Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
We face more and more governments declaring state of emergency due to COVID-19 pandemic and making remote work not optional, but mandatory. For tech-based companies this is not a major shock as we practice some form of optional short-term remote work already, but the scale (whole company) and extent (for weeks if not months) might put some strains on our efficiency and drivers if not handled properly.
Office ‘9-to-5’ has been our go-to regardless of the industry for such a long time, and this period will see us putting to test all the managerial practices we took for granted – and help us realize which standard practices were just an inertia and which work.
As someone leading a team, I see my role in replicating the level of rituals and communication opportunities which were present in our physical office life, but also – upgrading them.
So, here are 3 things I figured out I will be doing during the mandatory remote mode:
- Virtual lunch and alike rituals
Team and I used to have a lunch together whenever possible in the physical office cafeteria or restaurant nearby. This had positive effects on both social and practical aspects of our output; eating together provides an opportunity to deepen bonds and touch upon life outside of work, but it also syncs our break time making us ready to go back to tasks as a team straight away and at the same time.
However, I acknowledge that your team a) might be too big to make this happen b) would not be thrilled when experiencing peer pressured to socialize. The latter is potentially counterproductive and very detrimental to the diversity of talent you gather (not everyone’s in the team is an extrovert and best friend type, if any).
So, how could this translate to you? Contemplate and develop WHAT tools and practices you use for work. Find a common ritual (Monday morning ☕ status update?) which you can set as a constant and predictable time of seeing each other (yes, video is a must for this one). But also, if possible and depending on your team and leadership style, think of the ways to make it more than just an operational and practical call – make it truly human and personally relevant.
- New office who dis
Working from (quarantined) home means further adjusting a part of your environment to accommodate the new long-term needs, even if you already have some sort of home office situation going. The actual process of designing and adjusting can be an interesting challenge. What do you need and why? Sharing that space with co-workers not only gives them ideas for their own space, but it provides insight into HOW you work – there might be something that you were missing or (unwittingly) longing for at the company’s office.
You are fully in the control of your new environment and positioned to change it any which way you see fit – new co-workers included! Pets, kids, plants and partners – all welcome, if not necessary.
I work along side two black cats, who are self-trained in sleep and loud purrs. They appreciate the mandatory remote work situation massively, and so do I. After all, 450% more cuddles daily on average – what’s not to love. Social distancing or not, I am closer to those I care for and about, and this cannot be a bad thing.
- The new-gen talents
WHY we work and what kind of teams we conjure on Slack chats is bound to change. This is especially interesting for junior-level positions that need more attentive mentoring and support. We might want to learn some tricks from freelance designers or developers who have been on the forefront as long-distance for-hire ‘lone wolves’ but our main challenge remains “keeping the pack together” when the pack is a bunch of avatars. In that regard, we might be better served observing the practices and methods of online gaming and YouTube communities.
The old nugget “someone who can work in a team and independently” might just be replaced by “someone who is distinctly self-motivated, has developed self-organization discipline and daily virtual communication habits”.