For Melanie Metzger’s department, the corona pandemic began at the worst possible moment: the model series manager and her team had been working for more than three years towards the launch of the all-electric ID.3. For Volkswagen, the first model of a new era. In the specially constructed project house, the team held the strings together to get the car on the road as planned. Every day, dozens of meetings with developers, purchasers or production planners. Shortly before the finish line, COVID-19 arrived – and consequently the home office. “From one day to the next, all communication had to take place online,” says Metzger.
Skype meeting instead of Project HQ
The switch was big, because in the project house everything was designed for personal encounters. 200 minds under one roof. Short distances. Fast appointments. Spontaneous discussions became more difficult from the home office – but the daily structure was largely retained. “We transferred all meetings 1:1 to Skype,” reports Metzger. One major advantage was that most of the participants knew each other well. No time-consuming introductions required. Work could continue immediately. It was more difficult to integrate new colleagues into the team though.
The longer the home office lasted, the clearer the advantages became. One plus point: more efficiency. “Many meetings that used to take an hour are now finished after half an hour. We can manage more in the same time,” says Metzger. The organizers of the meetings also no longer have to search for a suitable room. “That used to slow us down a lot in the past.”