Summary

  • Double down on your productivity & focus on what matters. This is the time to get our critical projects done, we need to brutally prioritize and make bold strategic bets.
  • Establish clear ground rules for your team communication. For example, a zoom standup meeting in the morning to check-in is a must. 
  • Nurture GYG company culture especially when we are all far away from each other. Over-communicate and ask for feedback regularly, share your learnings & inspire others. 

Team Best Practices 

  • Engineering:  First in line, Tech is sharing some great tips on remote meetings (and beyond) here. Some of the key learnings are:
    • It can be hard to inject yourself in the conversation- use the zoom feature to raise a hand, we want to hear all voices!
    • On the same note, the meeting lead needs to ensure they solicit input from everyone. 
  • Product: First learning: team dynamics of very large groups can be tricky via zoom. In order to ensure relentless focus time, most team meetings (with a forum of 5-10+ people) will be postponed until further notice, and/or reduced in participants. 
  • Marketing: The team has gathered lots of learnings already (updated below): 1. Avoid using slack for lengthy conversations/ 2. Set up time-boxing to be efficient and leverage standups in the morning and afternoons/ 3. If any local colleagues in your area- grab them for lunch!
    • Brand has added daily remote stand-ups and a 15 mins team leads check-in in the evening (TD comment: this is standard across the company, #bestpractices). It is a great opportunity  to see each other’s faces and connect on topics spontaneously. Main complaint from the first days: not having a proper chair to sit on all day..might be tricky 😉 
    • Business Development: business as per usual- all meetings just have a zoom link. Most teams have adopted the standup setup!
  • Customer Service: CS has a unique challenge where not all ops staff are equipped with their own company laptops. We needed to prioritize in which order we distribute the laptops we do have. The prioritization order is based on which teams require immediate coverage due to no or very little representation in BPOs:
  • 2nd Level, B2B, CS Supply, Knowledge & Training, Social Media: these teams are set up with GYG laptops from home. Meetings take place as usual; managers have implemented some combination of the following:
    • daily or every-other-day stand ups with their teams
    • morning check-in and evening check-out on Slack
    • over-using the team slack channel
    • daily prioritization of specific goals and tasks to complete by the end of the day
    • encouraging the team to get outside during the day, get away from their work, take a shower as usual in the morning
    • There is a checklist to make sure everyone is set up to get into the groove of the new WFH setup.
  • 1st Level: not currently set up to work from home, as new laptops come in we will distribute to these teams to get you all back online. In the meantime, CS leadership will send status updates every 2-3 days. Phone, chat, and email tickets are temporarily covered by our outsourcing partners.
  • Sales & Supply: 
    • Supply & Content: The team is paving the way by removing all meetings that do not contribute to the strategic priorities. Standups have also been added at the beginning of the day. Key learnings are already in though: you need more time to prepare (you don’t have a whiteboard handy!), clear goal setting and time keeping is crucial. 
  • People: 
    • Talent Acquisition: The TA team is taking this opportunity to work on projects in addition to ensuring the best candidate experience for those going through the process. Updates are sent periodically to our team to ensure we are sharing relevant and clear communications with our candidates. We also set up a virtual hangout for people to join and catch up with each other when feeling social! 
  • Talent Development: The team has adapted the standup approach (morning and evening) with a clear agenda: everyone presents priorities, blockers and any burning questions. All not urgent and critical meetings have been delayed. Weekly we will meet for lunch and also, the team slack channel is a great way to stay in touch!
  • HR Services: daily remote standups in the beginning of the day to keep team spirits and focus are arranged- a great tip is to split it by sub-teams. Also, similar to Brand, the team has arranged neighbourhood groups for lunch (Kreuzberg, Friedrichstain)- works great!
  • Workspace: Standups in the morning, lunch, evening to ensure we’re on top of everything. We’re all very grateful for your hard work!
  • Finance:  A few key learnings from the team below: 
    • Team collaboration: Make it a habit to catch-up with your team every morning and in the afternoon post lunch to connect, align on priorities and resolve bottlenecks
    • Slack & Zoom: Ensure you make the most use of our technology. Everyone should be on Slack (think about team slack channels by topic – keep slack channels small and focussed) and make sure you have Zoom integrated in Slack and call people like you would stop by their desk in the office.
    • Be responsive: Start your day thinking about who at GetYourGuide waits for input from you and get back to them. Finish your day in the same way.
    • Set priorities & keep the pace: Ensure to be relentlessly focussed on our key work-streams. Stop pet projects and make sure we focus on the big strategic bets as a priority. Shorten deadlines and focus on getting work done – quick 80:20 and following iteration preferred to prolonged efforts to try and get something perfect. 

