After three months of working from home, most scale-ups found a way to make this work. Slowly some organizations are getting back to the office, where they adhere to the regulations. But what did we learn from working from home? Which new insights do we want to take back to the office? We did a pulse check at some of our partners about the takeaways of this crisis. Five learnings popped up.
Learning 1: Making an effort together
A sense of pride arose during this period on how all colleagues made an effort to make this new reality work. Collaboration with colleagues asked for more exertion. However, cooperation was sought even more by zoom, hangout or teams sessions. Also, cross-department collaboration became easier since a video call is just a click away.
Learning 2: Keep it personal
Not seeing your colleagues and manager can sometimes be lonely. Your personal life is literally closer to work than normal, which asks for extra attention. Employees pointed out that regular one on one time with their manager is even more important than normal. Not only to discuss work issues but also more personal topics. But chatting with colleagues is just as important. Chitchatting about doing groceries, funny events at home or just a joke has a great added value to the overall wellbeing of employees. Think about a daily huddle, team meetings or video coffee-breaks to have those moments of connection.
Learning 3: Just say it
Open communication and transparency about the effects of Covid-19 on the organization are key to keep employees engaged. Uncertainties about if there will be new projects, your job security or the future of the organization could cause stress. By being clear about the current effects and how to cope with this by sketching scenarios and next steps will help to keep employees connected. Not only that, but they can also think along about creative solutions to help the organization.
Learning 4: Flexible work-life balance
Working from home also taught us that working a bit more flexible hours has its benefits. No worries about commuting time, being too late for dinner or what shoes to wear. But also the flexibility in working made us realize that productive working hours are not only scheduled between 9 AM and 5 PM. Earlybirds can have their focus blocks at 7 AM and night owls maybe work best when everybody is already asleep. Flexible working hours don't only improve employee happiness but also productivity since employees can work undisturbed their peak hours and maybe do some sports during their 3 PM dip.
Learning 5: Managing expectations
With all these changes around us, just performing normal duties is not that obvious anymore. Priorities could shift within the organization, besides someones personal circumstances could make it difficult to perform just the same as at the office. Setting goals, checking-in on each other and have an open conversation about what is possible and what isn't can help to reach expectations.
To summarize, open communication and connection are the most important things during this crisis. So keep talking, have fun and work together!
Need some help reopening and want to benefit as a company from the lessons learned during Covid-19 times?
Check out our opening-up product in our webshop or join us in the VIE Bar for sparring or further questions.