How Bonitasoft’s workplace culture prepared us to face the COVID-19 crisis
“The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.” — Socrates
In just a few months, the world as we know it completely shifted. No one could have predicted that 2020 would be the year of a global pandemic, a year where our lives would be put on hold, and where businesses would shut down almost overnight.
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Every company has had to adapt at a rate that was unimaginable before all of this and it wasn’t easy.
Even though this crisis has proven to be challenging for everyone—Bonitasoft included— going through it has brought to light how our company culture, our values and our DNA prepared us to face this global pandemic.
5 lessons we’ve learned from the Covid-19 crisis
Flexibility and trust are key
Even before the pandemic hit, Bonitasoft had already implemented a “work from anywhere” policy for all of our employees. The idea was to let each employee decide where they felt they would be the most efficient and comfortable while working, whether that was in the office, at home, or in a coffee shop. It didn’t matter to us where they worked as long as the job got done. We trusted our employees to do the work no matter where they are.
This proved to be a major factor in our ability to effectively navigate the world during the lockdown period. Our employees were already used to working remotely and felt comfortable in this situation.
Open communication and transparency makes all of the difference
When everyone is working remotely, effective communication has never been more difficult, but also never more important.
During this pandemic, employees are not only worried about their health and personal safety, but also about the company’s future. Bonitasoft’s leadership team adapted their communication to keep employees up to date on the impact the crisis is having on the business. Every two weeks, we either send out an informative email or have a world-wide meeting to discuss the current situation with everyone.
Going digital is essential
This pandemic has proven to most companies that they need a digitally fit organization.
Having a workforce with the necessary equipment and digital tools to work from anywhere is essential for dealing with this type of situation. Bonitasoft implemented a CYOD (Choose Your Own Device) policy.
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Empathy, caring and listening matters even more
Taking into account each employee’s personal situation during this crisis has been so important. This includes checking in often to avoid burnout and ensuring the needs outside of work are met (physical and mental health, and family considerations). Many of our employees had to juggle work while also trying to homeschool their kids. Demonstrating empathy and listening to their concerns and their difficulties made them feel heard and understood.
Human connection remains vital
If working from home has taught us anything, it’s that we crave human connection. One of Bonitasoft’s strengths is centered on the people who work here. People genuinely care about each other and enjoy working together. Being physically apart has made certain aspects more difficult, so we had to come up with ways to keep the connection alive. For example, we set up a Discord server specifically for morning coffee. Employees can go into the “coffee room” and chat with each other while drinking their morning coffee. We also asked that cameras be turned on during conference calls so that we can see each other in meetings. Pets are welcomed and kids are cooed over! Our teams have also kept and adapted their daily and weekly rituals—daily stand-up meetings, pair programming, biweekly sprints, and so on. This proved to be extremely important to keep a sense of normalcy during these uncertain times.
The lessons we are learning from this crisis are just beginning to emerge. As a company, we need to constantly re-evaluate our values, our communication style and frequency, our equipment, and our work-style, and this hasn’t been more true than right here, right now.
As we put this crisis behind us (hopefully sooner rather than later!), we need to remember everything we’ve learned from the pandemic, grow from it, and move forward from here.
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To everyone, take care of yourself and your families and stay safe!