Post COVID lockdown thoughts or how we survived the pandemic. A HR person's perspective.

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September 2nd, 2020, posted in #forfounders
by Iulia

It’s been a while since we’ve learned to live with COVID-19. It wasn’t easy, as we were facing something new and scary. It wasn’t hard either,  as we had to work from home. Since March 13th I and my colleagues at UPDIVISION have been watching how the world and the business dynamic changed. And what a change…

 

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However we need to see the bigger picture. There are PROs and CONs, but also lessons that need to be learned.

 

Good things happen even in the pandemic

I will start with the positive aspects of this quarantine. We are a software development company. Working from home was not a huge change for us, as we had this policy before. So, we rapidly adapted to the new situation. We tried to speak more with each other, to somehow replace the interaction we had in our office. So, we set up a weekly meeting where we talked about all the things we did during the week. It helped a lot, as all of us were aware of the status of everyone in the team. Moreover, we started to play tennis (we tried so hard in the past), in order to keep our team spirit alive. Also, we meet on a weekly basis for a beer/cider/juice. smiley

 

Another good thing for our business was that we saved time and money. All our colleagues chose to work fully remote, so no time spent on commuting, and that led to the decision to give up on our office. At least temporarily. Therefore we saved the money for rent, utilities, and office management.

 

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That’s not all: our business grew as everyone wanted to move its business to online and that led to a need for new employees in our company. Speaking about hiring, I spotted something great about this process in the pandemics. Our pool of candidates grew bigger, as the candidates’ location wasn’t a deal breaker anymore (for both sides).

 

The bad part is…

….that even if we see each other weekly, we miss the watercooler jokes, or sharing a smoke together. And why not bragging about our spectacular meals on our lunch breaks. Also, it was really hard to give up our office, as it was our second home and we really tried to make it look like it.

 

What did we learn?

 

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  • Communication is key. It was difficult to move every interaction online. Especially because our monthly developer meetings started with a good burger, or pizza, or ribbs. Also, it was about the human connection. Which is hard to achieve even with a great internet connection. However, communication means not only verbal interaction, but also messages, emails or phone calls. We realized that these options made us think better before asking something. We weren’t at the office anymore, ready to buzz our colleagues with every tiny problem. That led to less interruptions in our daily jobs, as everyone started to search the answer by him-/her-self, avoiding a late answer via Skype, or a rejected call. We prioritized our work: we called for anything urgent, sent messages on Skype/email for problems that can wait for an answer. We are now more effective.
  • An organised team delivers better. I don’t know about you, but we are fans of checklists. Having this in mind, we created a daily tracker where we put all our routines, “to do”s for the day, reminders etc. and as we completed them, we checked the boxes. We found that quite satisfying. Also, it helped the team leaders/managers to have an overview of the workload on each team member.

 

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  • Oh, the priorities. Working from home can be tricky, as you tend to lose track of time. In order to avoid that, we learned how to better prioritize our work. We used an Excel form, splitted in three major sections (the Eisenhower matrix): “important and urgent”, “important and not urgent”, and “not important and urgent”. Having this tracker, we were free to juggle with unpredictable situations, tasks etc.

 

After all, this quarantine had its good and bad parts, it taught us that it is always a good choice to save money, that our health is the best asset we have and that we should always be open to changes. In the end I would like to share with you a funny dialogue from The New Yorker. Enjoy! wink


About the author

Iulia

Food, volleyball and tennis lover (quite a combination). I am passionate about people and behaviors, more into observing them, so I chose a career in Human Resources. I am not a very techy person, but I enjoy being around them, as I have so much to learn.

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