Working from home: what we’ve learned about remote work?
New circumstances, new ways of working, new habits. With Backbase being a global company, represented by 11 offices across the world, staying connected digitally and bringing teams remotely is nothing new to us. That being said, usually, we do it cross-country, not cross-homes. The scale at which we had to switch the whole company into remote working mode was tricky and at times challenging. What we’ve learned? Today, like never before is the time to live our values - staying curious to explore the unknown, keeping up our ambition of getting things done, enjoying the challenge and continuing to make it happen together.
Here’s how our Product Implementaion team stayed accountable to adapt to the current reality.
Communication is key at Backbase, and it is especially important within our customer success department. We talked to our Operations Officer in EMEA hub, Olga, and asked her about the new initiatives that help them stay informed and connected with 250 people across 7 offices globally.
“We launched our first really Global team stand-up since all our global hubs are working from home”, says Olga. “More than 150 Backbasers joined online (wow!). The idea is to have this stand-up at least every month and to invite speakers from various departments to give a talk on a topic that is interesting or relevant for Product Implementation teams.
For example, last Friday Tim Rutten, SVP of Strategy & Proposition, talked about Strategy, Andres Torres, Director of Backend in Product Development team, shed light on Trackbase and Deepak Pandey, Principal Solution Architect, spoke about BaaS. Everyone was very excited, so we will continue doing more of these, especially these days when everyone stays at home.”
At Backbase, we like to stay curious, find new ways of working and learn from each other. Managing your whole team remotely can be challenging. But luckily we have colleagues who understand the difficulties of remote management and know how to be successful at it. Mitya Gladyshev, Technical Manager in Product Implementation team, is one of them. We talked to him to find out more about a remote workshop that he hosted for a group of people managers, where Mitya shared tips & tricks that can be applied in order to keep your team engaged and be on top of things.
“I'll start with the most important thing. Remote management is not something radical. It is a framework that you should apply on top of your management style if you are to be successful with distributed teams”, says Mitya.
“First, it is crucial to make sure that all of your team members have the necessary tools to work from home. Next, it is essential to put more structure to the existing process while retaining as much empathy as you can. Finally, make sure that your people don’t overwork due to the flexibility stigma. Trust your team to do the right thing, even in a remote environment. Help your team members to map their office activities to remote ones, and they start making an impact in no time.”
Keeping our culture alive
Last but not least, Backbase is about people. It’s devastating not to be in our offices all together anymore. It’s strange not to have regular catch-up over a coffee in the morning, share a lunch table with one of your co-workers, or enjoy some laughs over a beer on Friday afternoon. We miss each other and in order to stay connected our Backbasers globally came up with various activities throughout the week to keep in touch with each other. Bianca, Operations Manager, shared some insights with us.
“We are staying connected like never before. For example, Roberto, Technical Manager, initiated Virtual Coffees to fight the isolation of remote work and get together for a casual chat every now and then.
We are also trying to keep our rituals alive. One of Backbase’s oldest traditions is 4 o’clock beers on a Friday and this is something we are not ready to compromise. So Luca, Technical Manager in EMEA Hub, said that beers are mandatory and created a Virtual Beer chat where we come together to reflect on the week and enjoy time together before the weekend.
Our teams in North America created a Slack channel #Northamericakickscoronasbutt, where they enjoy every day fun challenges with pictures and videos.
Our main Slack channel also stays busy with every day new pictures of lunch, pets, home office spaces,etc. We also created our own WFH Spotify playlist and we share board games, books, video games that keep us entertained during isolation. So as you can see, we adapted to the new reality quite well.”