Back in March 2020, COVID-19 was hitting Italy hard and we were starting to see the number of cases increase exponentially here in the UK. On the 23rd of March we went into nationwide lockdown. In Brazil, things weren’t looking very good either. Brazil, like the USA, is made up of many states with local governments and this decentralisation of power brought confusion and caused more harm than good.
Going into lockdown wasn’t too difficult for our guys in Latin America. From a work point of view, it was ‘business as usual’ because our engineers work from home anyway. We are also used to having Google Hangout calls and using Slack messages all day long so there are no difficulties in keeping the flow of communication and getting the work done for our clients. But from a mental-health point of view, it was tough being at home all the time, so we started talking about ways to socialise, exercise and keep our sanity.
As a company, we felt we had to support our personnel in every possible way through these difficult and unusual times. We realised very quickly that communication had to be better than ever, so we organised more online meetings. What follows are some initiatives that were proposed by different members of the team that helped us bond together.
Our Tech Lead plays the guitar. On weekends before Lockdown, he liked to perform at bars and pubs in Brazil. So we organised a few online concerts. Singing along and dancing was allowed and we all enjoyed making song requests on the fly.
Coffee with Techifide
We all like to get together for a coffee with friends. We can relax, talk about things that are not work-related and get to know each other better. Making time out of the working day to do this has helped us all bond more as a team and understand the ups and downs of each other’s lives, so we can support each other in these strange times.
Being able to grumble has never been so important and being able to understand the grumbler has never been so crucial. Our normal everyday personal or interpersonal conflicts are naturally exacerbated by what’s going on around us these days. We all know that talking to someone about our problems is a good way to ease our troubles. So Techifide’s 1:1s are not just about management of projects and people, they’re lightening the burdens we carry, so that we can still enjoy the work we do.
LinkedIn Learning Courses
The more our software engineers know, the higher the standards of our work. We decided to subscribe to LinkedIn Learning for all of them. Using more time at home to make the most of free access to high quality courses has had an immense positive impact on every team member. This also complements the learning programme our English Tutor, Douglas, has managed to keep going throughout the Coronavirus crisis.
The Happy Friday
With few exceptions, we all probably worked over and above our contracted hours during the quarantine period. As a gesture of goodwill and trust, we allow everyone at Techifide to stop when they feel they can or should, after 1 pm on Fridays. We found that Friday is the day with most hours dedicated to the LinkedIn Learning courses.
During quarantine, we not only continued to operate normally but we also managed to grow. I did not feel any impact on my working life, as we have efficient tools for collaboration and communication, which makes communication between team members very easy. Herminio Brustulim – Senior Software Engineer
So, while many of our UK clients have been spending their time working out how to function together remotely in a ‘new normal’, we have been making improvements to our ‘already normal’ remote working operations. Helping our team stay motivated and productive, helps us grow and develop together as we take on more exciting projects for 2020.