Příspěvek „Quality and effective onboarding is basis of excellent cooperation“

1. 6. 2020 • RozhovoryMarta Čtvrtníčková

Our new Project Manager Petr belongs to the last newcomers of our team. He joined us on 2nd March, 2020. Two weeks later he had to face up quite a special situation. Previously he worked from home not very often, maximally a week. In the following interview he will tell us how he is coping with this new style of working. So, make a coffee or tea and enjoy five minutes of nice reading.

Worries about new situation

Petr, you have been working in ASSIST for nearly three months. You certainly remember your first days in the new employment very well. Did you notice something special or surprising?

In my previous job I worked as a Project Manager. Just during the interview in ASSIST I got a clear idea about my future tasks. The reality was corresponding to my expectations. What was surprising for me was the scope of work and considerable range of technical details. The position of Project Manager at ASSIST involves combination of skills of several positions – Project Manager, Product Manager, Scrum Master, Team Leader…

Can you tell us about your first days in ASSIST before coronavirus crisis outbreak?

During the first week I experienced really professional onboarding. The very first day I got basic information about different access types, about filling in different documents, etc. Immediately after an initial training I engaged in an actual working process. What I appreciated very much was the practical participation in running projects, not only studying the documentation and the functioning of particular processes. In fact I took over a new key project completely.

What were your feelings when you started to work in ASSIST? Did you get some support?

I absolutely got every support. In no way they sell me out. Martin Drábek helped me with project management and supplied me with all necessary background data, papers and details as well as complete set of entrance information. I asked him for help often enough (sometimes I thought if it was not TOO often) nevertheless he never refused to help me. Michal Gajdička was my mentor, my desk was quite next to him and every day I could draw from his longtime experience of cooperation with Renault. Furthermore I am really happy to work with Richard Bouška. Richard is constantly coming with new challenges, so we have a continual pipeline of new impulses for learning. Every time I turn to him with some question he always gives me an erudite answer. And last but not least I would like to appreciate Monika – she helped me so much as to access to internet, advanced accesses and other technical issues.

You have successfully completed your first project. What about cooperation with your new colleagues?

My new team is one of the best teams I could ever have. People have accepted me without any problems and I haven´t a slightest complaint about them. On the first project we worked together for a month or so. This project was successfully completed within planned budget. We have all worked together very effectively and thanks to team cooperation and efforts I can evaluate this project as a successful one.

The situation dramatically changed shortly after your entry into new employment. Our team started to work from home. How did you perceive this change? Did you feel trained and fully integrated with the team?

Well, I must say I was rather worried. When state of emergency was declared I had been working in ASSIST only for two weeks. I knew only some people I worked with on the first project. I supposed it could work, but I was really worried. Fortunately everything turned out to be OK, and fortunately all my worries disappeared. Currently I am leading three projects and cooperating with some people I have not personally met yet. Beyond my expectations everything is working properly. I didn´t meet anybody who could not accomplish an assigned task. ASSIST team is really great.

Did you change the way you work in connection with home office?

Personally I am not seeking this way of working now and I did not use it in the past either. It is true, that sometimes it was useful, for instance when the children were ill, but these were exceptional situations. I prefer to separate work and home. The most difficult thing was to find a separated and quiet place at home, because I have a small child demanding full time care. During my working time we meet at lunchtime and then I can return to work. I strive to observe the same way of working as in office. I have introduced daily stand-ups from 9:00 till 9:45 AM. Every day we start like this, so it is clear what we will do, how it will work in the teams. I endeavor to end my work at 5:00 PM.

What is the most difficult thing for you when it comes to work from home?

The most difficult thing is to stay focused on my work and to eliminate every distraction. Our children are learning at home and they demand parents´ attention and support. To be honest, it is my wife´s job mostly.

You start working at 8:30 AM and end at 5 PM. Some colleagues prefer to work at night. Do you have some common fixed working hours?

My colleagues work during the day, mostly we connect at 8:30, many people start sooner and therefore also end sooner. Anyway everybody fulfil their assigned working tasks and hours. We have not given any fixed hours but I didn´t observe any problems as to meeting any of my colleagues, if necessary. I must say that our communication is really smooth, if somebody need to pop out, they inform me in advance.

Do you think that you have adapted to new working environment so quickly due your previous practice? Or maybe not?

It is hard to say. Everybody has its pace and style of work. The practice brings undisputed advantages – simpler solutions, right priority settings. It is true that my previous practice makes the transition to the new work easier.

What do you think about going back to the office? What is the best plan, according to you?

Well, we have left Prague for our country cottage straightaway, because our family has more living space here. I don´t know exactly the current situation in Prague (how many people are on the streets, in public transport etc.) however I would be very reserved as to early return to the city. In my opinion, the ideal plan for our company is to stay home as long as possible. I think the best way is to work from home and go back to the office only after the risk of contamination (on the way to/from the office or in the office itself) is eliminated. I have no problem to stay home even for several months, till the vaccine is available. This operating mode is functioning very well. Our children will return to school only after school attendance will be declared compulsory, not before. I think the current operating mode is satisfactory.

Thank you for the interview!