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The Beauty of Working Remotely: How Agile Serbia team does it?

Published on 10th April 2020

Challenging times require challenging steps! So – work, sleep and repeat have a new meaning with a brand new situation in 2020 – working remotely! 🙂

It’s always interesting when we hear unusual experiences from numerous IT experts, especially from Scrum Master and Product Owner specialists. #AgileSerbia teamsters are hardworking bees in order to provide the best results.

So, with great pleasure we’re sharing with you some impressions of Jelena, Sanja, Ivan and Srećko, #AgileSerbia members with the intention of giving you a closer look to daily challenges from the comfort of their home. Enjoy! 😊

 

,,As someone who’s been working remotely for a couple of weeks, I am still learning and adjusting to these temporary circumstances. My team has been very responsible and well-trained in daily communication and sharing of information, so our routine remained almost the same. We use Slack for our daily communication, Trello instead of our Kanban board, and Skype for daily video meetings. Still, as a people person, I found some cons of this regime: due to not being physically in the office, I miss out on in-person connections with my co-workers. For me, physical contact is still irreplaceable. Also, I’d like to mention family foot traffic in the house, since the schools are on break too, more noise in the house and people needing my help can be exhausting. This is just the first impression, but I am sure that my team and I will find a way to make this experience as positive as possible. We are Agile pros after all. 😊ʻʻ – Jelena Milanović, Event Manager

 

,,As a newcomer to Agile Serbia by Puzzle Software, every day was about getting to know people, how they work, and the system itself. Work from home required from me to be more organized and thoughtful about my schedule, so sometimes I feel more productive and I can finish tasks quicker. It accommodates all kinds of productivity hacks like choosing your work environment and spending time in the place you find comfort the most to wearing comfortable clothes like pajamas. Remote work is allowing the freedom and flexibility to handle all the big and little things that work throws at you and can create a high level of morale, pride, and loyalty if you get stuff done and the people you are working with show trust in you. On other side, remote work lacks the in-person aspect, which means that communication gets a lot harder. You need to be very precise and on time in communication so you can get things done effectively. Some aspects I miss, start from little things, like having a coffee or lunch with your colleagues to some bigger things like handling crisis situation. Also, I miss joking face to face and having fun with colleagues. 😊ʻʻ – Srećko Janković, Business Development Manager

 

,,Working remotely is really challenging – I like that because we communicate great and listen when someone else is talking on the Daily, to keep up with all the happenings. I think the way we function is really good so far, constantly following the realization of all tasks, and again we are proactive because we jump into each other when there is a need for it. On that side, I’m more focused on what I need to do and for the first time maybe I’m really sticking TO DO list. There are bad things when we talk about working remotely, distractors like the smell of lunch from a neighbor, cuddling my dog and some extra news are expected, but Scrum professional always finds a way to resist interruptions. 😊ʻʻ – Sanja Nedeljković, Marketing Manager and CSPO by Scrum Alliance

 

,,Alarm is now my best friend because – I don’t have one! Our daily is quite interactive. We started using two job tracking platforms and theyre great. My focus is better, there are fewer other tasks that distract me from my priorities and less multitasking. Did isolation help? Four tasks completed and everything goes right. Still, I miss funny office stories and morning live meetings. When you have pros, also you have cons in sense of working remotely. For example, your hours of operations can turn into an open 24 hours kind of thing very easily. Also, I like more face-to-face meetings because of brainstorming and important small talks about each detail of a concrete project. Some things are better in this situation and I’ve learned how to focus and organize myself, while in some ways I won’t continue as a practice. Until then, I enjoy being home.ʻʻ – Ivan Ivanović, Business Development Manager


So, Agile Team has actually a few common challenges:

  • Working remotely is easier than in the office, with less interruptions, but with more home temptations; 🙂
  • Productivity is on a high level along with increased motivation;
  • These kinds of situations prove that a strong team has the capacity to overcome problems and predict future activities.

 

Let’s highlight some useful TIPS for working in these new conditions:

  • Maintain focus on priorities – don’t be interrupted with tasks that aren’t so urgent – instead, maintain an efficient work routine based on solving the most important tasks because they require more time, attention and concentration. But also…
  • Don’t forget some other activities – like the stuff you didn’t have so much time to finish in your office. Actually, working remotely is a great time to solve all ”little things” that will help you to be productive in future;
  • Working style really matters – working in silence or by relaxing jazz mix on YouTube? Or, do you need small breaks throughout the working hours? Make a checklist and define things that will motivate you to work better;
  • Learn when to log offthis is the most challenging moment. The best part of working remotely is when to chill out and devote to your personal life. You can’t avoid receiving emails and notifications, but you can choose a moment on how to charge batteries for tomorrow’s challenge.

 

We mustn’t forget the important aspect of working remotely: time to devote yourself (more than usual). What does this mean?

External restrictions in most cases mean more internal improvements. Exercising, getting a hobby, learning a new skill (cooking or knitting, why not?) or writing a book? Or maybe a working on yourself? Commitments with family or work don’t give you free time for your habits, goals and online education. Especially when are available trainings for learning new skills necessary in business. We have adapted to this trend by organizing an amazing online courses for Scrum Master and Product Owner, professions that are more and more required in modern world.

 

So, are you the next Superman in the Agile world?

Share with us your working experience in the home edition. Is it challenging and funny? Feel free to show us how your working day looks like. 😊

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