How the corona crisis inspires New Work
In the last few days, all of Europe has started working from home. While working together without shaking hands was on the agenda at the beginning of last week, everyone is now working digitally in the home office.
An opportunity for digitization
The new way of working has been discussed for years. Whether you are at home or anywhere in the world, as long as you have a laptop with internet access, you can work. Hip offices, co-working spaces and video calls make it easier to be flexible with office space, working hours and staff. Yet there were still many companies that said A but did B.
Until last week. Since the call to work from home, everyone is given a “crash course” so that everyone is empowered to work from home. Many people have to learn to work and communicate in a new way.
Slack saw a 40% increase in paid users, and Microsoft Teams had 44 million users in one day, up from 20 million a few months ago. Google Trends also shows that people are massively looking for tools to communicate online.
Additionally, Zoom’s stock price is rising at a time when most stocks are falling in value:
online shopping is on the rise and e-commerce is becoming more popular. As an international marketing agency, we also notice this. Customers are seeing increases in sales, omnichannel customers are shifting their focus to online.
Fortunately, changing working conditions have only a minor impact on us. Project management and customer communication via tools such as Monday.com or Trello are standard. We have 2 offices, so we already have daily video conferences via Microsoft Teams and communicate a lot internally via Slack. We use apps like Krisp.ai to filter out background noise as we work in a less quiet environment at home. Every day we have a “stand-up” meeting via video conferencing to keep the team spirit.
Working from home is a major challenge for many people and businesses. The popularity of working from home will certainly change due to the corona virus. If we can get something positive out of this situation, everyone is open to new ideas, partnerships and I hope that this will accelerate the digital transformation.
A question I ask myself is: do we still need our 2 offices if work from home is going well? If we make sure our team can work well and safely at home or anywhere in the world, then why do we need an office?
What do experts say about this?
I asked Kim Wlach about this. Kim Wlach is co-founder of Berg & Macher, a company with which she connects people in the team and with the organization. In times of Corona, in addition to team workshops on the topics of purpose, vision, roadmap and roles, Kim also intensively deals with cooperation in remote teams. Together with her co-founder Jonas she writes about it in a series on www.berg-macher.com .
Does it make sense to cut offices? Kim replies that it comes down to several things:
“Researchers have found that the most important factor in employee engagement, and therefore team success , is a sense of belonging to the team .
This sense of togetherness can be achieved through regular team gatherings. The meetings focus on working on the culture of cooperation and ensuring that the team members feel connected to each other. Once the common basis has been established, it is possible to work remotely again for several weeks.
It is important here that common standards are also defined and discussed for digital collaboration, as well as which communication channels are suitable for which type of message (emotional vs. factual, quick feedback required, complex tasks, etc.). These team meetings every 3-6 months are independent of the office and can, for example, also be carried out in a team offsite. This is particularly useful for distributed teams that do not have a large office for all employees themselves and also need accommodation for the team members who travel from other offices: Team offsites provide a good combination of practical reasons and a valuable change of perspective away from everyday office life. It is also to be hoped that
Offices are not absolutely necessary for everyday team work. However, it is then important that rules are established together and that the team pays particular attention to the feeling of belonging to the team.