Working From Anywhere: Redefining How We Approach WorkMitte News
Corona has been dictating our lives here in Berlin (and everywhere else) for quite some time now.
Everyone probably remembers those first weeks and months of the pandemic and how it not only affected our personal lives, but also our workplaces. Fast forward to 2021. Times are still difficult, but there is a small light on the horizon (and no, we’re not talking about the divisive vaccine strategy that is going on here in Germany). At Mitte, hybrid and remote work has become the new normal and we want to concentrate on the opportunities this change is bringing. So we developed a ‘New Work Concept’ – at the center of which are our employees, because in this ever-changing environment, we want to give the team consistency in our approach to working with each other.
How Did We Approach the Concept?
We decided we wanted to look internally and externally at the information already available, and come up with new ideas that fit with our Mitte-specific needs. We’re lucky that we could dive deep into our network and speak with other companies we know like Taxfix and Formlabs, but also to our investors from Danone who kindly shared their research.
We focused on areas, such as collaboration, communication, workspace, infrastructure, mobile work and – maybe most importantly – our culture.
The Future Is Flexible: Working From Anywhere
Having done more than a year of remote and hybrid work now, we strongly believe that the future of work is mobile! We’re also aware (and proud) we have a very international team, with their families living in other countries and other continents. So we wanted to ensure we reflected this in our company guidelines, by giving Mittonians the opportunity to work from anywhere for three months in a year.
Already, some of our team members have been joining meetings from India, South Africa and Canada. We can’t wait to see where this takes our team members!
With New Requirements Comes a New Role: Workplace Experience Manager
Corona and our hybrid and remote set-up brought many new challenges, especially because we have different teams with quite specific requirements – some work only in the office, some only in our Labs, and some work remotely. So the entire Mitte employee experience had to be reconsidered.
To meet those needs, we opened the Workplace Experience Manager role and we’re really excited that Laura Weger joined the Mitte team in early 2021.
Meetings, Meetings, Meetings: Important Pillars to Keep In Mind For Meetings
Meetings have become quite a topic in the last year. With so many meetings going on, we found it important to make some of the implicit explicit, so we came up with the following guidelines:
- All meetings need to be set up in a manner that they can be attended remotely at any time by anyone within a specific time frame (10:0 – 16:00 AM CET)
- We prefer Hangouts or Zoom for video conferencing and add a meeting agenda + meeting form (e.g. Hangouts/Zoom) for every call.
- We encourage everyone to use the ‘speedy meeting’ (50 min) setting in google calendar to prevent the onset of “Zoom fatigue”.
- We aim to attend meetings in a quiet, distraction-free place.
- We encourage all attendees to turn their camera on during meetings.
- Using microphones with good audio quality is a big plus!
How We Facilitate (Virtual) Events
It was hard to keep that team feeling alive in the last 12 months! We continued with many virtual online events, so as to make sure the ‘social glue’ doesn’t get totally lost. What particularly helped us was to publish an event calendar so the team could have an overview about what’s coming up next and have something to look forward to. We also make sure to support our teams with booking virtual team spirit events, so they can stay connected and have fun.
Our Unique Mitte Culture
We have a special culture at Mitte, that revolves around our Manifesto and the idea of leaving things ‘Better than before’. At the center of our Manifesto are our four P’s of Mitte: Purpose, Product, People and Planet. It’s important for us to protect these pillars, especially during stressful phases like these. So besides team-driven virtual events like yoga, stretching and other workouts, we’ve gone to great lengths to actually check in: conducting surveys with our team to find out what the most important pain points are that we need to resolve.
Mental Health Is Key During Times Like These!
At Mitte, we truly care about the mental well-being of our team. We also know that our mental and physical health are so closely connected, with mental health playing a major role in people’s ability to maintain good physical health, and be happy and productive – particularly in these challenging times. With that in mind, we are happy to announce that we’ve partnered with nilo.health, a mental health platform that provides our team with access to meditation, training and counselling sessions with experts whenever needed.
Our ‘New Work Concept’ is an initiative that will continue to evolve and improve. We’d be happy to hear from your experience! If you’re intrigued to learn more about Mitte, feel free to check out our website or consider joining our team!
Who is Eike König? A “father, designer, lover, citizen, artist.” And the person behind Mitte’s first artistic collaboration. Born in Hanau in 1968, Eike founded the Berlin visual communications studio HORT in 1994. He was named the Visual Leader of the year in 2011 by the Lead Academy. He also teaches illustration and graphic design
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