Just a few weeks ago, employees went to the office, canteens were used for lunchtime exchanges and on-site meetings shaped everyday working life. Alternative working models such as home office and remote work were still rejected in some cases. Video conferencing as an alternative to business travel was partly, but often reluctantly, chosen. In their companies, re-thinkers were confronted with sentences like “that’s the way it is here”, “that has grown historically” and “there’s no other way”.
Corona now shows: it can be done differently! Teams work in a decentralized manner, business trips are largely avoided and replaced by virtual collaborations. It is remarkable how fast and flexible especially large corporations can act under the pressure of a crisis. Where otherwise complex approval processes and hierarchies stand in the way of changes, quick action is now required and can be implemented. What should we learn from the current situation? That “there is no other way” is usually an “I don’t want to be different” at the end of the day.
Home office yes, but right
Home office is still only offered in 4 of 10 German companies. Nevertheless, the majority of employees demand at least the opportunity to do so. It remains to be seen whether Corona will lead to a rethinking of the market.
But is this a desirable goal for companies? In recent years, various studies have investigated the advantages and disadvantages of home offices. In addition to increased productivity and satisfaction, especially among parents with small children, an increase in psychological stress is often the result. Furthermore, team structure and cohesion can suffer. Therefore, the life situation of the employee as well as the way in which he or she uses the home office is important in individual cases.
Focused use of online team building
Especially now, team-building measures are more important than ever. Through the decentralization of teams, measures must be taken to maintain and strengthen cohesion and cooperation. The use of collaboration tools plays a central role here. Whether cloud-based data storage, task distribution through project management tools and communication via chat and video telephony – the digital possibilities and tools are manifold.
In addition to enabling productive collaboration, the “we-feeling” of a team must not be neglected. Due to the spatial distance, misunderstandings, personal barriers or team-internal conflicts easily arise. Moreover, when the feeling of belonging dwindles, employees feel less obliged to support their colleagues.
To counteract this process early on, the use of online team building measures is suitable. An example of this is group coaching via zoom meeting. Individual employees can openly discuss challenges and potential conflicts and solve them under professional guidance. Starting this week, GREWP offers customized online coaching for your team.
In conclusion, we trust that the experiences from the crisis can contribute to being more flexible and open for alternative working models in the future. In my opinion, the ability of a company to successfully implement innovations is a decisive factor for success in a world that is developing ever faster.
Discover online teambuilding at GREWP:
- Studie zu Homeoffice, Bitkom, 2018: https://www.bitkom.org/Presse/Presseinformation/Vier-von-zehn-Unternehmen-erlauben-Arbeit-im-Homeoffice.html
- Studie zu alternativen Arbeitsformen, Eurofound, 2017: https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/de/publications/report/2017/working-anytime-anywhere-the-effects-on-the-world-of-work
- Does Working from Home work?, Stanford Study, 2017: The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Volume 130, Issue 1, February 2015, Pages 165–218, https://doi.org/10.1093/qje/qju032
Angelika Vits | Co-Founder & CEO at GREWP