Hacking the home office

Europe is once again turning on the brakes, demanding strict social distancing and an extended use of home offices. We have been through it before and many of us have not been part of a physical work environment since March. Our CEO, Kenneth Ragnvaldsen has a few learning points that he wants to share on how the pandemic and the home office solutions is affecting us all.

Lessons learned and two appeals from our CEO, Kenneth Ragnvaldsen

Europe is once again turning on the brakes, demanding strict social distancing and an extended use of home offices. We have been through it before and many of us have not been part of a physical work environment since March. But our own data shows that we as an organization are coping well and even excelling in these challenging times.

However, there are a few learning points that we want to share and there is more and more data on how the pandemic and the home office solutions is affecting us all.

A recent study from the consultancy firm EY shows that it’s the young digital native talents that are struggling the most with the home office concept. And the explanation is obvious when you think of it. Coping with a prolonged home office situation is easier when you are a veteran. When you know your colleagues. When you know your tasks, your boss and all the processes and systems that comes with the territory.

If you on the other hand are a newly recruited talent that doesn’t know anyone and still haven’t fully understood your new job, it is stressful and uncomfortable to sit alone on an everyday basis.

For us its also not an option not to hiring young talents and specialists. We are taking a small piece of responsibility by offering jobs and opportunities to newly educated talents. During the pandemic we have continued to hire people across our group because we are optimistic, and we are able to absorb new people into our organisation. But onboarding new people with a lock down in place is not ideal. 

We have two appeals for our employees for the rest of 2020, and it might be useful for any other organisation as well:

For all those who are not veterans, connect with your manager as often as you need to

Frequently asking questions as the new team member can be uncomfortable. And even more so if it means to call your manager without knowing if it’s a good time or not. But as the newest team member this is your responsibility. Good communication is a two-way street and you therefore need to do your part. And trust me, it will always feel good to have reached out.    

All you experienced specialists and managers, connect with a new team member as often as you would in the office

There is a range of platforms where it’s possible to reach out to a colleague. You don’t have to make a call. Sharing some insight or just a funny gif is also counted as reaching out and it opens the door to a useful dialogue.

In this current situation there are numerous young people sitting in their apartments with questions they don’t feel justifies an email to their manager. And especially as managers, it is proven that frequent virtual team meetings and a joint virtual coffee breaks can make a positive difference when it comes to motivation, stress and mental health.

In order to hacking the home office, we all need to step up our communication efforts. If we take responsibility, we can make a difference for everyone, but especially for those that are the newest members in each local family of colleagues.

 

Stay safe,

Kenneth