Rules of Engagement

How we want to behave and communicate with each other in our day-to-day work.

Less is more

Our Rules of Engagement define the environment for successful collaboration and include rules of the engagement roadmap and tips for efficient and value-based collaboration.

The implementation of the 36-hour workweek enables a balance between work and private life. This contributes to the well-being of our employees and at the same time increases productivity throughout our digital agency.

  • 36 h to grow beyond ourselves

    Dividing the 36-hour week into five days enables us to find a balance between efficient work and private life. A successful work-life balance promotes motivation and creates space for individuals to go above and beyond.

  • Our service hours stay the same

    We are still available for our customers from Monday to Thursday 08.30-17.00 and Friday 08.30-14.00. Within these times, it is ensured that the respective operationally required staffing per team is given.

  • Flexitime framework

    Our employees can arrange their working hours from Monday to Friday 06.00-20.00, rest periods must be respected. Everyone is responsible for reducing the workload and overtime in the team by supporting each other and using our individual skills.

We have opted for a 36-hour week because we know that a good work-life balance and open working hours are essential for the best performance. Together, we have developed short, medium and long-term measures that are important for a sustainable and successful reduction in working hours and ensure its success.

Porträtfoto von Mike Glas
Mike Glas
CEO/CTO

In our day-to-day work, we always strive to work together in a value-oriented and efficient environment.

How do we want to act in our everyday work?  How do we want to communicate with each other?

There is no way around our values: they are lived and are visible and tangible in everything we do. We define ourselves as capable, friendly and curious. If you're wondering why, you can find out more about our values here.

We have defined five principles that guide us in getting the most out of our time. This includes both for customers and for our own well-being.

 

Five principles

1. Standards & Knowledge Sharing
Following certain standards ensures consistency and high quality work. Clear communication, regular monitoring of the status quo, and a willingness to learn promote continuous improvement, innovation, and personal growth. We use best practices, reflect on our work and actively share our knowledge and experience across various platforms.
2. Be focused
To stay focused and encourage productivity, it is useful to have effective routines. One way is to split working time into defined blocks of time while always keeping an eye on the predefined daily goal. By reducing distractions such as phone calls, emails and messages, work can be done more concentrated.
3. Communication is key
Effective and transparent communication is crucial for smooth collaboration. We promote a culture of open feedback and value clear communication of goals and deadlines, especially when assigning tasks.
4. Meet better
Effective meetings are not a matter of chance, but the result of clear rules and careful planning. We foster successful teamwork through focused meetings where everyone can make a relevant contribution.
5. Hybrid work
At pixelart, we use a hybrid work model that enables a meaningful balance between remote work and office attendance. We believe in the power of personal togetherness and promote regular personal interactions at the pixelart office as the ideal meeting place for effective collaboration and digital solutions.

01.

Standards & Knowledge Sharing

Maintaining specific standards and guidelines is the foundation of the consistently high quality of our work.

 

Through clear communication, the ongoing review of our processes and the willingness to learn, we enable continuous improvement, innovative solutions and personal growth - in the interest of our customers and also for our own benefit. In addition, we use proven methods and approaches and reflect on our work at the end of the day. We actively share our knowledge and experience through our existing platforms so that others can profit from it.

 

02.

Be focused

An efficient start into the working day and structured time scheduling ensure concentrated work and maximum productivity.

 

Start the day in a focused way: A good start into the workday is essential for the productivity of the team. That's why we don't schedule team meetings or discussions right at the start of the day. This gives our employees time to prepare for the day individually.

Structured through the day: By structuring the workday into defined time blocks, tasks can be processed in a targeted way and the overall daily goal can be achieved. Defined times for concentrated work without distractions from calls, e-mails or Slack messages make it possible to use working time efficiently.

Methods for new approaches: A lively exchange with colleagues about planning and approach methods always leads to new, practical insights. The following three methods are examples of this.

Methods

The Eisenhower principle is useful mainly when resources are tight.

By clearly dividing and prioritizing tasks according to importance and urgency, limited resources can be used more efficiently. This enables better time planning, optimizes workflows and helps to ensure that the most important and urgent tasks are prioritized and completed on time.

