Stay Home Stories, Part 2
The secret sauce of survival
Welcome back to part 2 of our blog series related to our new way of work, aka home office. First of all: Thank you so much for the great feedback we received on our first post last week and our #stayhomestories initiative on social media. (Go check out Instagram if you haven’t done yet). 🙌🏽 It’s great to see that our efforts on engaging, supporting and entertaining our community are paying off.
If you want to join, pls share your #stayhomestories with us by using this hashtag and tagging us.
But let’s get back to business and today’s post. As mentioned last week, the home office situation is something pretty new to us as a team. And additionally: we are pretty new as a team. Which is a kind of situation you probably wouldn’t wish for. But hey, we’re entrepreneurial minds and adapting to change and dealing with challenges is part of our DNA (now even we have to LOL pretty hard, thx to this calendar-esque statement). Let’s be real again – as we still believe that leadership is all about authenticity – this situation could potentially cause a lot of trouble. Which is why we decided to go the extra mile (ok, we really have to stop using stereotypical phrases about entrepreneurship from now on) and came up with two things that shape our new way of work:
Work routine #1: Daily Check-ins
For some of us, daily routines are essential – even BC (Before Corona). For some of us, daily routines are the worst – and probably will be PC (Post Corona). We still decided to bring some structure into our days and do regular check-ins as a team at 10am on Zoom. We’ve done daily standups before, but these days our check-ins are certainly more detailed and interactive than before. Plus: It’s usually combined with a general update on how everyone is doing, the sharing of good reads, videos, etc or the current weather situation across Austria (as we’re currently based in five federal states, this is a surprisingly interesting topic).
Our takeaways so far: Doing daily check-ins is a big time commitment, but pretty important to us as we really value each other’s inputs and generally enjoy spending time together. Plus: it’s the closest we get to our BC office situation. Also quite important: Switching the camera on to make sure everyone is focused.
Work routine #2: Project management tools
Believe it or not, until last week we didn’t use a proper project management tool and did most of our planning in Google Sheets (we can see both some shocked faces and heavy nodding out there). This worked surprisingly well for us, mainly because a) we didn’t run that many projects in parallel, b) the resources within our team were more limited and c) we were sitting at one large table and it was easy to share information and keep track of things.
Moving to remote work, we realized that this needed to be professionalized. Thanks to our COO, we’re now fully operational on that side, using Trello. We’ll keep you posted how this tool will work out for us.
Updates from the team
As promised, we also want to keep you updated on how the individuals in our team are doing. So here we go with updates from week 2:
New week, new accomplishments: getting used to the situation and watching the news less often than in the first days of the lockdown – which definitely boosted her productivity. She’s still on track with her morning routine (we’d like to call it the vitamin c love story) and she even added a nice morning stretch. Unfortunately she’s also experiencing one of the biggest downsides of the current situation: thanks to more desk work and less workouts, she started suffering from back pain. Her pro tip for avoiding this: a Blackroll (https://www.blackroll.com/de/) which got a special spot right next to her desk 😉
New week, new thoughts. To her surprise, this self quarantine situation is going better than expected. Initially being worried about social distancing and self quarantining, she realized that there are aspects that she’s really enjoying. On a run, she reflected on her situation and the privileges she’s experiencing: like still being able to work, parents that can provide for her in case of emergency, a place to stay that is safe and big enough to fit the whole family and no existential fears that keep her up at night. Considering this, she started thinking about all the people out there that are in the same situation – asking everyone to be more thankful and to use the free time and resources to do something meaningful. And to help the ones in need.
New week, new mindset. Slowly but surely Lena is getting used to the new normal (but just like all of us still hopes that we will soon get back to normal-normal). She observes that productivity generally is increasing and people start talking about other things than the virus. To keep the spirits up she started to focus on the positive aspects of the current state: more efficiency in business due to calls instead of meetings, a more international mindset as there are no borders in the digital world, less traffic and air pollution and therefore positive effects on the environment and an overwhelming increase of solidarity in the society. On a personal level: she developed a new work routine (details are classified 😉 and other than that follows whatever her mind and body tell her to do – ranging from sports to watching tv. As she’d like to call her current state: Forced Mindfulness 😉
New week, new routines? Yes, Nina definitely stuck to her plan of establishing new routines. She focused on a new project that took quite a lot of her time: re-thinking and re-building the (internal) social media reporting across all Female Founders social media channels. Hello, Google Data Studio! Her observation: once you open that tool and start exploring, time passes by even faster than you would imagine. One thing that went much slower than expected: her progress in “home learning” and studying all the materials for her art history classes. Something she definitely wants to change next week. Apart from that, she spent more time on the phone than ever before (greetings to her 16-year-old self!) and started reading “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel García Márquez (spoiler: she loves it).
New week, new age. Lisa’s start to the week was quite a special one, celebrating her birthday in a very unusual way – with her parents, Schnitzel & mostly on the phone. Apart from this, adapting to new routines went surprisingly well with daily standups at 9am/10am, family lunch at 12.30pm (sharp as her mom’s likes to point out), regular sport sessions at 6pm and ZIB 1 at 7.30pm. Although she’s not sure whether she likes these structured days or not (it feels a bit like giving up her freedom), it definitely improved her productivity. Also, finishing work at a specific time had a positive effect: she now has the time to read more and come up with new ideas for Female Founders (we can’t be more excited..:P) or for her own book, which will likely be called “Love in the time of COVID-19” (spoiler: Nina will like it).
Mochi, we miss you
As for the first two weeks, remote work turned out quite well for us. We established some first routines, see each other quite regularly and still share stuff & news beyond work. All of this is made possible thanks to technology – and startups that have driven and will further drive innovation & digitalization across different sectors.
BUT there is one thing that can never be replaced by technology: our weekly team lunch featuring a selection of Mochi’s finest dishes..
Stay hungry, stay healthy,
your Female Founders team
PS: Yes, this blog post was written while being hungry. And yes, we really like food. If you do to, you can support your favourite Viennese restaurants here: www.vorfreude.kaufen