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The new normal at sum.cumo: How everything remains new even after the lockdown

Orphaned offices, empty streets, closed shops, tables folded up in the restaurants… At the height of the lockdown, these images had a lasting effect on the way we all felt the global crisis caused by the novel corona virus. At home, we had to reorganize with each other or on our own - not an easy situation for many.

And we were almost lucky! As part of the digital economy, we were able to react quickly. After all, we all had laptops and video conferencing was nothing new. Even before the crisis, cross-location collaboration was part of our everyday life. And our customers? All companies with digital blood in their veins. It was quick - the very next day, collaboration was back in full swing and the focus was increasingly on mutual support in working and living in the home office. The crisis has brought us closer together digitally.

A lot has changed since then and we have learned a lot. About communication, about meeting culture, about work processes, about spatially separated togetherness and probably also about ourselves personally. But as a company we have learned one thing above all: working from the home office has worked - very well indeed. Meetings became more punctual and efficient. Meetings and work results were jointly documented. All project formats in the agile cooperation with our customers and partners were successfully mapped. We were able to rely on the availability of our colleagues and the teams and each individual made his contribution responsibly and reliably. Oh yes - and a joint team gin-tasting with 60 colleagues as video conference showed us even more clearly that we are looking for each other, investing time and that after-work can also work digitally.

For a few days now, there have been various first relaxations of the lockdown throughout Germany. The "normal" life starts again - but mask duty and distance regulations remain a part of this new norm. At sum.cumo, the offices were open on a voluntary basis during the lockdown, subject to various precautions. Now it looks as if various colleagues are once again increasingly taking it upon themselves to regularly take a seat at their desk in one of our locations. Others have identified advantages for working in a home office, and many feel that a healthy mix is forward-looking.

sum.cumo has therefore decided to take a proactive approach to the strategy for dealing with this change and to realign itself for the long term. We don't want to stand by and watch the world around us change, but to drive and shape change independently. sum.cumo will be a "remote first" company in the future.

This means that we have an obligation to think first of our colleagues inside and customers in our home office or other locations. In the future, a meeting will no longer start with setting up the video and audio equipment while the office colleagues are already starting to exchange ideas, but will start well prepared and on time for all participants equally. Project contents and documentation are available to everyone to the same extent. Post-its can also be glued virtually, and the screen can also serve as a whiteboard for exchanging ideas. To make this possible, we develop new standards in the project process and invest in tools and hardware in our offices and at our colleagues at home.

Based on the experiences of the past weeks and months, we know that this path will lead to success and we are happy that this change also contributes to the further development of our company and that many new opportunities arise - in fact, constant change has always been "quite normal" for us and our consciously chosen approach. So everything is the same, just different. Off into a new era!