The understanding of office work has recently changed significantly, particularly because of the pandemic. More and more organisations are going for teleworking; for some, it is a big challenge. We have previously collected a variety of digital tools and solutions for teleworking, but sometimes it is not enough for creating a successful telework culture. Therefore, this time, we share the experience of the RIGA COMM participants in creating a virtual environment for productive work and a united team of employees.
The most important thing – enough communication
Although moving to work remotely initially at Neopay (part of NEO Finance) was a major challenge due to a lack of experience, the Lithuanian financial company dealt with it impeccably and the results achieved show that productivity has even increased. This may have been due to the company’s investment in internal communication and team building. As before, teams met with executives remotely every week and prepared monthly presentations of results.
Much attention was paid to informal communication. Each month there were team-building events and different quizzes, but on Fridays, there were presentations to get to know colleagues so that newcomers could get into the team as soon as possible and long-term employees would get to know each other better.
As well as working in an office, maintaining sufficient communication is most important when working remotely, indicates Neopay. “Remote working led to new communication channels, learning to use new platforms and ways of sharing information. In order to avoid confusion, it is important to plan and record all tasks or appointments, so that everyone involved can clearly know their responsibilities,” told Aleksėjus Loskutovas, Head of administration at NEO Finance.
United and cooperative team – without meeting each other
The Latvian digital marketing agency iMarketings.lv has already had teleworking experience before the pandemic, as employees could work two days a week outside the office. Nevertheless, Sergejs Volvenkins, head of the company’s digital division, admits that continued working remotely presents the challenge of being able to maintain a team spirit and passing the company’s values on to new employees. In order to maintain “contact” between the company’s employees while working remotely, virtual appointments take place in the company every week. Once every two weeks, there is a meeting where management tells you how all the projects are doing, so that there is no feeling that the work in the company has stopped. Similarly, once every two weeks, there are virtual coffee drinking meetings, which, as in the presence, allow you to chat about topical issues in an informal atmosphere and get to know each other better. In addition, it is useful not only for new employees, but also for those who have been working in the company for quite some time.
Even before all restrictions, iMarketings.lv launched an initiative that is also very valuable in remote working conditions and helps to form a united and cooperative team: every week, each colleague has the opportunity to vote for another colleague whom he or she would like to say special thanks, for example, for sharing one’s knowledge. The employee who receives the most votes gets a pleasant reward – from dainties or event tickets to extra paid leave. Sergejs is pleased to admit that this reward goes to different colleagues and that the team is cooperative and supportive in teleworking conditions.
It is not important for the management of iMarketings.lv what the employees do during their working hours, but the main thing is to get work done. Moreover, the Employee Performance Score (KPIs) shows that employees are as efficient or even more efficient as working from the office. However, given that it is more difficult to distinguish between working time and leisure time when working from home, the company’s policy is to communicate work issues only during working hours, so that people could fully relax and recover energy during leisure hours.
Transition to working from home offers additional opportunities
The Estonian financial technology company Wallester also managed to successfully transfer all work processes to working from home and even improve the efficiency of employees. When the company started teleworking, the office’s schedule was maintained and it allowed the optimum pace and discipline of work to be maintained. Regular appointments from the conference room were directed to Zoom, but the project results were discussed on Skype. As before, Trello, Slack and other cloud services were used in the project management. When starting to work remotely, there were concerns that the home environment might be hindering productivity, even though professionalism of the employees allowed them to return quickly to the path of productivity.
While working remotely, the willingness of some employees to develop professional skills decreased, the adjustment of each employee’s individual career development plan and the introduction of additional incentive indicators helped to resolve it. It was noted that Wallester employees were happy to share useful information with colleagues on video chat tools and other communication channels.
“Teleworking, compared to working in an office, provides even more opportunities for professional growth. It is now easier to organise and attend conferences and educational seminars,” told the Wallester representatives.
Business technology exhibition and conferences
Learn about the latest technology, tools and techniques at the annual business and IT industry event RIGA COMM, October 14–15, where developers and suppliers of enterprise resource management, document management, HRM and security systems, suppliers of cloud services, internet and digital marketing services, web solutions and mobile application developers, and ICT product manufacturers offer ready-to-use and tailored solutions for companies in different industries and of different sizes, municipal authorities and organisations to facilitate efficient operation. An extensive conference programme will complement the technology exhibition.
RIGA COMM is held by the International Exhibition Company BT 1 in cooperation with Wallester, Cognizant, Intelligent Machines Riga, Riga TechGirls, SmartHR Latvija, Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mailigen by Pipedrive, Finance Latvia Association, A.W.Olsen & Partners and other partners.