Team cohesion and productivity tips

team cohesion

Team cohesion and productivity during the remote-work era of the new normal

 

Team cohesion is hard when all your team members are working remotely. And most of the organizations in the European Union are working remotely during these times, plus the percentage shortly will grow even further. This is the case of our teams, as well.

We love to talk, to share, to laugh, to spend time together, to create. This hasn’t changed in the era of remote work either. Even though we are all at home, we connect via video or chat.

Still, there is a big question about any real shift in this new era of normal

What do we do about the feelings of belonging to a community, a group, a team? How do we keep being productive and which tools we use during the new era of #WFH?

We wrote this article in order to answer all these questions. So, this is the #AROBS way of working remotely and still being a team.

Team cohesion makes the dreamwork

Here are some tips that we tried out that can be of great use for you and your team.

We established a routine

We start our mornings with a call. A video call is mandatory since it is very important to see each other’s reactions. We start with setting priorities for the day and check if anyone needs help in implementing an idea. Also, this is the best way for brainstorming, since COVID-19 has thrown us into the new normal.

We created a structure

Hence, we make these video-calls only in the morning, and especially at the start of the week. The rest of the day is saved for implementation. Also, since you need to unplug at the end of the day it is very important to set up a certain place in your apartment for working. This way you can physically distance yourself from it at the end of the day, which helps you mentally distance yourself. All these help you stay balanced, which will ultimately make you more productive.

We move around

Though you work in one place, it is recommended to move around when on breaks. Do some exercise. Trust us, it not only makes you healthier but more cheerful. Also, it strengthens your immune system, which is a great plus in this COVID-19 pandemic.

We reduced stress

There is a lot of newly found stress that comes with all these new challenges . These need extra effort to adapt to, so be more understanding. Prepare yourself mentally to focus only on the things that really matter, whether it comes to your colleagues, whether it comes to you.

We continue to be connected

Since we know each other pretty well, it is much easier to work together. However, talking about tasks-only will be exhausting in the long run. Hence, we share our moods, and things that happened with us the other day. We talk about what we prepared last night or where can you find fresh vegetables brought to your doorstep. (Again, the times we live in.)

We build trust

We started this a long time ago. And now we need to continue it. Building trust is the hardest and the most necessary. You need time and consistency for it. There is no shortcut. We are there for one another. By checking in, consulting each other, by a  mechanism where ideas are detached from people and are being valued for their worth. Meaning, just because you had a bad idea, doesn’t mean you are worthless. It means that the idea was not one of the greatest. But by having a network where you can honestly express your ideas, thoughts, and worries – you build trust.

We are friendly

And always, always, always – be friendly. There are studies that even sheep when made to choose between a person that smiles and one that doesn’t, they choose the ones that smile. It is not rocket science, if you are friendly, you open up, and that also opens the other person up. And that is fertile ground for collaboration.

So how come we need tips for remote work? Does it really change the way we interact? What is the downside of it?

Remote teamwork changes the way we interact

Unplugging

According to a study by The State of Remote work, published in 2019, the most struggling thing about working remotely is unplugging after the work hours are over. Of course, we need to consider that this report was published before the outbreak of the current COVID-19 pandemic and since our lives have already drastically changed.

Loneliness

The second worry is about loneliness. Today, more than ever before. It is not just that you work far from your team, chances are you are also away from your family. Whether you are doing this to protect them or to protect society, spending a lot of time without human contact is hard.

Communication

The third is about communication. Communication is a tough one even in normal times. Many studies show that communication is the key to a successful project and the main reason for the ones that fail. Now, the fact that we are not close to each other physically, it makes things even harder. Especially, when you need quick decision-making and very fast implementation.

And communication is complicated, isn’t it? Part of the productivity challenge of WFH (work from home) comes from the loss of basic human connection that you have with your colleagues, your team and others from throughout your company. Interpreting a mail’s tone versus talking to that person face-to-face is quite different. Then there is the whole package of non-verbal communication.

However, modern tools like emojis and gifs are here to help. We use them often in our internal communication to complete a written message.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is indeed challenging to be teleported to this new normal of remote work. We all need to find our balance. To stay productive and connected at the same time. If you find your own way of adapting to this, you’ll be able to play a positive role in transforming corporate culture for the new virtual era.

Be disciplined and organized during this crisis and benefits will come. Who knows, we might find a new appreciation for everything.

