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Back to the Future of Work

Reflexion on a year unlike any other

As 2020 come to its end, Plume, a colleague at Arche TI, shares his thoughts about this very unusual year, both from a personal and professional perspective. He tells us about the changes working from home have had for individuals and companies and how a tool such as Odoo can really make a difference.

I used to work from home. One or two days a week, or when it rained. 

But having to work from home on a more permanent basis is quite the revolution! In the early days of March's lockdown, I came across an episode of Sam Harris' podcast that immediately caught my attention: The Future of Work. We had just found ourselves teleported to this new reality. Just about the time of a press conference, we had to adapt to the new situation. For the luckiest of us, it meant working from home for a while, but more importantly changing the way we did things.

In the episode, Matt Mullenweg, who manages a large company, without an office, discusses the benefits and approaches needed for productivity in a remote working context. As a reflex, we tend to keep the same habits that we have in the office. 

I quickly realized that if I thought I was going to get the information as efficiently by e-mail as I did in person, I was going to be disappointed.

To achieve this efficiency, we necessarily have to change the way we work and rethink the way we work so that we can all work effectively without depending on a colleague.

I hadn't mentioned it yet, but I help clients integrate Odoo into small and medium businesses. I have seen the needs of my clients evolve during the 2020 adventure. Without having foreseen it, they had the tool that would help them adapt to the new realities. 

Here is what I observed first hand: 


Our client personalizes and customizes clothing for companies. From school uniforms to microbrewery t-shirts not leaving out caps for sports teams. She started using Odoo with her team one month before the start of the sanitary measures after 8 months of working with us. A complete integration, a little development, from sales and purchases to production through the website. 

From one day to the next, deliveries of purchases were on hold, sales became hesitant and the busiest period was fast approaching. The barely trained team had to adapt to the system change during the onset of a pandemic. 

We accompanied them every step of the way. They were able to keep in touch with their customers and keep track of their purchases. They had to adjust their production to the new realities (mask, jacket), while continuing to manage the usual orders, thanks to the multi website! Users were able to benefit from centralized information and become more autonomous in their adventure away from their colleagues while a small team was standing guard in the workshop.

Odoo didn't do it all for them, but it was an efficient ally. A few months later, they have the system well under control and continue to develop it. To think that barely a year ago, they were managing purchasing and production with a clever paper file system...

Changing your M.O.'s

Our client manages the accesses (daily and annual) to a nature reserve for hikers. Purchases, validation of tickets and renewal of subscriptions were handed at sales outlets. A classic way of doing things. Then came March and everything was ramshackled, though one could not give up those forest hikes... Why deprive yourself of it?

It became necessary to compensate annual subscribers for the months of closure, to reopen, to allow subscription renewal so as not to lose customers. We had to continue to sell daily access while keeping people at a distance.

We gradually deployed online renewal, then daily access sales by period and soon, online subscription sales. Closing the on-site box office wasn't an easy decision to make, but they had a nose for it!

The clientele did not diminish. Online daily access has eliminated peak periods by spreading visitors over the day, and reserve staff are now more involved in customer service.

What about the future? When will all this virus stuff be behind us? Like everyone before us, we'll have to continue to adapt. The last few months have forced contractors to adjust quickly and with uncertainty. For our customers, the quality of their data and the flexibility of their systems will have allowed them to tackle the challenges from a solid base that will allow them to adjust quickly.

In due time, when we will be back with our colleagues and we will be less bored, it will still be possible to stay at home to work on Odoo, when it rains...

And what was the biggest adjustment challenge for you during this period? How about your system?

The future of work


A Conversation with Matt Mullenweg