From office to home office
On March 13, we officially announced that we are closing offices and moving home to work remotely. In order to ensure comfortable conditions in home offices, we made it possible for Metapackers to take their business laptops, desktops, monitors, and even chairs or gym balls with them.
Was the decision to move more than 150 employees from office to homes easy? Definitely yes, because we trust them completely. We don’t count the working hours, we understand that breaks are needed – to spend time with your child or simply take your eyes off of the monitor.
We know how difficult isolation is and what challenges it brings. That is why we strongly encourage teams not to lose touch with each other and take coffee meetings to virtual cafes on Zoom. We are not disturbed by children running in the background, and we will gladly wave every kid from the webcam.
We also constantly make sure that our Metapackers do not lose their motivation, good mood and sense of humor. So we asked them about the first social distancing crises and how to deal with them. As always, their creativity exceeded our wildest expectations.
Crisis? What is that?
In our survey, the Metapackers admitted that the crisis hit them at various moments of isolation. At the very beginning, it was caused by problems with the organization of the workplace or a sudden lack of access to the Internet. After a few days, when the lack of contacts with colleagues from the office made work difficult, new struggles appeared.
"Friday the 13th = the first day of Home Office: the cables are not the right ones, nothing fits, the MPM has broken, it does not connect to the base, everything is wrong."
"The only crisis I've had is back pain - I walk less at home, mailny because everything is handled online."
"After a few days of working in an unprepared place. It was uncomfortable for me, I had to change seat often, I felt tired."
Fortunately, there were also people who didn’t seem to hear about the crisis, or at least chose to ignore it.
"No internet connection blocked me for 5 hours! A crisis? That's what those with coronavirus have!"
More than 50 Metapackers answered the question about the first Home Office crisis. Their statements show that the vast majority – 57% – have already had it. 40% said the crisis had not hit them (yet). There was also a small 1% of votes admitting that they don’t know whether the crisis has happened or not. Perhaps they decided that the nervous swinging under the desk does not qualify as a serious stage of the crisis yet 😉
Lack of contact with people vs. too intense contact
What was the cause of the crises? It depends. Metapackers living with their families and pets had to cope with many previously unknown challenges. It turned out, for example, that kids make a lot of mess, cats like to sit on their owners’ faces, wives talk to themselves, and husbands sing loudly…
"The first crisis was caused by a mess (let's call things by their name - a mayhem) that my children made."
"The tenth day with two kids... No internet."
Completely different kinds of problems have Metapackers who go through #socialdistancing very literally.
"Yes, the lack of contact with other people made me feel like the walls were narrowing."
"Yeeah, caused by living alone, so no direct daily contact with other people."
There were also other causes of crises, including stress related to difficulties in performing tasks.
"The crisis was related to the motivation to work and the difficulty with concentrating."
"Biting timelines, trying to finish topics after hours, I wrapped myself in a blanket like a kebab. Strangely enough, it didn't help."
"Implementation problem. No contact with the person who knew the client best."
We learned from the survey that some of our Metapackers miss the office, contacts and quick troubleshooting in the corridor. Others, on the other hand, enjoy extra time with their family, work in pajamas or sweatpants, and not having to travel to work.
Another challenge is the lack of exercise. Metapackers are active people, so sitting at home every day, lack of training and fresh air affects their well-being. Back pain and uncomfortable chairs at home do not help.
Keep calm and carry on
Crises do happen, but we also wanted to know how Metapackers deal with them. It turns out that most of them have three solutions to get into better mood: peace of mind, new activities, and a lot of online contact with others.
"Videoconferencing, lots of chatting with people."
"A quick team call for giggles and coffee helped a lot."
"Panic, stress. I call a colleague and he helps me. He suggests a solution. Relief. I cry with happiness. Curtain."
"I have the impression that the current situation tightens family ties and interpersonal contacts (via phone or Internet). There is more time to think about others. Call them up, ask how they are doing."
"We bake buns and make burgers."
"You can catch up on books, movies, things for which there was always no time."
One of our employees even revealed a way to avoid difficulties in focusing on work:
"I started using the pomodoro technique, which involves 5 minutes of break after every 25 minutes of focused work. I have set myself slightly different proportions - 40 minutes of work / 5 minutes of breaks (gymnastics, social media, music, going to the balcony), then the time devoted to work, although theoretically shorter, is filled more effectively than when constantly sitting in front of the monitor. "
Some people in difficult times are supported by household members… those four-legged ones:
"Fortunately, I have a pet, he is like a warm duvet in a moment of crisis, which I can use to isolate myself from all problems and then go back to work."
The most important thing, however, is to remain calm and acknowledge that there are things that are beyond our control. You should accept the situation and find a lot of patience that will make everyday life – alone or with family – a little more bearable. As one Metapacker put it:
"You have to take care of the priorities, make good use of the additional hour that we gain not going to work. Basically, you have to be demanding, but also understanding for yourself and your family."
Home or office?
What do you think? Do Metapackers prefer working in the office or at home? At this stage, you could be mistaked! Because despite the crises and inconvenience, our respondents are divided on this issue.
They answered the question of Home or Office ambiguously. Approximately 14% of people were in favor of working at home, and around 46% in favor of an office. On the other hand, the rest, i.e. about 38%, stated that they saw the advantages of both stationary and remote work.
And what do you think? Join the discussion on our Facebook profile Meet Metapack . We are eager to learn your ways to fight the crisis!