Also, when you have a bigger team, and you need team management you should consider using workforce management software, like NABU. These kinds of tools help you focus on what is really important, the people.

Find out more about what we do when it comes to software development.

The AROBS software developer toolbox – part 1

software developer

The AROBS’ software developer toolbox – part 1

 

We asked our colleagues around and we collected here the must-have toolbox for remote work from home in the Coronavirus era. Our software developers use them daily, and they swear by these tools they chose. These keep their productivity up, their team cohesion strong and their communication impeccable.

Many teams working on our projects for Life Sciences, IoT, Enterprise Solutions, Automotive or Travel Software business lines answered happily to our questions. They sent their preferences for #WFH tools from their own #MyAROBSHomeOffice (take a look at the AROBS people home-offices, with cats, books, coffee – the full package).

We gathered a lot of information and we will publish on our blog two episodes. The first will be about the communication tools used by our development teams, and the second will be about the project management and Integrated development environment software.

 

We stay safe and we stay tuned in the remote and work from home era

 

Our colleagues, despite the urban mythology about the not-very-sociable software developers, are very talkative people. So, they use a plethora of communication and conferencing tools, listed here below.

 

Microsoft Teams is one of the most used communication and collaboration tool that solves our necessities regarding workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration. The service integrates with the Office 365 suite and it offers the possibility to also be integrated with non-Microsoft products. As restrictions related to Coronavirus pandemic started to expand in Europe a couple of days ago, the popular software had a difficult day; to quote a very interesting title, “as the world and its cats start working from home” (FYI, Sophie is the name of the model in the picture above). But it recovered fast and it announces new interesting messaging features for April 2020. 

 

Zoom Video Communications is another well-known remote conferencing service that offers video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration our software developers love to use. Since the pandemic started, the company has offered the opportunity to hold meetings with up to 1000 video participants for business account holders. 

 

Skype for Business is the enterprise version of the instant messaging software we all know since… forever. It is designed for use with the on-premises Skype for Business Server software, and software as a service version offered as part of Office 365. However, it seems that, very soon, Skype will be replaced by Microsoft Teams.

 

Slack offers many IRC-style features, like chat rooms (channels) organized by topic, private groups, and direct messaging. It is a freemium product; whose main paid features are the ability to search more than 10,000 archived messages and add unlimited apps and integrations. 

 

Cisco Webex is famous in the business of conferencing and videoconferencing applications. Its most renowned products are Webex Meetings, Webex Teams, Training Center, Event Center, Support Center, Sales Center, MeetMeNow, PCNow, Webex AIM Pro Business Edition, Webex WebOffice, and WebEx Connect. All of them are part of the Cisco Systems collaboration tools portfolio. 

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus crisis, they launched extensive guides to help our teams of software developers communicate and collaborate better under these circumstances. 

We will publish the second part of the article on our software development toolbox on our blog very soon. Stay safe and stay tuned!

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Free tracking for ambulances, FFP2 masks and ventilators donated

free tracking

Free ambulance tracking and medical equipment donated to support the medical staff

We notice an incredible solidarity between the private and public sector, amid the circumstances created by the spread of COVID-19. We couldn’t stand aside and we joined this worldwide movement, by showing support to our local communities.

TrackGPS by AROBS is offering its tracking services to all state-own ambulances in its portfolio, for free. This solidarity move is planned for the entire period of the national emergency. Furthermore, medical units have received donations on behalf of AROBS, to make the fight against the virus easier for those in the first line.

Why do ambulances need tracking?

Every time a person requests the services of an ambulance; the most critical factors are the reaction time and the route length. Therefore, with the right tracking services, you can assure not just the most efficient route to the destination, but also the closest vehicle available.

On the other hand, let’s not forget about the importance of organizing. Organizing is vital in every domain where reaction time links to the survival of a person. By centralizing information about ambulances, every decision is made based on data.  Also, this increases the success rate of an intervention considerably.

This is how free tracking directly impacts the work and budget of many medical professionals.

Free tracking for how many ambulances

These services are available to over 1400 state ambulances, grossly meaning that these help the work of over 3000 medical professionals. Hence, for the entire national emergency, Track specialists will complete these teams, contributing with technical know-how.

Medical institutions now need to concentrate every resource to fight this pandemic. We are with them.

