Intelligent working – Kees Jonker

Corona

“Prior to publishing this newsletter, the question was raised whether or not we should say something about Corona. To be honest, my first reaction was “no”. Because I am actually quite done with Corona. I just do not like it at all. I am usually very much of a news junky and now I am trying to avoid the 8 o’clock news.

However, it is quite interesting to see what is happening right now. Speer IT is a company with all kinds of different people. That is something we are proud of and which benefits us enormously in “normal life”. It also means many different views and opinions during this time. A few weeks ago, someone jokingly asked me if we should not put up the building in Baarn for sale and if “that social distancing could not be extended to 5 metres”. But we also had a colleague who absolutely could not cope at home and for whom we decided that, in the context of “working from home whenever possible”, it was impossible to work from home.

In general, Speer IT has two groups of people: the ones that are very happy working from home and who are extremely productive in doing so, and colleagues who dislike the unsociable aspect of being at home all day but who are also able to get a lot of work done.

Intelligent lockdown

That is the reason why we meanwhile came up with our own form of the intelligent lockdown. Some things are just impossible to do from a distance. A skill training, such as the Cocon mutate training, can only be taken from a distance if it can be done 1-on-1 which means both the trainer and the trainee are exhausted at the end. So, we decided to organise these trainings again in our own (spaciously laid out) training facility.

Another issue: job interviews. We are always looking for good talent. The people we recruit are great professionals, but it actually takes too long for us to get them on board. So, now is the time for us to try and recruit new talent. And at some point in the process you want to see a candidate “live” because assessing whether or not a person is a good fit for the team really is an affair of the heart. We were also able to realise these conversations properly in the recent past.

Our own small “intelligent lockdown” of course implies taking the proper measures. Everyone has to disinfect his/her hands when entering and leaving the office (we also want to avoid spreading the virus unintentionally), we have separate “flows” throughout the building and we do not eat our lunch together.

Here at Speer IT, but also in other companies, we witness a great development of working increasingly more in a hybrid manner. Despite us being flexible in our working hours, we still spend a lot of hours stuck in traffic. And that is unnecessary, because 80% of the work can truly be done at virtually any place on earth. You only need a few important things: faith that people are intrinsically motivated to work, a way to create a balance between work and social contact and, finally, a team that “feels comfortable in their own skin” and thinks in terms of solutions instead of problems.

I can already hear the comment: “Kees, you are forgetting a good infrastructure and facilities”. I have indeed omitted to mention these on purpose. Thanks to the efforts of our line of business, I hope those subjects no longer need to be discussed. Just like we are also not asking people whether they have gas, water and electricity.”

 

Kees Jonker, CEO Speer IT