1−3 days per week.

New employees are advised to wait 3 months before working BeeFREE. This will help them integrate into work processes faster, get to know their team and internal procedures, and learn how things are done in the company in general.
What HR methods and techniques fail in remote work? What should you avoid when working remotely?
It’s sometimes hard to stay focused and get going with work when you’re working from home. You need to be organised and focused on results for remote working to succeed.

Don’t forget to engage with your team. Leaders need to regularly interact with employees and to exercise more control than when everyone is working from the office.

Leaders may start to micromanage employees, trying to control every minute of their day. Micromanagement never brings positive results. It’s a simple matter of trusting your team. Remote work needs trust to be effective.

Employees might struggle when planning their day (this is when relevant training courses or webinars come in handy) or overwork and burn out. They get so immersed in the process that they find it difficult to step away from their laptops. People can work selflessly for 12 hours at a time: "I'll just reply to this email/make one more phone call."

It’s vital to monitor how your employees are feeling and help them design a sensible plan with different techniques to escape burn out.
What is the best form of training? What do you need to consider?
Live formats are ideal: they enable better interaction, give the opportunity to explain things in person, answer specific questions and can convey specific information, and encourage and engage with employees.

At VEON, we use different online formats to cover different learning needs.
Which teams work remotely? Remote support is one thing, remote development is a very different story.
Different department functions can be performed out of the office. Some Beeline functions work remotely (fully or partially) including recruitment experts, researchers, analysts, developers and marketing specialists. This includes those working abroad.

In view of the coronavirus outbreak, we are re-evaluating what functions should be office-based. The majority of our employees can work from home, providing our IT systems have capacity. It’s not always obvious who is better suited to working from home. For example, the HR department in charge of recruitment is bound to the office, while accountants calculating salaries can easily work from home.
What about employees who don’t have computers at home? Can they work remotely?
Some people are provided with work computers, others use their own and are compensated by the company. Many of our employees use their own computers. Beeline offers compensation to employees who bring their own equipment.
How is it possible "to convert" management who want to physically control their employees and don’t agree with remote working?
Live communication training is ideal here. This provides a great opportunity to engage with people and gives them an opportunity to test various remote working options.

We’ve worked with executives that are highly sceptical about remote working. We conduct workshops with other executives and bring colleagues together— including those who are for and against remote work. They can share their experiences and discuss practical advantages of remote work. Generally, the most doubtful executives become BeeFREE advocates and appreciate the advantages remote working can offer.
Why are employees in charge of their own work schedule? Isn’t this the responsibility of the supervisor? Shouldn’t they assign tasks and deadlines?
There are two approaches: bottom-up and top-down.

Always allow your employee to make the first step. It evokes initiative and responsibility for their work. The supervisor is responsible for authorising employee plans and to-do lists, and can edit task lists and adjust deadlines.

Our company culture encourages employee initiative with a supervisor’s authorisation. Other corporate cultures follow top-down command structure, not Beeline.
How do you manage remote employee awareness?
Certain employee and leadership skills will come to light in a remote work setting. It also provides the opportunity to strengthen existing skills and learn new ones. Education and training on remote working is vital. Constant feedback and efficient working patterns between supervisors and employees are important, such as one-on-one meetings and strategic sessions. Offline is an important, allowing people to share their mood and emotions, problems and pains with their team—it's human nature, after all.

If personal meetings become infrequent, overall team performance is impacted negatively. We organise annual strategic sessions.
Do you control employee presence when they are working remotely? What tools can you use?
We assess results, not the process. Employees will participate in meetings or conference calls but leaders shouldn’t have to make direct calls to check their actions. It’s easy to sit in front of a computer and not work. When employees work from home, leaders should be checking and controlling their to-do list, job completion and performance efficiency.
How do you control employees in local offices without direct calls from supervisors? For example, when employees have various tasks according to their function? What are the evaluation criteria?
Having introduced remote working in local offices we also introduced measurements and KPI to evaluate its success. Client support was the first function to join BeeFREE and working "Home Agents" were measured and assessed. The key question is what do you want to monitor? Time spent in front of the computer or results achieved? Assess every function and establish the right KPI for each area to achieve success.
Do people drink while working from home?
We have not noticed that.
What compensation do you offer to remote workers? Do you reimburse for equipment use, electricity and other costs?
We offer compensation if you use personal equipment. We provide additional internet traffic to employees working BeeFREE because we understand that sustainable and good-quality internet enables our employees to stay connected and deliver sustainable results.
If an employee doesn’t want to work from home (for example, they find it difficult to focus working remotely), do you still suggest this?
At the beginning of the project, we focused on educating our employees about BeeFREE. When the number of employees working remotely reached 50%, everyone else wanted to join and discover the advantages of BeeFREE. When a new employee joins, they can now work remotely, get immersed into our work procedures right away, and understand how we cooperate and how we support efficient performance.
How do you recognize personal equipment use in the office? Especially specific software installed on employee-owned computers?
We use only licensed software: all software is installed in virtual workspace. We equip personal devices with VDI-software. You log in and work in our corporate cloud solution with our licensed software. In response to increasing demand, Beeline Business offers remote work tools including audio and video conferencing and virtual workspaces.
Do you offer coaching support during times of change? Is there yoga/meditation training for work-life balance and mindful awareness?
Mindful awareness is one of our favourite topics. Beeline University is a new resource that drives and introduces great mental health projects. Last year, we staged an event on mindful awareness that brought together speakers from other companies, coaches and experts who shared their experience in time management, procrastination, planning and efficiency. Our top managers support this practice and conduct similar meetings for their teams, sharing their experience, and establishing great practices for efficient performance and planning.

We support activity and exercise, and there are various forms of activities available at work. Anyone can apply for coaching sessions to grow personally and professionally.
Can remote work be applied to AGILE?
Yes, we have a dev team that works remotely. There are technology centre functions in Novosibirsk and Moscow. Our colleagues conduct video conferences and find solutions for their tasks in real time.
Is it possible to have a successful team if the supervisor works from home, while the rest of the team is in the office?
As long as you obey one rule: remote work is great but regular personal meetings and work in the office are vital. That’s why we advise teams that are located in the same city to work 1−2 days from the office to communicate and share personal and business news.
How did you measure remote work efficiency?
We ask team supervisors what they want to see. We also conduct regular internal staff surveys and ask questions such as: "Has your employee delivered more or less efficient performance?" or "How fast does the employee provide feedback when working from the office/from home?"

We annually assess staff efficiency. In 95% of cases, supervisors observed that employees performance hadn’t changed or became more efficient when working from home.
Beeline Business Tools
Set up your remote office quickly and efficiently!
Remote Work Space (VDI)
Deploy a virtual device interface for your company employees within 3 days. We will configure devices of relevant capacity: (1) for daily tasks, (2) for graphic design or (3) 3D-design. Works on any device.
Video conferences
Conduct business meetings with stable video connection, data encryption during storage and transfer and connect up to 10,000 people to the broadcast. Solution works on any device and platform.
Audio conferences
Talk to colleagues from offices worldwide and save on communication expenses: you pay for internet-traffic only.
If you have any questions about the project, use the contact form below or send us an email: ssrogachev@beeline.ru
If you have any questions about the project, use the contact form below or send us an email: ssrogachev@beeline.ru
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