From my home office out into the world: With a few rules, cooperation works wonderfully.

Remote Work — How we can still work together during the Corona crisis

The corona pandemic has turned remote work from a nice-to-have to a modus operandi in many companies within a few days. We at diconium have also been recommending all our employees to work from home since last week. A good internet connection is not enough though. In fact, we need to rethink and adapt practiced forms of cooperation in order to work well together from a distance.

So what can or should we change now? I’ll tell you.

Three rules, one goal

1 | More discipline

When we work together from a distance, we need more discipline in communication. When everyone is in the same room, we can be more careless because people talk easily and automatically notice what is going on. Online, on the other hand, nuances are quickly lost.

Hence:

  • Coordinate with your team at least once a day — preferably on a set date.
  • Actively announce your presence — for example via a shared team chat.
  • Make your work transparent.
  • Switch on the video function (if the bandwidth is sufficient). Then your reactions can be seen — and you can see those of the others. Believe me: facial expressions make communication much easier.
  • Create a virtual parking space for the topics that need to be clarified during the day.

2 | More social interaction

You or your team members may feel more alone. You miss the connection to other people, which gives you meaning, significance, security, self-esteem and a sense of belonging.

Hence:

  • Create coffee-break sessions where you can share personal issues and socialize.
  • By default, make video calls instead of chatting in teams.

3 | More feedback

Develop metrics or OKRs to monitor whether the distributed work is affecting your work as a team.

Useful links for working together from a distance

Distributed Teams Webinar

Liberating structures with remote teams

Online Meeting Facilitation (PDF)

Running Remote Workshops Works

Virtual Office

Remote Work: What’s in for me?

If you follow me, you have surely already noticed that I am an optimist. This is also how I deal with the current challenges of the Corona crisis:

1. I usually travel a lot (30–40 hours per month). Of course, I’m partly productive during the travel time (I can make phone calls, answer emails, read documents, prepare and follow up on presentations and appointments while travelling), but a lot of time is still lost. After just a few days in my home office I realize how beneficial the extended remote work is for my work-life balance. I spend much more time with my family and have more time for sports. Especially as I gain one or two hours of life time every day because I don’t have to commute to work.

2. We are currently building a global software development organization. Working in distributed teams is essential. The next few weeks will be a good exercise for us in how we can conduct coordination and, above all, workshops over distance without travel activities. I am very much looking forward to learning how much we can achieve in this way.

3. We now have the chance to build more confidence in remote work. Unfortunately, many managers and customers still have difficulties with this form of cooperation. I hope that we can use the next few weeks to show how productive distributed teams can be.

4. In my everyday life I am often very busy. That’s why I plan phases for concentrated work in which I don’t let myself be distracted by anything. My reading tip: „Deep Work Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” by Cal Newport. You should have time for it now ;-)

Learning from the crisis

Don’t get me wrong. The Corona epidemic is undoubtedly a worldwide catastrophe that will certainly leave its mark on our lives for a long time to come. But it is also a chance to rethink our gridlocked rules and learn for the future, as the example of remote work shows. After all, working from any location is not just a makeshift solution, but a real opportunity to act in a more sustainable way, both ecologically and socially.

Now I want to know from you: How do you deal with remote work in times of Corona? What works well? Where else do you see challenges?

I am very much looking forward to the discussion with you!

Managing Director @ diconium | #Innovation #DigitalTransformation #Mobility | How do we transfer the successful German art of engineering into the digital age?