What we have learned and improved
After an initially optimistic view of being less hectic for a few days at work, in the second month after the Corona “lockdown” it becomes increasingly difficult for me to get equally enthusiastic about home office and video conferencing every day. Okay, I no longer have any small children (18 and 16), I live in a spacious house in the country and we are technically very well “set up”. So I really can’t complain. Customer talks and negotiations, regular coordination meetings with colleagues and the management team and short “status calls” are part of the daily routine and “work” online quite well.
But honestly. We will do this for a longer time and there would be some improvements that I would like to see and that we have already tried out.
Video cameras provide insights into the lives of colleagues and business partners. The more refreshing was the moment when we discovered and pressed the “soften background” button. Finally, no more annoying bookshelves or decorative objects in the background. As in real business life, a certain stylish staging of video conferences would be appropriate, because nobody knows the long-term effects of too much intimacy today. And of course a well-groomed personal outfit is part of the equation.
Space for exchange and small talk
Every morning punctually at 07:30 we have our 30 minute Team Jour Fixe. Tight agenda, a moderator, a secretary and everyone can see how the discussed is recorded. It seems to me that we have never been so well coordinated. Increasingly, however, we have missed the fun and space for exchange and small talk. In order not to lose the feeling for each other, we have recently started at least every second meeting with a “Check In Round”. During this time it is not necessarily about our work, but about how everybody feels. Refreshing!
Three or four cups of coffee a day, and I knew what was going on. The small talk over a cup of coffee was good for “balancing” the hectic pace of the day, but also important for staying up to date. So what do you do if that is suddenly missing? We have now started to plan informal meetings for two or three: Invite to a 15-minute video call, note down a few general topics, put a fresh cup of coffee next to the notebook and start chatting. Informative!