There are many documents out there (actually, too many!) with various tips and tricks on how to make this period even more useful for you, and your team. There are various crowdsourced lists, websites, articles, magic tricks from past lives…. We have condensed all of the key information for you, and filtered out the most necessary takeaways here. 

Keep communication simple & clear

  • Start the day with daily standup via Zoom as a team. Get together as a team more than you normally would, to make sure all are doing ok and updated on the project progress.  Think of adding a short check-out at the end of the day to share daily reflections and cover final open questions. 
  • Touch base with your manager daily. Over-communication becomes critical, so check in on each other daily, even if just over slack. 
  • Create a playbook-like document where explicit communication norms live. For example: “Here is how we use email, here is how we use Slack, here is when we should call one another, etc.
  • Spend more time clarifying objectives and direction. Communication is just often less understood over slack. Double check that you’ve understood deliverables correctly. Specifically, align with your manager on what success looks like. 
  • Trust and reliability become more important. Let others know when you’re going to get something done, and then stick to your word. Remote work falls apart when trust breaks down. If you can’t deliver on time, communicate early and proactively.

Take ownership  

  • Make the best use of the time away from the office to truly focus on moving forward with our critical projects and get them done. This is a unique opportunity for us to take!
  • Increase the visibility of your work. Send status updates about your work or align with your team and manager around a shared status update board or system. Ask for feedback early and often. Asana can be useful here!

 Thrive in uncertainty 

  • Culture doesn’t build in the same way as in the office. We will all have to play a consciously active role in contributing to it- from interacting with each other every day, to taking time to thank someone. Schedule some social time with your team like a 15 minutes virtual coffee break together to share personal things.
  • Collaborate with virtual whiteboards and sticky notes using tools like Zoom Whiteboard, Miro, Jamboard or Figma. For retrospectives, check out FunRetro.
  • While we are working from home it is important to remain local and are able to return to the office at short notice should the policy change. We also have travel restrictions in place and these should take priority.

 Make something out of nothing 

  • WFH stands for Work From Home. We expect you to work out of your home to minimize contact with other individuals and avoid spreading the coronavirus. Please abstain from working at coworking spaces or cafes for that matter.
  • Dress up for work: When you focus on your appearance and make a point of “dressing for work,” it signals to your mind that it’s time to concentrate on your daily tasks versus downtime.
  • Explicitly set expectations upfront with family and friends that while at home you are still working and should not be disturbed.
  • Be sure to take clear breaks away from your working area during the day. Go for a walk, do a quick workout routine, or whatever helps you keep your energy levels up!
  • Make sure you’re set up to work in a way that is kind to your body! Check out this link for some great tips on how to work from home in a way that won’t give you neck cramps.

Act with urgency

  • Always keep the customer in mind. No matter the location 🙂 
  • Have a bias toward action. We choose acting now over waiting for another day and focus on decisions that drive us forward. 
  • Differences in opinion are resolved on zoom, not slack. Slack is a time drag for detailed conversations- simple as that. Be aware that text communication does not transport body language, facial expressions and tone of voice. Take extra care to avoid misunderstandings and favor a quick phone/zoom call over a lengthy discussion in Slack. 

Get the best out of Zoom 

The biggest use of internet bandwidth in Zoom is Video, not only sending your video but viewing the other members’ videos.

How to attempt to make things better when your connection is really bad:

  • Disable HD – Under Settings > Video > My Video (thanks @trodrigues)
  • Turn off your video – Helps with people hearing you better
  • Enter Minimal View – Helps with you hearing people better
  • Ditch the app and call in with your phone – Being present in a meeting is the most important aspect and telecom is usually more reliable than data

Webinars/Videos/ Podcasts

Guidelines & Reports on Remote Work

On productivity & Well-being

For parents

Useful Tools 

Books / E-learning

Just for fun!

Virtual Tours to Museums:

Live Streaming Animal Cams: