Corona hit us like a ton of bricks in February, also at 12Build. The situation in the company is now relatively positive, but many changes had to be implemented quickly. We could no longer just go to our customers for a sales meeting. We work better and better from home. We still enjoy our jobs and working from home is becoming increasingly effective. Much is settled when it comes to how we connect and inspire each other. We learn how we can help and inspire each other from a distance.

But I do miss having people around me. I am looking forward to meeting people again, to chat at the coffee machine and to organize a huge party. If we’re meeting face-to-face, you can read body language. We’re able to look people in the eye. Physically. One of the core values ​​of 12Build is joy: we love shiny eyes. This can only be achieved to a certain extent if you work from home and do video meetings.

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We have been working from home since the first time we had to, since the beginning of March. The switch to working from home went pretty smoothly: we immediately took home screens, keyboards and laptops home and we all set up our own new workplace. We worked out the worst-case financial scenarios in February, but fortunately we did not have to implement them. When the summer vacation started, I was looking forward to going back to the office 2 or 3 days a week after the vacation. To work together and meet each other physically. In September it turned out that this is not yet possible. At that moment I felt pretty miserable about that, but luckily I quickly learned to live with it. We learn to work better together at a distance, while retaining inspiration and job satisfaction.

Creative get-together

I see some really cool benefits of working from home. For example: I see my family more and I can have breakfast with my children in the morning. I have more time to read and I deliberately avoid doing this at my desk. I choose to make regular phone calls while walking through the garden so that I don't sit in one place all day.

To keep in touch, we have a day start every morning where we "see" each other. Camera on. Colleagues ask each other every day how he/she is really doing. In the weekly team meeting we usually also ask how things are going at home.

We have many initiatives to keep in touch with each other at 12Build. There are Friday Night Drinks every Friday. In the beginning we did this via Google Meet, but since a few weeks we started with "Borrel.app". On that platform you are a floating robot and you can move around on an island, join a group of people and choose to hear only them. Some colleagues have even started meeting on that island for business purposes. I was surprised at how close Borrel.app comes to the physical Friday drinks that we are used to.

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We have a Slack channel in which we share (bad) jokes, the team days are now digital and we have done a 'look behind the scenes' with colleagues, where they give us a digital tour of their house.

I think it is important that you keep asking your colleagues the right questions. What are the problems you face? What kind of workplace do you have at home? And to the people who always went to customers for sales meetings: what does it do to you that you now have online conversations? How can we improve the situation for each other?

A different way of working

In the summer we went to the sailboat with our four daughters and there we worked together on my phone's 4G network. Noise canceling headphones on, laptop on your lap, children taking online lessons in the sun, the rippling water around me. We really enjoyed each other and the freedom together. I was less productive than when I work from home or at the office, but it's important that we immediately seize these opportunities when they present themselves.

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Working from home has its limitations. We therefore usually hold weekly meetings at the office, in combination with a day (part) of working at the office. Commercial colleagues in particular really like to see each other in person. What I personally like is taking a one-on-one walk through the woods, instead of an online meeting. I also see colleagues visiting each other at home to work together for a day. We need the office less and less, or perhaps differently than before the corona crisis. In my opinion, the office has a much more connecting, inspiring and social function now. Every colleague is now a mouse click away from me. That is less of a barrier to starting a conversation than when you have to walk to someone in the office.

Right now it is what it is. There is little we can do about the situation, but we can deal with it as best we can. Keep your distance from others and ask more often how things are going with your colleagues. This way we not only stay physically but also mentally healthy.

Posted on 11/20/2020 by: 12Build

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