What does it mean to be a Champion? Polarising Academy has gone remote.

It’s been a year now since I’m coordinating all Polarising Academies. I always liked challenges and the possibility of reinventing each Academy is one of my favorite parts on the job. Each Academy is different, for starters, people are different!

However, I couldn’t imagine what the first 2020 year Academy would bring; well, as a matter of fact, no one could even dream that we would be living a worldwide pandemic. A lot has changed, so far. Like many other companies, we are entering uncharted territory and need to act fast.

From the office to our home.

So, as all others, the March Champions Academy started at the office, the new “recruits” were getting acquainted with all the dynamics and being introduced to the program. A few weeks later, suddenly, we were told to stay home and like all of us at the office, the Academy had to readjust its routines and schedules and a new chapter would begin at Polarising.

Fortunately, we live in a wonderful world of technology! And Polarising is also a technology company that invests in agile processes and, therefore, the academy’s program could be easily adjusted by fine-tuning the mechanics and working methods.

It’s all about people.

But not everything is about technology; like I’ve said before, people make the difference, and although we didn’t alter the academy program, keeping the training plan and meetings, the single one small detail of going remote would create some new challenges, for us and the newcomers.

The biggest challenge was not being face-to-face with each other! Daily contact is very important, especially when you’re starting somewhere new. My main concern was that this five-star group wouldn’t have a feeling of abandonment which, in this process of learning and experimenting, is essential.

Promoting the regular contact among the group is important to develop the work and solidify knowledge, and even other no less important things, for example, group work and trust between colleagues. Having people healthy and motivated is always a priority, whether remotely or not.

How is it going so far?

The Academy is already halfway through and I’m glad to say that it’s working pretty well. What was strange at first, more for some than for others, became normal and even fun! Just read it yourself from our Champions:

I had a hard time in the beginning but now I’m totally adapted. We talk all the time, it helps to better process what is happening and what we’re learning, even though we have different paces. I think this is the most important thing when going remote.”- Álvaro Teles

I’m sorry I didn’t have time to live the office routine more. It’s challenging to work remotely as a team, but we talk every day and make progress on our project. Remote work has many advantages, especially in how we manage our time.”- Gabriela Gonçalves

A surprisingly pleasant experience! Not having to go to the office gives me more time and although we’re not together we help each other, not just when something goes wrong, but also to check on each other. Let’s do this successfully!”- Daniel Fernandes

Working remotely is working for me, I don’t feel like I can’t keep up, on the contrary; I’m a working-student, and not doing all those trips to and from the office to the university, I can save time and energy and put them in to good use!– Filipe Simões

I feel this experience has been quite good, although there were some difficulties adapting to this new rhythm, but I’m learning and working on it. I miss our table football breaks!”- Tiago Tavares

Adapting is key.

But this is what being a Champion is about, giving your best under any conditions; learning, working and making sure the program is completed and the proposed goals achieved. And always kidding with each others!

As far as I’m concerned, the important thing is to have a solid structure, the rest is adaptable and always having in mind the team spirit and other core values that Polarising advocates.

Daniel Lambuça
Tech Training Consultant

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