#solidarity

Special FFP2 masks for the front line medical staff

Sometimes, the most simple object can have the biggest contribution in protecting yourself. Like a sanitizer or a mask. Considering the overwhelming necessity of protection equipment in the medical system determined by the COVID-19 wave, we could only mobilize and contribute. 

Thus, 50.000 special FFP2 mask, worth over 235.000 euro, were purchased in order to be distributed as a donation from the company, to local hospitals and communities where AROBS has offices. Over 16.000 masks, the first two batches, have already been delivered to the following medical units:

Cluj-Napoca

  • Clujana Municipal Clinical Hospital,
  • Cluj Recovery Hospital,
  • Leon Daniello Clinical Hospital of Pneumoftiziology Cluj-Napoca (and its surgery department),
  • The Dental Specialization Outpatient Clinic of the County Clinical Hospital,
  • Oncological Institute „Prof. Dr. Ion Chiricuţă ”,
  • Campia Turzii Municipal Hospital,
  • Dej Municipal Hospital,
  • Gherla Municipal Hospital,
  • Huedin Municipal Hospital,
  • Turda Municipal Hospital.

ARAD

  • Arad County Emergency Clinical Hospital,
  • ISU Arad.

Mureș

  • Mureș County Clinical Hospital,
  • UPU SMURD Mureș,
  • Mureș Public Ambulance Service.

Maramureș

  • Pneumoftiziology Hospital “Dr. Nicolae Rusdea ”Baia Mare,
  • Maramureş County Ambulance Service,
  • Maramureș Infectious Diseases and Psychiatry Hospital.

Iași

  • Iasi Pneumoftiziology Clinical Hospital.

48 non-invasive Hypnus ventilators donated for ill patients

For the patients who already manifest advanced stages of the virus, breathing can become impossible without special devices. Hence, 48 Hypnus Anti Coronavirus ventilators have been also donated by AROBS to medical units across the country. They are vital in the treatment of Coronavirus patients and can contribute significantly in the recovery process, as well as increasing the chance of survival. Furthermore, the devices allow monitoring for multiple patients at once. 

The ventilators have been distributed considering the highest demand of necessity by the hospitals and medical units that fight in the front line with COVID-19. The devices are now at several hospitals in the local communities:

  • “Leon Daniello” Clinical Hospital of Pneumoftiziology Cluj-Napoca,
  • Clinical Hospital for Infectious Diseases,
  • Regional Institute of Gastroenterology and Hepatology,
  • Pneumoftiziology Hospital “Dr. Nicolae Rusdea ”Baia Mare,
  • Iasi Pneumoftiziology Clinical Hospital,
  • Mureș County Clinical Hospital,
  • Arad County Emergency Clinical Hospital,
  • County Emergency Hospital “St. Ioan cel Nou ”Suceava.

About TrackGPS and public services

TrackGPS is Romania’s number 1 fleet management solution. It operates for private and public fleets as well.

When it comes to public services, they are the basic mechanisms that make our society function. Hence, their importance is indisputable. These services imply the management of many vehicles, whether we are talking about electricity services, sanitation, snow cleaning services or other emergency services. For this, it is essential to have centralized data and fast decision making. 

These require fleet management solutions, like real-time access to a vehicle’s exact location.

TrackGPS is an AROBS solution. In conclusion, it is ready to give a helping hand in times of need, for our society.

Here is an article in Forbes Romania.

Find out more about other AROBS solutions, here.

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Contact us

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ROMANIA
Cluj-Napoca
44-46, Henri Barbusse Street
Cluj-Napoca, 400616, Romania
+40-(0)264-202-116

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#EverythingIsGoingToBeAlright in the times of Coronavirus

#EverythingIsGoingToBeAlright, coronavirus

Coronavirus might be the greatest challenge we face now

But we all need to stay positive. It is essential for the strength of our immune system. Obviously, to be able to be positive we need to take care of one another and be very precautious.

THINK OF THE KIDS

This is when we turn to our kids.

Now, many countries have taken drastic measures to try and stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Some, like Romania, closed schools and kindergartens and sent parents working from home to assure more safety for the vulnerable.

There is a good part of this too. Because working remotely was an option before it was an official state recommendation given the current global health crisis.

There is more quality time spent with children, even though work from home still means working full time.

Thinking about children and parents spending time together we launched a new initiative, inspired by our Italian friends.

