Is my Generation Z screwed

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

Our office on Junkerngasse in Bern's old town is currently pretty empty, the whole team works from home. The Corona crisis has little impact on the way we work - we'll explain why.

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

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

In addition to the company-wide OKR (Objectives & Key Results), as also run by tech giants like Intel or Google, each business unit also has its own OKRs. Every employee within a business unit should define so-called "Meaningful Objectives" for themselves, for which it pays to get up and work in the morning. An example of this would be to want 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 benefit from not achieving the goals. Because this is exactly how you can learn as an individual, team or organization: You can only fail and continue to grow if you set yourself high goals.

The right tools are just a means to an end, but essential for working efficiently from home. Jira software forms our core, where we manage all of our projects and business units and maintain an overview. When it comes to documenting knowledge, sketching architectures or writing such a blog post, we use Confluence. All communication takes place via the Enterprise Chat Slack instead of where we have different rooms for respective topics.

If not only the work, but also the university and the technical college are remote, it requires a great deal of discipline. Patrick and Tobias are both studying business informatics - Patrick in the master’s degree and Tobias in the bachelor’s degree (specialization in business analysis). Patrick works 40% and Tobias 70% at linkyard.

Patrick

I like to work in small "focus sprints", which means I put my cell phone away for 1-2 hours, mute Slack and concentrate fully on a certain 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 an hour and move briefly. So that everything works out, the balance is my top priority: I make sure that I do sports at least 2-3 times a week, like to cook, devote myself to my synthesizers or a round of Mario Kart.

In the photo you can see my workspace in the home office, which also like to turn into a small home studio in the evening.

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, dress 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 relaxation areas. Anyone who can enforce such a separation in their own four walls can also switch off better from the other.

In order to let my creativity run free, I screwed two whiteboards onto the wall, on which I can quickly record ideas - regardless of whether for an existing process or a customer solution.

I use the same notebook for university as I do for work. I have set up two user accounts for this - one for each context. The game is played on the Miditower in the bedroom :)

In order for me to get through the day well, hazelnuts, lots of water and fast music are key. The latter basically has to be fast (everything north of 180 BPM) and have good bass - then I am satisfied and can focus.

That is my workplace. Triple monitor setup is a must for me. Slack / Outlook is open on the Surface and productive work is carried out on the other two.

We know that the perfect work situation is different for every type and generation. Basically, however, we agree that avoiding distractions and creating balance are the two central points.

We are happy to support you with our collaboration solutions for session & 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 their data to be processed in the EU or Switzerland.