Together through the crisis despite social distancing
Consulting is a personal business! And so, we normally work very closely – both with each other and with our customers. Now that this is suddenly no longer possible, we have found new solutions and are approaching this unfamiliar situation on various levels.
In this exceptional situation, it is particularly important for us to recognise the individual challenges facing our colleagues (and customers) and to deal with them in an understanding and flexible manner. For example, having to take care of children means moving working hours and limited accessibility. Despite the warning signs like ‘Attention video conferencing’ on the door of your office at home, every civity child has been either seen or heard in a conference. Rescheduling projects, restructuring working methods and adapting methodology and tools to the new situation, all mean additional work that calls for understanding on all sides. And last but not least, it is important to recognise the psychological strain that many of us are suffering from due to the current insecurity.
Cohesion and communication
Close cooperation in a team relies on many different forms of exchange. Informal formats are important, such as a brief conversation between colleagues in the coffee kitchen or over lunch. And this is exactly what is falling victim to social distancing at the moment.
In order to continue this close and regular exchange of information and avoid ‘working-from-home madness’, we in the civity team have introduced new formats for informal exchange – a virtual coffee kitchen, so to speak. This is where we meet in the mornings for a virtual civitea via video conference and, at lunchtime, anyone who wants can dial in for lunch together in the same way. And thanks to video conferencing systems, we don’t have to do without our happy hour beer on Friday evening.
In addition, we do of course meet as usual in our project teams for our regular professional exchange. Our experience with these formats so far has been very positive – greater communication is more important than ever these days to ensure team cohesion.
After all, we also aim to consciously create a little bit of optimism. That’s why our new slack channel #thinkpositive only shares positive news about Covid-19 (and beyond), showing, for instance, solidarity among our fellow citizens.
Due to the current situation, it was with a heavy heart that we had to cancel plans to celebrate the company’s 10th anniversary. We are confident that we will be able to do this once the lock-down restrictions have been lifted. For the moment, we will make do by raising our glasses and making a virtual toast on 16 April to celebrate ten successful years of civity.
On the whole, after three weeks of ‘collective working from home’, we can draw a positive interim balance in terms of our internal cooperation and cohesion as a team. We would be happy to share this and other experiences with you and learn more about the methods and approaches that you have found useful in the current situation.