Smart work is real (hard) work

A field-guide to approaching the new-normal the “Z-Way”.

The headlines of all major info platforms were recently hit by the big news that a possible vaccine seems to finally be on our way. We are delighted and we really hope it will be effective and widely available soon. Since we all know the distribution won’t be immediate, our CEO Dirk Schwindling has shared with us some useful thoughts and suggestions regarding our current smart working activities.

As we are all aware and as, unfortunately, it was expected, many of us resumed the smart-working mode that characterized all our spring and summer. Obviously, I don’t think this is the ideal situation for enjoying time with my colleagues, but considering this is above us, we have to keep sticking together in a virtual way, doing our best and placing our best efforts into working like this until the situation will improve. I wanted to share some thoughts that may be useful to all of us and especially to the many new colleagues who have joined during this peculiar time. Some of these thoughts were inspired by the digital pills created by our Marketing and People & Culture teams.

Smart work is real (hard) work.

I will never stop stressing how Smart working has been part of the routine for many colleagues even before this situation started. Many of us have been requesting to stay home from time to time to focus on difficult tasks, study new scenarios or simply because their presence was requested at home for family reasons. Back then it was not standard, neither an exception, but simply a reasonable alternative.

Be smart, be comfy.

Make sure your workstation is comfortable, with good lighting, an ergonomic chair and table, a stable internet connection, a functioning phone line and you have enough silence to focus. Furthermore, keep in mind the same respect you have for your colleagues in the office is due to your family and neighbors, so try to not be too loud and noisy, close-range coexistence (and co-working) will be much more comfortable for all of you.

Get yourself a schedule.

Stable working rhythms will help you make the most of your day. More than 8 hours of work are a big part of your day. Define a personal schedule for taking breaks, exercise and, if allowed, get out of the house for a bit of fresh air. 

You’ll never walk alone.

If you live alone, or you feel lonely, or you experience “blank page syndrome” and lose focus easily, etc. Try to communicate with your manager or ask a team-mate for help. Getting it off your chest and speaking about it will almost always do the trick and help you unblocking yourself.

Stick to your team.

Leadership is not only about giving orders, but rather about being able to face challenges together with people you work with. If you are a manager or in charge of a team/task, keep an eye open on your colleagues.  Understand the mood of people working with you, show empathy and make them feel part of something. 

Enjoy your time together.

We are not robots, which means as much as we focus together on giving the best in our tasks, we still enjoy spending personal time with each other. Take breaks together – a laugh is the best ally in challenging times. Organize regular, non-work-related informal meetups to share your experiences, thoughts and – why not – have fun. 

Document your experience.

Don’t shy away from sharing images, ideas or your thoughts on Teams to witness how you and your teams are facing these weeks together. Participate in the initiatives already provided (Digital Challenges, teams posts, etc.) – it’s an easy way to stay connected.

Last but surely not least, thank you once again for all your great work and sticking together with passion and enthusiasm like you all did now and of course also before these special times!

Digital Canteens 2021

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