We asked our Head of People Relations, Linn, in a short interview a few questions about how gridscale is dealing with the current corona crisis.
Were you looking for childcare solutions together with the employees when the daycare centers closed? Or how was it dealt with in general?
The way we work at gridscale made it possible for our employees to deal with the situation very independently. Since we do not have fixed working hours, many of them used the flexibility to take care of their children and still be able to work. And of course most of them worked from home to balance both.
Were there any problems in some places in switching completely to the home office? Or did everything go smoothly?
Even before the crisis, we didn’t have an obligation to be present in the office, which is why we had a high percentage of people who worked partly or completely remotely. All our employees are basically equipped with laptops and could therefore easily switch to mobile work. So everything worked really well at gridscale!
How would you describe the current situation in the office?
By far relaxed 😉 In direct comparison to before, it has become much quieter. Shortly after the lockdown we moved into our extended office space and now we have a lot of space. This makes it a little easier for our employees to decide if and when they want to come to the office. Little by little I see more faces again, which I had only seen for a while via video chats, and I am very happy about the personal exchange.
Can you tell whether the teams are struggling with their communication or whether everything is going smoothly as well?
Fortunately, we were already well prepared for that as well. We don’t have a team that works completely on site. In this respect, we have always relied heavily on distributed collaboration via chat and video telephony. There is a weekly video call for the exchange with the entire company, the teams exchange information daily. So they were already used to this kind of communication before. Certainly, since the lockdown it has become more difficult for some and not everyone is equally comfortable working from home. In order to keep the social exchange going, we have set up a virtual kitchen where we meet for coffee every now and then.
How would you describe the current team spirit in general? Is the crisis depressing the mood?
A difficult question. I don’t think anyone has packed this time away completely positive. The first few weeks were still unproblematic for many. Maybe it was also simply pleasant and something new to work from home. Then came the phase in which some realized that they lacked the company and that this kind of work might not be completely to their liking. I’m glad that we’re now in the phase where we can come back to the office from time to time while observing all the rules of distance. It is noticeable that everyone is very happy about this and enjoys the time together. In this respect, I would say that the crisis has not dampened the mood in the long term, but it has increased the appreciation and enjoyment of the colleagues and our beautiful new office. One can now feel this very positive atmosphere every time you are on site.
How will gridscale deal with the fact that a “second wave” is coming? Is there a kind of “emergency plan”?
Since our approach worked very well during the first lockdown I assume that we can and will implement it again. Our management has already set up a small task force long before the official measures were taken and meets regularly to exchange information about all important and relevant incidents. Here, not only recommendations of the RKI are discussed but the task force is also advised by external specialists. In this respect, I feel very much at home here and know whom to contact if a question should arise.
Linn Salles | Head of People Relations
Linn is responsible for our People department, i.e. everything that has to do with recruiting and internal processes for gridscale employees. As a career changer, she discovered her heart for IT in 2012 and can now look back on more than seven years of professional experience in HR consulting and HR management.