Coronavirus and the challenge for the kids

In times of great international challenges and uncertainties given this coronavirus crisis, we turn to our greatest source of hope – our children. We reach for them to show us better times. Often, they are a reminder for the reason we keep on going.

Hence, we asked AROBS parents to challenge their kids to draw. The theme: Everything is going to be alright/ stay home, or in Romanian: Totul va fi bine/ stau acasă.

#EverythingIsGonnaBeAlright, coronavirus #EverythingIsGonnaBeAlright

 

Then, to raise our own morale, the received drawings are sent back to all the colleagues and shared within our community.

The drawings

Even though the coronavirus brought our morale down, the response from the kids was truly heartwarming. Kids at home under heart-shaped blankets looking out the window, little horses running around under a rainbow, clear skies with birds and children with fingers crossed for humanity.

It is normal to have feelings of anxiety and fear, given the current context. But we all have to take care of each other, be even kinder and more prudent to help the most vulnerable of our community.

Children make up a huge part of it. In times when we seem to forget the importance of little things, children are there to show us the way.

Their drawings are an inspiration for all of us, an incredible way to starts your day.

Moreso, through this initiative we have, once again, proven that a workplace is no longer just a place where you go to work. A workplace is a community and an involvement space.

AMBULANCES

Free tracking for all ambulances

We stand in solidarity with the health system, given that they are the modern heroes.

Because they need to focus all resources on fighting this coronavirus pandemic, AROBS’ TrackGPS is offering its tracking services for every state-own ambulance, for free for how however long the national emergency is on.

How many ambulances

There are over 1400 ambulances in Track’s portfolio, and in these times, efficiency is the most important guide for everyone. By tracking all these vehicles correctly, you can assure the fastest way and the closest ambulance available to where it is needed. The time you save by this literally saves lives.

We stand in #solidarity with everyone fighting this pandemic.

#MyAROBShomeoffice

Since we need to be protective of ourselves as well as with the people around us, amid the outbreak of coronavirus, staying home has become, by now, almost natural. And the first step to transferring our working habits to our home is to set up a working corner. So we’ve challenged our colleagues to inspire us with their ‘’happy and productive spot”. They surprised us with some pictures worthy of a home deco magazine, we dare to say. Even more, some already hired “assistants”. 

Find a selection of them here.

#MyAROBShomeoffice in times of coronavirus

 

We joint action and humanity we’ll get through this.

The #FoodDevelopers

#FoodDeveloper #AROBS

One thing we all inevitably do is cooking. Or as the software slang goes, Food Developing. This as well connects us. First, it is an inspiration, because even the ones that were regularly cooking, in isolation reached a point at which washing the dishes happens 2-3 times a day, if not more. This leads to running out of ideas. 

Also, since we are not bumping in each other at the office to ask a colleague “what’s up”, this was a nice initiative to get in touch on a personal level.

 So, under the #FoodDevelopers hashtag, we shared what we were cooking during this time. Check the output and find your inspiration here.

Find out more about AROBS and our projects and initiatives, here.

And follow us on social media!

Let's work together!

Contact us

Write your message!

ROMANIA
Cluj-Napoca
44-46, Henri Barbusse Street
Cluj-Napoca, 400616, Romania
+40-(0)264-202-116

AROBS x Műegyetemi Állásbörze

AROBS in Budapest

AROBS in Budapest at the Műegyetemi Job fair

AROBS in Budapest – Find us on the 18th and 19th of March at Műegyetem rakpart 3., Műegyetemi Job fair, Budapest’s most notorious job event.

We’ll be there for you with a cozy spot where you can rest a bit and feel just like at home. This is what AROBS is standing for in the heart of Budapest as well.

With a team of 7 embedded professionals, everybody knows everybody, and every opinion weights a lot. While at huge companies you might feel like a number, at AROBS Pannonia Software your contribution is truly valued.

But, find out more about us here.

Precision + Independence + Flexibility

Come see for yourself if it’s true that the values that describe us are precision, independence, and flexibility.

As automotive engineers, our nature is rooted in precision. The software we create for the future of automotive in electric cars requires exactly this, precision.

Independence is crucial for us because we are millennials. Without independence, we cannot create. Hence, we needed a workplace that doesn’t just allow us but enables us to be independent. We believe that only independent thinkers can successfully collaborate.

Flexibility is essential to our mindset whether it comes to our work whether to our life.

