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CASE e21 Solutions: Team building in the age of remote work

e21 Solutions is a Finnish software development company located in Lauttasaari, Helsinki. e21 has comprehensive expertise in digital business design, technical implementation, maintenance and development.

Grape People conducted a team building day for e21, where the focus was on community and well-being in the workplace.

This story was published in Finnish on e21’s website: Miten kehittää tiimityötä etätyön aikana?

The purpose of the workshop

Like many other work communities, the pandemic forced e21 to move to working remotely full time. The extraordinary situation subtly became the new normal, and people continued to work remotely even after the restrictions had ended.

Before long, it became obvious that communication was not working as well as before. Team spirit had weakened and maintaining it seemed harder than before. New employees in particular found it more difficult to become part of the work community.

CEO Marko Rautakoura knew that something had to be done, but community spirit cannot be imposed, for example by ordering everyone to the office. What if we could solve the problem together?

So they decided to hold a team day to discuss the challenges and solutions to community spirit.

Implementation of the workshop

The workshop started at noon with a team lunch in the office, leading directly into the workshop. The CEO gave a short presentation on the purpose of the day and facilitator Jonas Rajanto explained the working method.

To warm up, participants chatted in small groups about workshop topics. We chose topics such as hobbies, sources of inspiration, games, AI and community.

This was followed by a short presentation on community, which led participants to reflect on community experiences in their own lives. These stories were shared in small groups until the topic was clear in everyone’s mind.

Two people taking notes
Participants reflected on personal experiences of community.

The next step was to reflect on community in the workplace. To do this, the groups used Lego to build a vision of community in the workplace. The groups presented their creations to each other and told stories based on the designs.

Next, they worked in pairs to formulate the goals of workplace community on the wall of the workspace. From these goals, themes were selected to be explored after the break.

Participants went to different workstations according to their personal interests to reflect on solutions to each goal. Once the solutions had been produced, they were prioritised with a new pair to ensure that the best solutions stood out from the crowd.

Several people writing on flipcharts
Solution ideation with the Open Space method

The final step was called Needs & Offers. Each person thought about what they needed in their daily routines to thrive and what they could offer others to support their wellbeing.

Reception of the workshop

The purpose of the workshop was to strengthen the team spirit and to better understand the motto of the workplace: let’s serve each other. Working face-to-face was a good choice according to the participants and made the day relaxed and smooth.

The work was facilitated by a clear structure, tailored to the needs of the group. Participants praised the variety of the work; not just sitting and discussing, but solving questions by working in a multifaceted way. Building with Lego was a particularly refreshing way to create a vision of community.

The facilitator’s positivity and self-confidence captivated the participants so that they dared to throw themselves in and put themselves out there. The external facilitator also freed the participants from the usual group dynamics and rigid practices. Breaking the mould inspired and energised the group.

In particular, the reflection on personal needs and the creation of deals was praised. Everyone took a moment to reflect on what they themselves need in order to serve others.

How can we help you succeed?

Facilitation can be used in a wide range of work situations. Let us help you combine the skills of your professionals to achieve your shared goals.

We can train your staff in the necessary skills or come in as external facilitators for an event that is important to you. Time spent together is most valuable – we make it worthwhile.

When you want to be sure of a successful event, we are the right partner for you. Tell us about your needs and together we will design the package that best serves you. We offer training and workshops in Finnish and English. More effective cooperation brings better results!