On 11 March, all EFF employees transitioned to remote work. At organizational level, we are very well acquainted with this work style, as up until then, home office has been something of a privilege for our employees.
In accordance with our internal regulations, any EFF employee has the right to work from home for 40 days in a year, and if the need arises, anyone can apply for an extension of this period. However, the pandemic has forced us to prove that it is indeed possible to close all accounts from home, and that all processes regarding external clients from outside DUNI GROUP can go smoothly as well.
Recently, we have slowed down with any recruitment processes, as the current situation does not require us to hire any new employees. The company is considered trustworthy and appreciated by clients and employees alike, thus the rotation remains low. Currently, our team still consists of nearly 80 people. This low rotation means that our team can stay solid and integrated. We carry on managing internships (our internship consists of 10 students), which is not such an obvious choice, as many companies decide to part ways with their contract for work employees. Our intern team supports all of our main payables, receivables and general ledger processes, and their work is supervised by one of our team leaders, appropriately distributing tasks and controlling their working hours by means of e-Time, implemented last year as part of SAP Success Factors. Our students are provided with necessary hardware, software access and are given their tasks through Microsoft Teams, integrated with out IT system. Joint mailboxes have also proven useful for task distribution, controlling the number of responsibilities, progress and giving or receiving feedback.
Thanks to state of the art technologies, nothing stands in the way of remotely recruiting new employees for our developing departments: VAT compliance (handling VAT registration for e-commerce companies and filing declarations) and payroll (an international payroll and HR department), as parts of our offer for external clients – should the need arise.
This pandemic has turned out to be a time of many trails – in this case, both for Duni EFF as an employer, and for Duni EFF’s employees. What we need right now is optimism. Fortunately, this situation has verified the efficiency of our teams, which is the source of our pride. For years, we’ve been putting emphasis on good communication in our company. EFF’s organizational culture closely follows the founding values of so called teal organizations which focus on the man in manpower and aim to create an atmosphere of trust, partnership and kindness. We greatly cherish values such as respect, loyalty, cooperation, and professionalism, thus we try to build our relationships with both employees and clients alike in an atmosphere that reflects them. We are fully aware that working from home requires more self-discipline and mutual trust than our standard routines. We are well acquainted with these rules and the pandemic has posed an opportunity for us to further experience what our employees have already been prepared for.
One of the most valuable projects our employees have embarked upon is the mutual sharing of experiences from daily remote work. It appears that each country has their own vision of what a break from work means. We exchange different ideas for arranging work spaces at home and how to best benefit from a break. We find inspiration all around the world. Some nurture their bodies with food, some prefer headstands or meditation and some still prefer to relish a cup of coffee on the porch or balcony, appreciating the beautiful weather.
Managing teams from all areas of remote work is supported by additional, less official projects, such as our Virtual Kitchen. It’s a daily, half hour long virtual meeting over coffee, where all employees are invited. During the first stage of transitioning to home office, Virtual Kitchen was scheduled twice a day – at 9 am and 2 pm. The purpose was to mimic what or routines at the office were – breakfasts, lunches or coffee breaks, so common in Swedish organizations and referred to as fika, meaning small talk over coffee, which usually revolves around our work. Sometimes, it’s simply more efficient and pleasant to engage in an interesting conversation face-to-face and then get back to work.
Times change and so do work standards, but our culture of prioritizing the employee and professional stability remains the same.