500 automotive engineers internationally

While our office in Budapest is small, a fact that comes with a lot of benefits when it comes to the people, the team is part of a much bigger entity. AROBS’ automotive team consists of over 500 automotive engineers. Adding the other almost 500 people working on high-level technologies, the number of the whole team is reaching 1000 in offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Republic of Moldova, Romania and Hungary.

AROBS in Budapest – Műegyetemi job fair

This year we make our debut at the Műegyetemi job fair. We are proud to be among the 150 companies that represent the best of Hungary’s opportunities, especially when it comes to the automotive industry.

If you are an embedded professional with a passion for the automotive industry, we’ll be there to meet you on the 18th and 19th of March.

Come say hi!

The mothers of computer science

Computer science

The mothers of the computer sciences

We wrote this article about the first (historically speaking ) ladies of computer science, the mothers of software development.

The return of the Spring brings about two celebrations in Romania: Martisor – a combination of ages-old traditions and International Women Day on 8 March.  As the best Romanian software development company that employs women as almost 40% of the workforce, we want to remember where everything started.  

 We wrote this article about the first (historically speaking ) ladies of computer science, the mothers of software development. It is a homage for some of the women that helped the industry became what is today.  

 The daughter of a Romantic poet, she is the first algorithm writer in the history  

 Ada Lovelace, Countess of Lovelace, was the only daughter of Lord Byron, the Romantic poet, and she lived two centuries ago. She was an English mathematician and writer, a Victorian revolutionary, mostly known for her work on the Analytical Engine. She was the first to state that the machine had many, not just calculations and wrote the first algorithm for this machine. The countess is many times regarded as the first person in history to forecast the whole applications for a “computing machine” and one of the first computer programmers.  

 The human computers  

 Barbara Canright was the first of many women employed for the computing type of work, though in 1941 she was the sole exception to this domain. It`s not just that women weren`t hired for engineering jobs, the technical university did not enroll women at that time.  Barbara “Barby” Canright found a job at California’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1939. As the first-ever known female “human computer,” her job was to calculate anything from how many rockets to be loaded in a plane to what kind of rockets are needed to launch a spacecraft.  She did everything by hand, during weeks of calculations, using loads of notebooks.  

 After the Pearl Harbour attack happened,  given the amount of work, more “human computers” were hired, including three other women pioneers in the field: Melba Nea, Virginia Prettyman, and Macie Roberts 

 Barbara Paulson played an important role in the historic launch of the JPL-built Explorer 1, the first successfully launched satellite by the United States of America. She was tasked with calculating the data from the satellite and from a network tracking station. It was the beginning of the Space Race. 

 Janez Lawson was the first African-American to hold a technical job in the JPL lab. She used the IBM computers in the lab and, with her supervisor’s encouragement to further pursue her studies in computer science, Lawson was one of two people sent to special IBM training to learn how to operate and program the machines. 

Katherine Johnson gave them the moon. During her impressive career in computer science, she calculated the trajectory for the 1961 space flight of Alan Shepard, the first American in space. She also calculated the launch window for his 1961 Mercury mission. She set backup navigation charts for astronauts in case of technical failures.  

 When NASA started using computers for astronaut John Glenn’s orbit around the Earth, the people of NASA called Johnson to verify the computer’s calculations; the astronaut had refused to fly unless Johnson verified everything. Johnson later worked directly with digital computers, the new technology had been establishing confidence thanks to her reputation.  She also helped to calculate the charts for the first Moon landing with Apolo 11, in 1961. 

Sue Finley has been an employee of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory since January 1958. She also worked as a subsystem engineer for NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN). She has worked in missions that led to the exploration of the Moon, the Sun, all the planets, and other cellestial bodies in the Solar System.  

 Dorothy Vaughan – During her career in computer science, Vaughan worked in the introduction of computers in the early 1960s by teaching herself and her staff FORTRAN. Does anyone remember FORTRAN these days? 

 Mary Jackson was an excellent mathematician in a time of racial segregation. She was also a “human computer” for NACA. The story of her extraordinary contributions to the space race was later pictured in the 2016 film Hidden Figures 

 

Happy spring, everyone!   

 Read more on https://www.history.com/news/human-computers-women-at-nasa 

 

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Technology books
Blog

Technology books that marked me

Technology books, especially the great ones, have a huge effect on our software development careers. Even though there are so many tech books written in this domain, there are only a few that really mark us.

Read More
Follow us on social media