Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, the FAIRTIQ team was well accustomed to remote working. This flexibility is something we all love about our job. However, it is an entirely different ball game when 50 of us, in one fell swoop, have to work from home. Some of you have asked how we organise themselves now. This blogpost lets you into some of the secrets of remote working, FAIRTIQ style.
Using the right tools in the right way
There are so many tools out there, and new ones keep coming on stream every day. But which ones really work? Well, there is no universal answer: it depends on what you need them for, and how well you use them. If you peak inside the FAIRTIQ toolbox, you will find G Suite, Slack, Asana and Confluence, to name a few. These have been our go-to collaboration solutions long before the pandemic. We truly believe that remote working has alot going for it: you have to draw on your other skill sets, think differently and adapt. Look no further than the FAIRTIQ team, remote working pros: you can’t say that we’re not open to new experiences and ideas!
Social distancing does not mean isolation
At FAIRTIQ, we are all about the human connection. Direct interaction with our customers, partners and, of course, our co-workers is the heart and soul of what we do. It is therefore important that we maintain these links especially when social distancing is the order of the day. We now hook up for a quick coffee via Hangouts Meet and send out reminders via #Slack and our dedicated #coffeeplace channel. Also, we might have to forgo our table football face-offs, but at least we can still battle it out during furious Worms sessions.
Although the remote working rule has only been in force for a little bit more than a week, we have already learnt quite a bit. Three FAIRTIQERS share their thoughts, concerns and experiences about the new normal.
Eli - Mobile Developer
Almost everyone at FAIRTIQ knows that I am an untiring advocate of remote work. I try to take advantage of the flexibility that FAIRTIQ gives us to work from home (or wherever, really) as much as I can. Although it requires a different mindset and a complementary set of skills, I’m used to it and I love it. But this time it’s being a bit challenging.
For starters, the circumstances are different. One of my key principles for working from home is that you need a clear separation between office time and personal time. Our brains need that disconnection to be able to rest and recover. But now once I’m done with my work I must stay inside. I’m trying to compensate by changing my routines a bit. For example, spending more time than usual cooking or playing guitar and replacing my running schedule with indoor exercises.
I have also found it difficult to concentrate while we are in this state of alarm. Media outlets keep reporting new events, our chat groups are very active sharing what’s going on and, when we stop for lunch, we keep talking about this whole situation. So, it’s important to be kind to ourselves and remember that it’s OK if our productivity is not at 100% in these times. People that have been working remote for years are also struggling with this.
But despite everything, I remain optimistic. It’s kind of unfortunate that many companies have been pushed to try working remotely when maybe they were not well prepared. In those cases, we need to show empathy to our colleagues and don’t be afraid of asking for help. This is a great opportunity to learn alternative ways of communication and build even more trust within our teams. Because I really hope remote work is here to stay.
Julian - Business Development Asia
I’ve been based in Singapore since March 2019 and have been working for FAIRTIQ remotely. I remember having a call meeting from a metro station in Tokyo and another from a coffee shop in Bangalore. My biggest worry is loneliness. As I am working from a co-working space, I have plenty of colleagues in Singapore: they just work for other companies. I also really like interacting with my Swiss colleagues daily. Technology has changed our way of working and I am grateful to be working for FAIRTIQ, the most flexible company I have ever worked for.
Reto - Business Development
How did it come to this? No more in-person meetings, visits to customers, or events and trade fairs, for some time to come. How can we build trust among our new customers and contacts, and cultivate our existing business relations?
Switching to videoconferencing may have been abrupt but it has worked out well for us so far. Thanks to good connectivity, sound quality and picture clarity, it almost feels like we are all in the same room. At the same time it is important that we enjoy some downtime together, like taking a group coffee break during a workshop. Moments like these must become a regular, even bigger part of our virtual meetings and workshops. This is why we are trialling a longer refreshment break as part of a kick-off workshop with one of our partners.
But what about those who are not able to use our tool set because of IT governance rules? Easy: we find a different solution or revert to good ol-fashioned dial-in telephone conferencing.
Your remote working experiences
We regularly send out questionnaires (Google Forms) to FAIRTIQERS to find out how they are getting on with the new working-from-home arrangements. According to the first questionnaire, roughly 29.2% of us find that we work more efficiently from home, 58.3% consider they are no more (or less) efficient at home than in the office, and 12.5% state that they are less efficient. One of our next blog posts will reveal what these results mean.
👉Perhaps, you have some tips for working from home? Maybe there is a topic you’d like to know more about. If so, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you, now more than ever 😉