The Corona pandemic has changed life in all areas in the year 2020 - this also applies to everyday working life. Companies in all sectors have had to respond to the development: Local stores closed or remained open only under strict conditions. Employees had to comply with hygiene regulations or were transferred to home offices. The latter also applies to our own team. The following blog post tells how working changed in Corona times at Latori and what we learned from it.
Working together in the office has many advantages: There is a busy atmosphere, the necessary technology is on site, and many matters, especially operational ones, can be organized quickly and on demand. But what if office normalcy suddenly poses a non-tolerable, health risk to the workforce? Depending on the industry, the answer to this question probably varies: a complete halt to production, short-time work or home office. For Latori, as a Shopify developer, working fully remote can be an option. Nevertheless, the new situation resulted in some adjustments.
Home Office & Corona: Positive Expectation Meets Habit
Due to the Corona pandemic, our team had to switch completely to remote work for the time being. The changes that resulted had an impact on all departments. Our team includes people from front & backend development, accounting, design, training & commercial departments.
The expectations of working from the home office were predominantly positive. Many of our employees also saw the restructuring as an opportunity to improve internal communication. Others were used to working completely from home anyway - for them, nothing changed at all.
By the way: During the lockdown, there is no hiring freeze at Latori. Interviews, trial work and onboarding are decentralized and run from the home office. One of the interviewees is new to the team and has already experienced the process.
"From the beginning everything ran remotely, interview, trial work, onboarding and with the equipment I got, home office was then no problem at all."
- René, Frontend Developer
You want to be part of the team and work at Latori? Maybe we are looking for exactly you - apply for our vacancies!
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How Corona affects productivity
All employees of the Latori team saw a big plus: working in a home office eliminates the need to travel to the office. For some, the workday could even start earlier as a result. But what about the work itself? Is it just as productive to work from home as it is with colleagues on site?
An internal survey of our team members resulted in restrained reactions to this question. Although communication is apparently "well organized," the route via e-mail and voice chat is naturally the more cumbersome. This is especially true when things need to be clarified out of the conversation. Instead of coordinating with colleagues on demand, people send various e-mails back and forth. The working atmosphere is also a problem for some survey participants: In the office, colleagues simply pull you along; at home, this self-drive is often lacking. For some employees, maintaining productivity was therefore a greater effort than in normal office work.
Advantages and disadvantages of remote work
We already mentioned the unbeatably short commute in the previous paragraph. The resulting time savings result in further advantages: You have more time for family & friends and are generally less stressed. In addition, you can organize your day as you like and are not only free in terms of location, but also time. This also appeals to Latori.
However, this freedom can also tempt people to put things off - one of the disadvantages of remote working that is not entirely lost on our respondents. The tendency to procrastination is accompanied by more difficult knowledge transfer within the team. Outside of customer projects, the good ideas of others usually go unheard.
Work goes from anywhere
Despite all the obstacles, one thing pretty much all the respondents learned about themselves during the lockdown was that they work from anywhere. Working productively from home requires self-discipline and good time management. Most participants see themselves as having clearly improved on these points. At the same time, home office apparently contributes to a greater appreciation of the (significantly less) time spent with colleagues. This strengthens team cohesion and is good for group dynamics.
Communication via chat & video call
As with most home office companies, communication at Latori takes place via daily chats and video calls. We provide each employee with the necessary equipment.
By the way: To ensure that the team can also keep fit in the home office, we also cover the costs of gym memberships and conduct a weekly Corona Care check-up.
Wishes for the future: Home office as an alternative to the office
At the end, we naturally wanted to know from our employees what they would like to see in the future - looking back on the last few months. Understandably, the wish for normality was expressed: Working in the office, without a mask and/or hygiene regulations. However, it should be clear to everyone involved that this scenario will be a long time coming in view of the fact that the number of infections is rising again and the vaccine is still lacking.
After all, in times of the Corona pandemic, we had the opportunity to put working remotely to the test across the board. Some of the respondents have apparently discovered the home office for themselves and state that they would also like to work away from the office in the future - perhaps not as a permanent solution, but gladly for one or two days a week.
Currently, only part of the team is in the office at any given time. Whether and when we will return to our normal office routine, whether home office will remain a permanent option or whether we will even have to close our offices completely for a second time remains to be seen. One thing our customers can be sure of, however, is that even if face-to-face meetings are currently difficult to implement, Latori's qualitative work will not be restricted by remote working!
Do you need support and a competent partner for your work with Shopify Plus? As experts and the first Shopify Plus agency in Germany, we are happy to assist you. Contact us for a non-binding conversation!