We all know that ‘tech people’ are extremely hard-to-get. Especially when you want to have and keep them working in Groenlo. So that is something we don’t ask of them, and Nedap more and more often works with remote staff. At Nedap Healthcare, we as not-remote staff regularly work abroad ourselves. This enables us to experience how it is to work for Nedap as a remote worker and to make any necessary adjustments. Because our remotely working colleagues are absolutely part of our team!
The remote-working virus
How your team organises the remote-working is something the Nedap teams decide for themselves. Here at Nedap Healthcare, we already work with Patrick-on-a-stick; our developer who, after his failed attempt to quit Nedap, now lives in Norway. But he still hangs around with us. My team members of Ons Dossier and I wanted to experience first how it is to work for Nedap on a remote-work basis before we actually started to hire remote workers. So I moved to an Airbnb apartment in Lisbon and worked from there for three months. My colleague Robin chose to go to Brazil and Italy and worked for Nedap from co-working spaces. He has now become really infected by the remote-working virus because he will shortly work remotely from Vietnam and Thailand. Not because he must, but because he can.
'I moved to an Airbnb apartment in Lisbon and worked from there for three months to experience what it is like to work for Nedap as a remote worker.'
Don’t miss out
Back from my remote adventure, I noticed that I had missed out on certain things that had been going on at the shop floor, even though I thought that I had kept myself completely up to date. Needless to say that this should not happen, so we adjusted our work processes to deal with that: as a market group, we were very focused on ‘walk up to your colleague to discuss something’. But that doesn’t work with remote workers, so now we use group chats, text messages, or video calling much more than before. This will keep everyone up to date and involved. Additionally, we conduct our monthly meetings in English and we stream them. The entire Nedap organisation now also uses Facebook Workplace. All this makes it increasingly easier and more appealing to work for Nedap as a remote worker.
'The department in Groenlo flew to Prague to experience the world behind the video calls.'
Would you like another drink?
Half of our team of six people are now remote workers; Radek from the Czech Republic, Jean-Michel from France, and Aleksander from Poland. All our ‘remotes’ always first come to Nedap so we can meet in person and talk to each other face to face. After that, they visit us in Groenlo once every few months. You notice that everybody is always very curious to learn more about the work of the remote worker. They are always welcomed with keen interest! However, you cannot have the spontaneous talks at the coffee machine. That is something you miss as a remote worker but you will surely catch up on all the stories during your working week at Nedap!
World beyond Skype
After we experienced ourselves what it is like to work for Nedap as a remote worker, we also wanted to learn more about the world behind the video calls. During the stand-up morning meetings, you chat a bit, but you don’t really get to know the worlds the other people live in. That is why the Groenlo part of our team flew to Prague to catch the train to České Budějovice. This is where our colleague Radek works from home, but on this occasion we used a co-working space where we worked together on our goal: the refactors of our code. And, of course, the other goal was to learn more about Radek’s world. We visited the local highlights, learned some Czech words, ate Czech food together with Radek’s family, and enjoyed the Czech beer. Not a punishment at all, and very useful to get to know and understand each other better. In October, we will visit Jean-Michel in Lyon. We cannot wait to see what his world beyond Skype looks like!
Nedapper Djurre Broekhuis
‘I work as a product owner and developer for Ons Dossier. We now have already more than ten remotes working for Nedap Healthcare. Thanks to their experiences and our own research in the field, we can continuously improve our remote culture. Very cool, because it enables us to attract the best people and benefit from their global knowledge. Aside from that, it makes us even more diverse and dynamic as an organisation. Personally, the best aspect of remote work is the amount of freedom you experience. At Nedap, you are anyway free to schedule your own working hours – no matter where you work from – but you still quickly get into the nine-to-five flow when you spend most of your time amongst your colleagues at the office. In Lisbon, it was so much easier to do something fun in the afternoon and then get back to work in the evening. I did have to check myself not to work on into the night, though…’