Covid-19 is here to make its mark on every corner of this planet. In addition to the direct impact it is having on those who have contracted the disease, its very existence has transformed the way society and, of course, businesses operate. At i2U, as in so many other companies, we are obliged to continue with our activity, to be fully operational. To do so, we have had to adapt to the new circumstances, although, to tell the truth, our philosophy has been pushing us to prepare ourselves for some time.
TELEWORKING, FROM FAMILY RECONCILIATION TO AN ABSOLUTE NECESSITY.
For us, teleworking has worked as a way of aligning personal needs with those of the company. The simple fact of being able to save one or two hours a day by avoiding the commute seemed to us to be reason enough to consider whether it was essential to go to the office every day or not. We improved in all senses and we did our bit to reduce the problems that affect our developed society, such as pollution, traffic, parking problems, etc.
Our team significantly increased their quality of life as we had an impact on the work-life balance of each of them. In addition, we have been able to recruit talent (which is difficult in our sector) because we have opened up the geographical radius of our search.
Teleworking has allowed us to be more productive because it has forced us to be much more precise in the planning and distribution of tasks. When you are “alone” it is essential to be very clear about the objectives of the day, the tools and the information you will need to work.
Not now, because the need and obligation to stay at home is imposed, but before these circumstances, as remote working became established in i2U, we realised that the members of the team did not always stay at home, but exchanged between two or three locations, a library, a cultural centre or the family farmhouse, in other words, they were looking for new stimuli in the new everyday life. So we also incorporated that concept in our way of doing things. We don’t always work together in the office, we move to another environment in search of new energy.
MANAGEMENT AUTOMATION, A FUNDAMENTAL PILLAR OF TELEWORK.
From the beginning we understood that in the partial decentralisation of the team, the warmth of face-to-face meetings was lost, so we decided to set up quick meetings at the beginning of each day, a meeting via Skype where, with the justification of fine-tuning the tasks of the day, we have a tele-coffee and discuss the bath that Real gave Madrid in the Cup match.
Another challenge was the “location” of each team member in the overall status of the projects, we had to implement AGILE metodologies to create a total trasparence of the process and, of course, we had to get used to the new tools, Trello (Kanban metologie) and Jira (Scrum metodologie), we had to implement a repository (Bitbucket) to centralise the developments and open our server to the “world” (cloud), adding the cybersecurity systems that this configuration requires.
In short, we had to adapt to a work methodology supported by automatic management tools, where leaders have changed their workload. Before, most of their time was consumed with one-off events, attending developer indecisions, version review issues or analysing why the green tea ran out in the office.
Today, our leaders plan the work down to the last detail; it is the only way for automatic management tools to work. This sitting down to plan leads us to find increasingly optimised solutions, improving our productivity and team motivation, “…what can motivate a professional the most is to understand the impact their work has on a project”.
THE PROBLEMS OF ATOMISED TEAMS
Of course, not everything was going to be advantages and successes, to get this far we suffered the consequences of such a radical change, the imbalances in the workflows, the impossible to control telemeetings, the indecisions in front of an infinite sea of management methods and tools, etc., etc., etc., etc., but that is enough for us to write another post, we add it to Trello in the “To Do” board, at the weekend we put it in “Doing”, and next week when we publish it, it will automatically go to “Done”.