The end of the five days a week at the BIM&CO office

In France, June 30th is the end of the curfew.

We will be able to participate in events with more than 1000 people and the end of the gauge limit. Things are slowly returning to normal.

Much has been written about managing teams during the various lockdowns since the crisis began. There have been guides on resources for optimising remote working: organisation, work rhythm, keeping in touch with your team, children and remote working, work and personal life. But now what do we do?

At BIM&CO, we asked ourselves the following question: do we want to go back to work as if nothing had happened?

According to a Great Place to Work study of more than 800,000 employees in Fortune 500 companies, remote working is just as productive as working in the office – perhaps even more so. Indeed, for most employees who started working from home, productivity remained stable and even increased.

Sources: Great Place to Work and Fortune 500 study, 2000

Many organisations are finding that remote working is no longer just a response to the health crisis. It is a way to be more effective at work because we eliminate the commute and the stress of managing personal life. We feel more grounded and connected in the territories we occupy.

Despite the advantages that remote work can bring, there is the question of corporate culture, remote ideation, team cohesion. How can we keep the work collaborative and sustainable while being asynchronous and remote? Like any good “Data Addict” that we are, the first thing that came to mind was that we need data.

We need collaboration, no matter where we work from.

We asked our Bimers the following question: “How do you see the future organisation of BIM & CO?“, and were surprised by the consensus around these two answers: 52% of the Bimers want everyone to organise themselves as they want and the 48% want to telework part-time. We realised that something significant had happened. In one year, a situation that was not possible had become the norm.

Hiroki Hiramatsu, Head of Global Human Resources for Fujitsu, said of the post-covid mode of operation: “We’re not going back“. And we have decided that we won’t either!

To do this, we need more data, to test what works and what doesn’t. As with our product, we want to build tools that will help our people have the same level of information, be able to make decisions asynchronously and build a sustainable culture and working environment.

Here are our next steps:

  • The first step we have already started is to test three days a week of remote working, for a year. We will share with you our successes and failures, but above all what we have learnt from them.
  • The second step will be to evaluate, after one year, to what extent we can simply leave the choice to each person to organise him/herself as he/she wishes. This is the #Work-from-Anywhere-Future concept.
  • We have created a voluntary working group to improve our rituals, share information, propose solutions to address the challenges of our new operation.
  • We have created a “remote hybrid” policy which you can find here for inspiration, but nothing is set in stone, we are evolving in an agile environment, where every challenge becomes an opportunity. We would love to hear your feedback and what has worked for you. Here is the link.

Thibaut Caldwell, SAE at BIM&CO, took advantage of this policy to leave the capital, while continuing his missions from Lyon: “The new hybrid remote policy changed everything for me. All of a sudden my desire to move to Lyon and the fact that I could continue to be a Bimer were no longer incompatible. It’s been two months since I left the HQ and we keep trying new things to keep the link with the team“.

And what better way to stay connected when you’re remote working than over a virtual breakfast in the morning? This is what Lise Mira, DevOps Engineer, does three times a week: “We organise breakfasts with the tech team! We get together to discuss what’s working, where we’re stuck and the day’s priorities. But the croissants every day were too much… so we treat ourselves to breakfast three days a week in slippers! And it’s really nice“. A good way to start the day!

Do you have the same concerns in your company? Here are some tips that may help:

1- Each company is different and has its own needs, you can send out a survey to find out what your employees want to do when they have to go back to the office.

2- Take the time to frame the subject with the C-levels, to know their different visions on the subject.

  • Ask yourself, depending on your context, how you should make your transition. Many of us have been remote working for a year, and it may seem that we have got into the right habits, but you have to bear in mind that everything was done under pressure and in a hurry. But above all, we are no longer talking about remote work for a given period, but as a way of working for the whole company. This is a good time to take a step back, to ask ourselves what we should keep, what we should improve and what we should absolutely stop doing according to the impact it has on the teams.
  • What remote communication strategies should be put in place, depending on the face-to-face habits of your teams?
  • How will your culture evolve to establish a remote company culture?

3- Organise monthly meetings with the volunteer team working on hybrid remote work issues. The idea is to provide feedback on what is happening in each team, communicate to prepare for the change and identify points of resistance. Anticipation is the key word.

4- Draft a remote work policy from the start that goes into sufficient detail to reduce operational risk during the transition period. Note however that this first version can evolve during the test year.

Good luck!