During self-isolation, we have been working doubly hard: our staff has increased in numbers by 21 people, four new projects have already been launched, and one more is planned for the near future!

Company life during the pandemic

Of course, the new reality has changed life in Sidenis, but in the 20 years we have been in existence, this is not the first time it has been necessary to revise our processes so as not to adversely affect efficiency, and to develop the company during a crisis. So, we would like to tell you about the experience that has helped us to work so comfortably for the last three and a half months.

  1. Remote search and recruitment of employees

    Our team of HR specialists look after the safety and comfort of potential and newly arrived colleagues, so all interviews and onboarding are conducted remotely. After successfully passing the interviews, on the first day of work, we send all essential equipment and documents by courier to the home of the new team member, and system administrators set up everything that is needed for access online. Next, the team “picks up” a new colleague and dives into the details of the project. Getting to know the structure of the company, our values, the specifics of our business, and discussion of the particulars of cross-cultural communication — all this happens online during welcome training.

  2. All communication is online

    All our processes are now online — meetings, planning, workshops, team gatherings. It goes without saying that we still feel like we are lacking in real-life communication: personal friendships, face to face meetings, emotions — none of this cannot be replaced. We have cosy kitchens in our offices, where we share a joke, have a laugh, and discuss the morning news. Now, from time to time we hang out in a “virtual kitchen” created through a corporate messenger, and have fun with informal online activities: we participate in a plank challenge, admire each other’s pets, and discuss the new things we have managed to try while quarantining.

  3. Additional emotional support

    We are all different. Some of us took the news of the transition to remote working in their stride, even with great joy, while for others it was with a great sense of caution. For many of us, this has been a totally new experience. Therefore, at the beginning of self-isolation, we launched a series of letters with life hacks and recommendations, where we advised everyone how to maintain a positive working attitude, and how to avoid going crazy due to a lack of leisure activities while sitting at home. Therefore, time trackers have become our friends, making sure that we do not forget to take rest breaks. Also, calls using video communication have been helping us get together and create the effect of face to face communication within the team. One of our best discoveries has been Radio Garden, which takes you for breakfast to the hot Azores, and for dinner in the central business district of London, or anywhere else you may want.

  4. Looking after those who are tired of being at home and have started suffering from cabin fever

    Since June, our offices have been open for those who are tired of the same four walls, and would like a little variety. Of course, the offices have been adapted to work in the new conditions — we provide antiseptics, masks, gloves, UV irradiators and non-contact thermometers, and we comply with sanitary and hygiene requirements including seating, to ensure the required distance is maintained. During the time of self-isolation, we created an internal system for reserving seats in the office, which helps to ensure that there are not too many people in the office at the same time.

Our life has changed dramatically since mid-March. However, this experience helped change our mindsets, and to see new opportunities where there were limitations before. We will work in this format until August 31, and then, those who are comfortable working from home will be able to continue to do so, arriving at the office for the necessary “live” meetings.