Scheduled coffee breaks, genuine presence, and careful preparations for each meeting – that is what remote work in the Global team is made of.
Mtech has continued with an almost 100-% remote work schedule for eight weeks now. The director of the Global team, Minna Veljo, welcomes the change.
The team has started daily virtual coffee breaks. The breaks are now taken together because the they are scheduled in the calendar!
“It is funny how we have grown closer socially while the physical distance has grown”, says Veljo. The director can now herself join the team for coffee because it is easier not to reserve other meetings on top of calendar appointments.
“When the team is working in various places, we have to invest in our mutual contact and ask how it is going, instead of the usual seeing your workmate having things to do”, Veljo states. She highlights that physical distance does not equal social distance.
“Of course we have to see that nobody becomes excluded. The group has to be kept together somehow”, Veljo reflects. “We have to take better care of each other now.”
Efficient use of time
Now that every small thing requires scheduling a separate appointment, everyone prepares for the job and concentrates on it, the team has noticed. When you cannot just walk to your workmate and shout out your business walking by, it forces a more efficient use of time.
Online meetings bring the workmates close to each other’s everyday life. There might be a naked toddler flashing on a video call, or you might hear a dog barking at neighbours. That makes it all more human, Veljo says.
”The only thing that has changed in our work is that the team is not together at the office. Meetings with the customers have been online anyway”, Veljo states. That has also taught us: The team is accustomed to talking with customers online not only about business, because we rarely meet them face-to-face. It has been easy to bring this practice into team meetings and other forms of communication.
Slipping into the 100-percent remote work scheme has also been easy because the company has had a partial remote work scheme in place for a long time. A significant part of the employees has worked outside the office some days a week. After the end of the extraordinary circumstances, the team will probably return to this model, Veljo believes. “But the coffee breaks will remain scheduled”, she smiles.