Innsbruck sprint: IT onboard

published Feb 07, 2023

Panel discussion during the Alpine City Sprint 2023.

This is a panel discussion on remote work and onboarding in IT, at the Alpine City Sprint 2023.
This is an Erasmus Plus project.
  • Dimitri, Center of Labour in Innsbruck.
  • Erico, working as employee for KitConcept, and company owner in Brasil.
  • Alessandro, working remotely
  • Cibilla, Fachgruppe, support employees, lots of ITers
  • Bernd, professor business education
  • Christine, IT project manager in Innsbruck, partner of IT Onboard.
IT Onboard: tools for students, employees, companies. Online interest test. Created an escape game for schools on how to work in IT. Vocational orientation: internship. We created guidelines for internship, especially for remote work.
Opportunities and risks of remote work.
Opportunity is that you have access to a larger pool of work people so you can get the right people for the right position.
Risks: cultural aspects. Not everyone is ready for remote work, they need other human beings around them.
Communication is key. Adapt your communication style.
Companies do not impose culture. Culture grows.
There are guidelines, but there is no recipe. You need to adapt your methods to your your employees.
Different timezones: what for one person is a last wrap up, for the other person is a first standup.
I was not looking to be a remote worker, it just happened. I needed more time for my family, which was difficult with the previous company I worked for. I started looking for a different company, and found it in Munich. They were already doing remote work, with someone in Scotland.
I like to have people around, so I enjoy company retreats. That did not happen during the pandemic, making it harder for me.
You can sometimes forget that you work for a company, and just do whatever you think is best. So please do spend time with colleagues, pair up with them.
The law in Austria lags behind for remote work. Especially social insurance can be a problem, and taxes. Or the companies have rigid rules, like overtime starts at 19 'o clock, when some of you start working. There are legal issues, and I expect some will come to court.
There is more competition, both for employers and employees. If someone in India can do the same work just as well as you in Austria, the Indian person will get the job because they can get paid less.
For remote workers, the employer tends to look more at output, where in an office you can easily show: I have been in the office for eight hours, it is time to go home. So at home you may actually work longer hours. Employees may need to be protected from themselves.
There is better compatibility between work time and family time, and less time spent in trains or your car. But the border between work and private time is low. This can be stressful.
Some employees really look for remote work, others are forced into it, mostly due to the pandemic.
Remote work can be highly valuable for some, and depressing for others. Having self management skills helps, you can get into a flow, put creativity to work, great. But how much of your life do you want to give to your remote work, and how much do you spare for other areas of your life?
Working three days at home and two days in the office in a different country, then it gets tricky. Social security is always paid in only one country.
What about fake independency? In Austria mostly a problem for your employer, if they hire you and basically still treat you as an employee, and you do not have any other employers. They will need to pay social insurance for you, at least if this takes a few months. But how can the employer know this beforehand? This is a reason for some large employers to not do this.
Every legal system in the world is made for people in one country working in that same country. That needs to change. There is no discussion on European or international level, only within Austria. Small example: if your kid breaks your laptop by accident, you have the same protection as if you would have done it yourself. Internationally we need to arrange things fairly, no single country can do this. Employees need to feel well.
Questions to ask yourself:
  • How do we want to work remotely?
  • What do we want to do remotely and what locally, in office?
Remote work is here to stay, and it needs its own rules.