Teamwork at Yaasa: 3 countries, 2 continents, 1 team

Last week we talked about tips and best practices for remote teamwork last week. In particular, we talked about practical tools and tips on this topic, which has become the order of the day in times of working from home and mobile work culture. In this blog article, however, we explain how we in the Yaasa team master everyday remote working as a large team from Austria, Switzerland and the USA.

Cornelia und Cécile, Teil des Yaasa-Teams in der Schweiz.

What makes a strong team?

The ultimate goal of working together, whether remotely or in the same room, is to form a strong team that you can rely on and enjoy working with. Of course, the definitions of a strong team are also very different for us:

John (USA):

In strong teams, the best solution "wins" and not - as an example - the opinion of the team lead. We treat each other with respect and there is no room for political games. Even if this sounds like a platitude, people help each other in strong teams. Ultimately, however, strong personalities who enjoy what they do make a strong team. I consider myself lucky to be part of the strong Yaasa team.

Anna (Austria):

For me, good teamwork means working together on something and then also running towards the finish line together. The "team effort" remains the same, regardless of whether you work together in the same place or in different countries. It is just as important to keep in touch with remote colleagues at all times.

Cornelia (Switzerland):

For me,open communication, transparency, loyalty, cohesion, respect, trust, the ability to take criticism and a regular exchange on both professional and private topics make a strong team.

Yaasa-Mitarbeiterin arbeitet im Büro in Österreich.

Klara (Austria):

For me, a good team means getting along well and always approaching each other. Instead of pointing the finger at mistakes, we help each other and have a healthy culture of making mistakes.

How remote teamwork works at Yaasa

The inputs on strong teams and the best practices for remote collaboration are not plucked out of the air at Yaasa. With 3 locations and many employees working from home, the Yaasa team is also constantly faced with the challenges of distance. How do we solve this on a day-to-day basis?

Remotes Collaborationn betweenbetween head quarters and homeeoffice

The majority of Yaasa employees regularly work from their home office from home. This means that video calls are not uncommon. However, there are enough meeting rooms and quiet corners in the headquarters building to hold discussions with remote colleagues in peace. As with everything we do, ergonomics are at the heart of everything we do. The height adjustability of the desks allows us to fatigue and exhaustion and we work with more energy and motivation.

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Klara, an employee in the marketing team, works partly from home and partly in the headquarters building in Lannach, Austria:

'When I come to the office, I usually take the bus or train. There are good connections to our new building, which is very convenient for commuting. When I'm in the big office, I enjoy seeing the others, catching up on this and that, and also having lunch together in the canteen.

For me, the combination of home office and headquarters is ideal. Ifeel like I get the best of both worlds: the peace and quiet at home as well as the social interaction and valuable exchange with my team colleagues, which often falls by the wayside virtually when I come to Lannach. I wouldn't want to miss either place of work.

For us in the Yaasa team, transparent and digital task and data organization is also important in order to work together efficiently. We also don't miss out on small celebrations, end-of-year parties and quarterly meetings, where everyone comes together on site in Austria wherever possible!

Das gesamte Yaasa-Team.

Teamworkork betweenbetween ÖAustria and California

Johannes, Head of B2C Sales, has been living and working from Santa Barbara in California, USA, for 7 years, where he also manages the American Yaasa site. The 9-hour time difference is one of the biggest challenges for working in a team. This is how Johannes copes with the great distance in his day-to-day work:

'As we have a 9-hour time difference between Austria and the west coast of the USA, I regularly start my working day at 05:00 so that there is enough time for coordination with the team in Austria.

I also have to thank the team members in Austria, who like to stay in the office longer to take video calls. Apart from getting up quite early, the setup is actually very good - I'm up to date straight after the morning meetings and can then work on a lot of things in peace and quiet once (almost) everyone has left the office in Austria.

Around lunchtime, I typically do a workout, eat something and then get back to work for another 3-4 hours.

Johannes arbeitet remote aus den USA mit dem Yaasa-Team in Europa zusammen.

The most important thing for Johannes is to maintain team cohesion as much as possible. In addition to virtual meetings, he visits the headquarters building in Austria almost every 4-6 weeks to maintain personal contact with the team. Video calls are usually straight to the point and there is no social interaction.

Strong teamwork between Austria and Switzerland

Cornelia has been with Yaasa since May 2018 and currently works in the Sales and Business Development team. She works around 80% of the time in the office in St. Gallen, together with Cécile. The rest of the time she works from home. Managing the distance is sometimes a challenge for her too:

A major issue is accessibility in particular. Many team members are sometimes in meetings or "on the road" all day. It's therefore difficult to quickly catch up on information in the hallway or have a quick chat. Nevertheless, we master it. The quickest exchange clearly takes place via the "Teams" program.

In order to still feel part of the whole team, it helps to have known the majority of colleagues for years and to have met them in person from time to time. Either our colleagues from Austria/America came to visit us in Switzerland or we had joint projects and strategy meetings in Austria/America, where we enjoyed exchanging ideas on site. The informal evening activities also created a good working atmosphere.

We are a very small team in Switzerland, but I really appreciate the personal contact. Our lunches together in the city of St. Gallen provide an opportunity for a valued professional and private exchange.

Our biweekly catch-up about teams with the team in Austria is also always informative and great fun.

Yaasa-Mitarbeiterin arbeitet im Yaasa-Büro in St.Gallen, Schweiz.

Conclusion: A challenge that is worth it

Working together as a globally distributed team is not always easy. Whether it's the time difference or the lack of small talk between door and door with coffee cup in hand: the personal togetherness of a team is in some ways irreplaceable. Nevertheless, the remote route is worthwhile for Yaasa: different locations allow all team members to dream for their own lives and give us insights into new markets and a direct exchange with customers on site. So teamwork remains a give and take, whether remote or face-to-face.

Yaasa-Mitarbeitende arbeiten im Büro in Lannach, Österreich.