Work Notes #11

In the last eleven days, I left my apartment just three times. And it seems like the home office policy is going to stay with us for at least a couple of weeks longer.

However, I’d like to start with some positive news that I somehow forgot in the last work notes: The community team will grow this year. That’s why we’re looking for an additional editor at the time.

The other good news followed on Monday. After months of pitching, planning, and struggling, we finally kicked off the collaboration with Hearken.

Until now, we used a pretty limiting form builder to gather contributions and questions from our community. We received them by email, which flooded our inbox.

With Hearken, we’re able to use their Engagement Management System to curate the valuable inputs, display them easily on our site, and give access to more people inside the newsroom (or their home offices right now).

We ramped up Hearken in virtually no time. On Monday, we had a go from all deciding parties, got access to the platform, and on Tuesday, a short webinar took place. Thanks to Federica Cherubini for the introduction.

We’ve already received contributions from over 300 different people in our community. I’m convinced that with Hearken, we’re able to get to the next level of Human-centered Storytelling.

The home office gets more challenging

Although I now spent a considerable amount of time working remotely, the situation doesn’t get less challenging. Managing the team is hard; communication needs a more significant effort than usual. The coordination of content, as well as the team’s tasks, is keeping me busy every day. There’s no room for concepts and strategies that should see some progress.

On Thursday, I gathered the colleagues to do the Team Canvas remotely on Miro. By the way, Miro is an excellent tool for creative work. It’s basically a real-time digital whiteboard. The session gave us some time to reflect and to express our needs. Especially in the current state of affairs, making room for this reflection is crucial.

We’ve discussed topics like communication, workload, and trust. As I value honesty and empathy, the workshop – even “just” remotely – was the right thing to build trust amongst all of us.

This week, I learned (again)…

  • …that keeping everyone in the loop is crucial for a remote team.
  • …that reflection might seem like a waste of time but is the essential step to form relationships and trust in teams.
  • …that at some point, you should just stop talking and start doing.