The corona pandemic requires us all to avoid social contact. This has forced many companies to send their employees to their home office and we at Talentcube have also been working from home since last week. But with a good Internet connection and your work computer, not everything is necessarily done.
The home office brings many challenges and at the same time requires a rethinking and adaptation of the forms practiced so far. We too have asked ourselves the corresponding questions:
How do we communicate properly? How do we maintain our team spirit? How can we continue to work productively and efficiently? In short: How can we carry out all everyday work processes separately and virtually?
Just as we prepared our team for the transition, we want to share our best practices and experience. Because now we all have to #sticktogether!
In the home office it is important to discipline yourself – no matter how tempting the terrace or sofa may be. We have advised our employees to look for a new “workplace”. A place where you always come back when work is due. In this way, work and leisure time can be separated in one’s own home and ultimately work more productively.
The same applies to “work clothing”. Since there is no need to travel to work, it is easy to be tempted to work in sweatpants or a dressing gown. But here too, you have to build up a routine and continue to prepare yourself for the day’s work. Here’s an example: Work starts at 8:00 am, so I plan to have breakfast and get dressed in time so that I feel ready to go.
Because the right clothing subconsciously helps you to concentrate on the important things and to remember regularly when it is time to work and when it is time to leave.
Since not everyone is sitting in the same room anymore, it is no longer automatically recognizable what colleagues are doing. It is no longer possible to distinguish when the right time is right for a question, who does not like to be disturbed or who might even want to chat briefly. To let colleagues know what is happening, we use different statuses on slack here:
- 🗓 In a meeting / call
- 👨🏻💻 Focus
- 📱 Chief of Intercom
- 🍰 Lunch / coffee break
- 💪🏼 Working hard (available)
- 💤 Goodbye
This way we can see directly who is working, sitting in a telephone call, taking a lunch break or maybe even already ” gone home”. For the daily focus in the entire team we also use Microsoft ToDo, a common web-based to-do list, which we update briefly in the stand-up of everyone. In the past, we used to have this list only visible to the individual teams.
Communication is now only virtual, even for us. And here too, ways must be found to recreate everyday communication as much as possible. We now use video conferencing, as normal telephone conversations are a completely different experience. Communication requires more than just listening or reading what the other person has written – this is how misunderstandings arise!
It is easier to listen attentively if you can see the face of the person opposite you and thus recognize their facial expressions. Here we decided on the premium version of Slack, which allows direct video calls from the individual groups and simply saves us time. An additional external tool such as Zoom, Hangout or GoToMeeting was therefore out of the question for us, so that the team does not have to get into yet another system for communication.
In times like these there is one sure thing: we must ensure that there is clear, simple and consistent communication on all issues from all sides. Meetings are now only held via video. This includes all types of meetings from 1on1s, team meetings to team lunches.
The key here is the documentation; every type of meeting is recorded or logged so that it can subsequently be traced and no misunderstandings arise.
We start our day together: In a team call at 8:30 am we first welcome each other and then continue with the stand-up’s of the individual departments.
✔ Our #1 achievement or learning yesterday
✔ Our #1 problem we faced yesterday
✔ Something nice you want to tell your
At the end of the day we have another joint close-down meeting where successes are exchanged, feedback is given and challenges are shared.
✔ Did you achieve today?
✔ What’s going well? What’s going not so well?
✔ What important information do you want to
share with your team mates?
✔ How are you feeling?
✔ Where do you need help?
How do you maintain the team spirit in times like these? How can we continue to feel like a team from a distance?
Our team events take place, only via video. This concerns our weekly lunches, coffee breaks and jointly planned events. Here openness and communication are required.
Do you feel alone? Then you ask a colleague if you would like to have lunch together. Of course it is easier to have lunch with a friend, but here too you have to make an effort to stay in contact with all colleagues. Starting the day together, like in our morning team call, also helps us to stick together.
Once a month we have a big team event at Talentcube, which everyone is always really looking forward to. In order not to break this tradition, this event is also simply digitalized and the poker tournament planned for this month will simply take place in a private room via PokerStars. We are very excited about this experience and are already looking forward to the next creative ideas.
Valuable tips & articles that have helped us
The changeover took us by surprise too and everything had to happen very quickly. As a digital company, we had the advantage of being able to implement this within 24 hours. The advantage for everyone is that many founders and companies share their experience and best practices with all of us.
Here are some of the contributions that helped us to quickly move to 100% remote.
RemoteWork requires a lot of communication and honest feedback, because only then can we learn. Being productive and efficient together requires a lot of discipline, because it is easier to distract at home. But together and as a team we share our tips on how to work best.
#staysafe 💙 #sticktogether 💙
Here once again a summary of the software tools and mobile apps that make our home office life easier.
- Slack (Direct messaging service, also for video conferences)
- Dropbox (Jointly uploaded files offer a better overview)
- Microsoft ToDo List (Shared ToDo List)
- Confluence (Work on documents simultaneously)