We at Enigma have always been very digital and proud of it. In the spring of 2020, when the recommendation to work from home came, we simply grabbed our laptops and kept going, just without physically being in the same place. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But there’s a little more to it than that. How do you organize, exchange, onboard and connect?
Today there are three working modes at Enigma; at the office, from home, or remote. We always try to find the right tool to solve a specific problem. During the pandemic it was working from home (even before it was mandatory) to give us and our clients as much safety as possible. If necessary we would still go to the office and meet in person in small groups under protective measures. Occasionally there was talk of remote work. On a small scale that was possible, i.e. working for a vacation home in Valais for a few days instead of at home but with the travel restrictions it wasn’t possible to do that from abroad most of the time. So we just dreamed about it.
Always remember to be human
Almost all of our possibilities to meet in person and connect with our teammates were lost due to the pandemic. We met online on Google Meet but little chats across the table or by the coffee machine were missing. Efforts to recreate these experiences online were made but even though we explored different tactics such as virtual coffee breaks or a tool called Gather Town, we never quite found the right solution. In certain situations nothing can replace being physically in the same place. However, one thing was always clear: as soon as there would be a possibility we would do something “really cool” with the whole team.
A wave of creativity
You’re probably wondering what this “something really cool” turned out to be. Well, it was a trip to Ericeira, Portugal. The team was ecstatic when we got the news and the greatest thing was that everybody was able to join, all 32 of us. Some of us had never met in person before; others joined the team during that week, coming to the airport for the departure without really knowing anyone. It was a great adventure that connected us and sparked creativity. One week of working, living and having fun together. This trip definitely will leave a lasting impression.
Since we started operating under distributed governance, working in different circles, we’d never all been in the same place. Gathering in Portugal and having each circle present themselves to the team visualized how connected we are today and how much we grew during that challenging time. We found out that one person can be present in different operating circles and that it helped further break down the traditional ways of working, simply by including someone in different aspects of our enterprise.
What comes next
The last year wasn’t an easy one for anybody but at Enigma we made the best of the situation and became full digital nomads. As this became possible, several of my teammates seized the opportunity and decided to work remotely from abroad for some time. At peak times we had people in Portugal, Spain and the UK. This new way of working will definitely stay, we won’t revert back to the old ways of going to the office everyday. We will celebrate the freedom we’ve gained and we’ll keep innovating, keep testing and keep exploring.
Here at Enigma, we are always happy to meet new explorers who yearn to join our expedition team as we discover new worlds, so check out our open positions 😉