The Lockdown Learnings our #Hometeam Will Take Back to Work
Five adidas employees reflect on the recent period of lockdown and share why it’s made all the difference as they head back to work.
This period of lockdown has created many challenges, but also provided opportunities for learning and developing new habits in work and home life.
As some of the adidas #hometeam return to the office, we asked them to share the lockdown learnings and habits that they will be aiming to take with them as they head back to work.
See how their perspectives have changed, with more flexibility to trigger creativity, more innovative approaches to ensure their teams stay connected, and an overall shift in mindset to stay on top of their game.
Mansi Chitranshi, Senior Manager Head Office, Finance & IT
My biggest takeaway from ‘self-solituding’ is that I’ve learnt to slow down. I started taking 30-minute walks and runs in the woods for fresh air and at the same time discovered loads of inspiring podcasts. I am amazed at how many small things I didn’t notice or didn’t do, because I filled my days up with so much work.
These are activities that I plan to continue doing even after the world ‘reopens’. Slow down, reevaluate, and reconfigure to reinvigorate.
Natalie Koeppe, Senior Director Talent Partnering, Global HR
As a team with members spread across the continents, we are used to working remotely. However, remote collaboration is not easy as we lack the opportunity to mingle over a cup of coffee or lunch, to grow closer as a team. Because of this, just before the lockdown we kicked off a routine in our weekly online meeting: ‘The Icebreaker’. Little did we know, this small habit would become increasingly more important for us as a team in the weeks that followed.
At the start of each meeting, one team member gets to introduce something new to the rest of the team. It can be as simple as a topic of interest, an interesting or funny fact, an article/song/movie/book that they liked, or even a new skill. What started as an experiment to foster closer collaboration and team spirit became our favorite part of our weekly catch-ups. We are already thinking about the next icebreaker to continue our remote team journey beyond Covid-19.
Alexandra Vondergruen, Senior Director Retail Expansion & Planning, Global Sales
I’m taking four things with me as I go back to work and the first is about leadership. During a time of high pressure, it is even more important to clearly define targets and give clear guidance, but also to empower your team members by agreeing on a toolbox and allowing them flexibility.
Secondly, have trust in your team. I have seen some amazing examples of how people took on new tasks, reacted to challenges and grew together. Staying connected is also key, and I think it is important to use a variety of methods. For example, a simple text can be much more personal than an email. My team also set up a nice idea of a regular ‘blind date’: Once a week, we schedule a 15-minute one-on-one call with someone from the team where we’re not allowed to talk about business. Great for staying connected when we are all apart.
Finally, find something that helps you to recharge – for me it is the early morning run before work.
Tiankai Feng, Director Digital Analytics, Global Sales
My biggest learning that I will carry forward from lockdown is how productive and efficient you can be if you really focus 100% on clear tasks and goals and on doing the ‘right things’.
On the one hand, I applied it to my job by frequently reflecting and evaluating what is important now versus what can be deprioritized. That helped me to navigate through the chaos.
In my life at home, I also practiced focus and decided to refresh a 30-day challenge that I did last year. I spent 15 minutes every night teaching myself to play the ukulele and the results were really rewarding.
In conclusion (it’s how that cheesy saying goes), ‘anything is possible if you just put your mind to it‘ – it just requires reflection, focus and persistence to get there.
Bert Schurink, Senior Director Program Management, Finance & IT
I was not a fan of working from home before the Covid-19 crisis, but during this period I have started to appreciate the potential. In the future I will make best use of both home and office work options.
The situation has made us more efficient. Over the last few weeks, I have started to appreciate the 30-minute meetings we now tend to have under lockdown. They are much more effective and focus the team on the essentials.
Another benefit I found of working from home is being able to address slight hiccups in my ideas flow. At home, it’s easy to go down to my fitness room and have a quick workout or take a short walk outside to get completely reenergized on a topic. The best ideas have often come to the surface during those workouts.