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Fri 25. Sep 2020

Team building and interaction in times of Corona

Author: Ulrike, Senior Brand Marketing Managerin at TDSoftware

How Corona changes the culture in companies

Home office, video calls, virtual co-working; the corporate culture and work processes currently revamped. Under the Corona crisis pressure, new approaches and working methods are emerging that otherwise would not have been possible. Agile working, flat or no hierarchies, self-administration, extended online collaboration - all of these work flows are currently receiving a push. New work structures that have been preached for years are now being implemented at lightning speed without much fuss. So far, many signs suggest that work structures will not be rolled back after the end of the general COVID related restrictions.

The most significant change will be - and this is a no-brainer - in the evaluation of the home office situation. "The TDSoftware team will continue to work much more remotely in the future. We are allowing all employees to work from home, in the office, or both. This cross-location collaboration opens up new possibilities for us. We have been able to attract colleagues who work for us from Scotland or even Canada," says Thomas, Managing Director at TDSoftware.

The process also has economic consequences: If more work is done from home, then companies in the near future will focus more intensively on the issue of office expenses. We are also thinking about restructuring our office in Jena as a Co-Working Space or Creative Space. Anyone who wants to use the office for a brainstorming session or workshop can do so. Virtual working makes it much more challenging for the potential coincidence of unplanned encounters that can generate new ideas. In the creative process, you lose the power of simultaneous collaboration. However, when you are in a room with other people, ideas can be exchanged and then developed further together. In this context, the strategy of no assigned seating is discussed more and more often. Even with a growth in team size, we wouldn’t need to rent more office space immediately.

Despite all the enthusiasm for the new possibilities; of course, we all look forward to the end of the crisis, and most of us want to get back to the office. In fact, some of us already are - as there is no substitute for personal contact. Above all, there is a lack of informal interaction while working remote. The chat in the office lounge, the office grapevine, are all the daily interactions that hold a team together in the end. In any case, we have to keep in mind that colleagues' team cohesion in a remote culture, who would otherwise see each other in-person every day, is reduced. This makes team building events and daily meetings, whether virtual or offline, essential.

TDSoftware Summer Team Event 2020

After months of social distancing, it was time to celebrate our summer team event - live and in color! It was the first time in months that we all met at our headquarters in Jena for our summer team event! Such an event is always significant for the team spirit, especially given the current situation. We all had a blast playing the city escape game “Operation Mindfall” – an immersive outdoor experience full of mystery, colorful characters, and ludicrously twisted puzzles. It was a great afternoon in our hometown Jena, and we used the chance to fulfill our childhood dreams of becoming a spy and saving the world from destruction.

Again, we have seen that it is essential for us to spend time together outside of work and interact with each other. Therefore we are already looking forward to our next team event in December.

Furthermore, colleagues from the different teams regularly organize after work events - whether with a picnic in the park or a board game evening in our newly designed backyard. Especially during this time when we are set up as a remote team, team building for us is the most important investment. We also did some office branding because the heart of TDSoftware is and will always be our headquarters in Jena. We surprised the team with a graffiti mural right on time for the summer team event to offer them an attractive place for meeting, brainstorming, or just relaxing after work.

Virtual team building - How the journey goes on

Many companies are also increasingly using virtual remote team events to strengthen the feeling of unity and promote the valuable exchange of ideas. With an online escape room, a fun home office challenge, or a virtual wine/gin/chocolate tasting, team cohesion and identification with the employer will be furthered. Teams also use collaboration tools that create a virtual office atmosphere, for example, with a permanent zoom or Microsoft Teams Meeting.

Whether offline or online - shared experiences create cohesion, motivation, and team spirit!


More about team building and new work in times of Corona can be found here:

Fairs & Events Motivation Team Team Culture

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