Virtual, lean, flexible and efficient – how Generation Z works at linkyard

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Our office on Junkerngasse in the old town of Bern is pretty empty at the moment, the whole team works from home. The Corona crisis has only had a minor impact on the way we work – we’ll explain why.

How do we work at linkyard?

Even before the crisis, many of our employees were working from home, although not all of them and always. People liked to meet on site for creative sessions and workshops, whenever it made sense. Now this exchange must also take place virtually.

We organize our team of almost 20 people into business units. Each of these teams has a Kanban Board, where all tasks/tasks are stored. With our self-service principle, however, these tasks are not assigned top down, but each employee is responsible for himself.

In addition to the company-wide OKRs (Objectives & Key Results), such as those managed by tech giants like Intel or Google, each business unit also has its own OKRs. Each employee within a business unit should define so-called “Meaningful Objectives” for which it is worth getting up in the morning and working. One example of this would be to improve customer satisfaction. A measurable key result could be to increase the order rate with existing customers by 50%. These Key Results are deliberately set rather optimistically, one should profit from not reaching the goals. Because this is exactly how you can learn as an individual, team or organisation: only if you set yourself high goals can you fail and continue to grow.

Our tools

While the right tools are only a means to an end, they are essential for working efficiently from home. Jira Software is at the heart of this, where we manage all our projects and business units and keep track of everything. When it comes to documenting knowledge, sketching architectures or writing a blog post, we use Confluence. All communication takes place via the Enterprise Chat Slack, where we have different rooms for different topics.

Patrick and Tobias explain: This is how we separate work and studies

If not only the work but also the university and the university of applied sciences are remote, this requires a great deal of discipline. Patrick and Tobias are both studying Business Informatics – Patrick in the Master’s and Tobias in the Bachelor’s degree (specialising in Business Analysis). Patrick works 40% and Tobias 70% at linkyard.

Patrick

I like to work in small “focus sprints”, which means that I put my cell phone away for 1-2 hours, mute slack and concentrate fully on a specific task where I am not distracted by anything else. Small breaks are essential for me, so I make sure that I get up at least once per hour and move around briefly. In order for all this to work, balance is my top priority: I make sure that I do sports at least 2-3 times a week, I like to cook, use my synthesizers or devote myself to a round of Mario Kart.

On the photo you can see my workplace in the home office, which in the evening can also become a small home studio.

Tobias

My tactic is very simple: Avoid Distractions. I have a fixed daily routine that gets me in the mood for the home office day. First I take a shower, get dressed normally (jeans, T-shirt, etc.), look through my messages and then turn off the mobile data on my cell phone. If something really important happens, I can still be reached by phone.

My office is also physically separated from my sleeping and recreation area. If you can enforce such a separation within your own four walls, you can also better switch off from the other.

To give my creativity free rein, I have screwed two whiteboards onto the wall on which I can quickly record ideas – regardless of whether for an existing process or a customer solution.

For the university I use the same notebook as for work. I have set up two user accounts – one for each context. Gaming is done on the Miditower in the bedroom 🙂

To get through the day well, hazelnuts, lots of water and fast music are essential. The latter must be fast (everything north of 180 BPM) and have good bass – then I’m satisfied and can focus.

This is my place of business. Triple monitor setup is a must for me. On the Surface, Slack/Outlook is open and on the other two you work productively.

It is clear to us that the perfect working situation is different for each type and generation. But we basically agree that avoiding distractions and creating balance are the two central points.

We are happy to support you with our collaboration solutions for meeting & task management, enterprise chat and video conferencing. We also focus on customers in industries with particularly high data protection or security requirements who would like to have their data processed in the EU or Switzerland.