Team work during an exceptional year – a story from Sweden

Anna Månsson, a Regional Manager, Technical Documentation, reflects on how Etteplan managed to create value for its customers amidst the pandemic.

January - March 2020 “The year started off with a good business climate. It was worrying, of course, to hear from our Chinese colleagues about how a mysterious disease, COVID-19, was spreading there. However, I would never have imagined what we were about to encounter during next months. During March, when the pandemic started to spread in Sweden, we started to work remotely. The teams adapted quickly. Everyone was very helpful and worked hard to make sure our customer deliveries wouldn’t be affected by the new working conditions.”

“To ensure operations and support well-being, our department managers implemented daily short meetings very quickly. It warmed my heart to see colleagues helping each other. For instance, Etteplaners voluntarily drove office equipment to those who didn’t own cars. Also, our coffee breaks at Teams became very popular.”

April - June 2020 “During the second quarter, we continued to work from home. At the same time, our business decreased and some customers delayed or terminated assignments. The Swedish government had introduced temporary layoffs, which we had to start implementing. Now we were facing a double crisis, dealing with both the disease itself and a very critical business situation. When we left the office to work remotely, nobody knew how long it would last. But at this point we all had gotten used to it – whether we liked it or not. During this exceptional year, it has become very clear to me that we adapt and thrive very differently in a new situation. My conclusion is that in the future, we must take into account individual needs and characteristics and realize that one solution will not suit everyone.”

July - September 2020 “Before summer, I had hoped we could return to a more normal everyday life –at least from a business point of view– by August. The first weeks of that month were anxious and there was extremely low activity on the market. As the weeks passed, we won business around the country. We could also leverage on our high MSI (Managed Services Index) to use resources from all over the country in various projects. The teams showed fantastic flexibility – despite challenges with several parallel multi-site projects, and without being able to meet in person, we delivered to our customers. The cooperation between different offices and countries has strengthened as a positive effect of this year. During the autumn, I participated in E-LEAD, a program with a focus on remote leadership. Together with Etteplan managers all over the world, I gained insights and tools to be able to meet the partly new challenges that this year had given us. I appreciated the training a lot. In addition to the skills I gained, it was a great way to get to know more colleagues outside Sweden.”

September - December 2020 “The volumes with our big, old customers increased again and we had also gained new customers during the year. We will probably not return to a pre-pandemic climate any time soon, but on the other hand we have learned from this and will find new, and even better ways forward.” Anna Månsson, Regional Manager, Technical Documentation, Etteplan

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