The COVID-19 outbreak and crisis has hit everybody unexpected and hard. Our mission at NETRONIC Software is to enable every SMB organization to achieve operational agility with visual scheduling. Even in hard times, we are able to fully provide all our services, processes and offerings to you without any impact on the quality of our delivery. Last year, we invested a lot of time and money to be 100% capable of working from home. Hence, as of this week, our entire company operates from the employee's home offices. Here is how and some more background.
Our company's culture is not a "hip startup" culture. With few exceptions (precisely: two), we do not have remote workers. We all work in one building, at one location. Having a small team in one place has a lot of advantages. Even more: Right now we are people from 7 nationalities (from Europe, Asia, and Southern America) and you can imagine the sheer (and great!) energy that this blend of cultures brings. It was a hard decision to switch from "all in our office" to "all in the home office". However, we consciously did so to deliver to our responsibility as citizens of a global world.
We are able to do so due to a "hidden investment" we did last year. As a small software company, we found it increasingly challenging to find the needed number of suitable & "matching" employees who were interested in and willing to work with us in the Aachen (Germany) office. Hence, we launched in 2019 an internal initiative that we called "fully-fledged remote worker". The idea was to overhaul and rebuild our tools and processes in a was that we could hire anyone anywhere and be able to have somebody working with us from any place on earth.
With this measure, we had hoped to be able to act more flexibly on the job market and thus adequately flank our growth targets. Now this measure secures our ability to operate our entire company from our "home office" in the current situation and to offer *all* processes and services smoothly and trouble-free.
By the way: if you are interested in how we are keeping our operations up & running at full speed, continue reading ...
Undoubtedly, we are convinced that collaborating on a personal basis is an important factor in our success. But, we are even more convinced that everyone's health and general welfare is far more important. Therefore, we implemented processes to ensure our capability to operate our company out of "home offices".
Here is what we do:
- Every team (incl. the management team) has at least one quick "meet up" per day; ideally two (one in the morning, one in the afternoon). Meet-ups are 15-30 minutes, and they are meant to function as "coffee kitchen talks". A bit of small talk, and a bit of sharing what everybody is working on.
- Meet-ups are not meant to solve problems and conflicts. If they come up, we do 1:1 or 1:few meetings - just focused on that one issue.
- Regular recurring meetings continue to happen, but remote.
- Everyone is asked just to write what she/he has done during a day in our company chat. This is meant to provide context to colleagues, and to avoid that we all end up "working on islands".
- Folks are asked to switch their webcams on when doing a meeting.
We use Microsoft Teams as the internal communication backbone to support the above. Of course, we have different tools (Azure DevOps etc.) to manage and organize our delivery to our clients.
So - we are prepared to help you achieve operational agility. Operational agility equals operational strength in and against the hard times.
Stay safe and healthy,
Martin | CEO