 

This simple method helps to keep track on tasks and make the best use of the day. After work is done, plan the following day in a few minutes:

 

A – Writing down tasks, appointments, and planned activities (Aufgaben)

L – Estimating length (Länge schätzen)

P – Planning buffer time (Pufferzeiten einplanen)

E – Making decisions (Entscheidungen treffen)

N – Review (Nachkontrolle)

This time management method is considered to be one of the simplest and most effective. It owes its name to its inventor, the Italian entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo. He once used a kitchen clock in the shape of a tomato - a "Pomodoro". This method is particularly suitable for tasks and sub-projects that you want to complete with full focus, without distractions.

 

The basic principle of the Pomodoro technique is very simple: 

  1. Select a task.
  2. Briefly note down what needs to be done for it.
  3. Set the alarm for 25 minutes and get started.
  4. As soon as the alarm clock rings, check off everything that has been done.
  5. This is followed by a break of 5 minutes, this interval is called "Promidori".
  6. Repeat the sequence about 4 times and then take a longer break (about 30 min).

 


The 25-minute intervals are a tight corset. Some tasks cannot be easily tailored to it. However, it is crucial that the basic principle, i.e. the alternation between focused work and regular breaks, is maintained.

03.

Communication is key

To avoid misunderstandings and improve the efficiency of teamwork, effective and transparent communication plays an important role.

 

Feedback: We emphasize an open feedback culture in which constructive feedback is provided. This allows us to continuously improve and work better together.

Digital but still personal: Sometimes it is easier to communicate with each other in person. That's why we use our close team structures to achieve effective coordination with timely results. We create space for direct communication, whether in the form of virtual meetings or face-to-face conversations.

Communicating goals: When we delegate a task to someone else, we make sure the goals are clearly communicated. We answer questions like: What is the goal? What do we expect from the task? What does the customer expect? We also set clear deadlines for the completion of the task.

Through these measures, we ensure that communication is effective, that everyone involved has a common understanding, and that tasks can be completed successfully.

"Feedback is the breakfast of champions" – Ken Blanchard

Feedback rules for ...

 

Feedback givers:

  1. Choose a good time for feedback.
  2. Give feedback promptly, but never in emotionally charged situations!
  3. 4-eyes principle: Always give feedback without an audience!
  4. State facts and be specific. Formulate I-messages instead of you-messages. And give concrete examples. Important: Describe the behavior of the person and do not judge. Describe the consequences that the behavior has for you.
  5. Tell your counterpart what behavior you would like to see and be open to a dialogue.

Feedback takers:

  1. Take in the feedback and listen actively.
  2. Ask comprehension questions if necessary and let the other person finish.
  3. Don't try to justify or defend yourself.
  4. View feedback as an opportunity to learn.
  5. Consider what you are accepting.
  6. Feedback is a gift.

 

Within the agency, we use various communication channels to keep coordination as efficient as possible. As a general rule, face-to-face coordination is often the most efficient and best way to quickly achieve optimal output.

In general, the following order usually applies:

  1. Personal arrangement
  2. Slack message / Mail
  3. Send out an appointment

Tools

  • Slack: for direct communication with colleagues and the exchange on pixelart-wide topics and projects.
  • Microsoft Teams: for remote appointments with customers and larger internal remote or hybrid appointments.
  • Conference systems in the meeting rooms: for hybrid appointments, both internal and external.
  • 3CX: Our phone software to provide phone accessibility for external callers* (clients, partners, etc.).
  • Email: For internal & external communication. For messages that might be lost via the chat systems.

Kudos (from Greek: κῦδος (kydos) for glory, honor) cards are a simple but effective way to express appreciation and compliments more often in a team.

Whenever you are really proud of each other or very grateful for something, you write a few lines on the kudos card - addressed to a person or a team. These positive attentions can then be recorded "for eternity" i. ex. on an office pinboard.

Kudos cards can be used in a variety of situations - i. ex. to sweeten the start of the weekend. They serve as a small push to say "thank you" more often and create a positive impact within the team.

How to?

  1. Choose the right px Kudos card
  2. Write an appreciative message on it
  3. Hand over either "publicly" in a SMART meeting, or discreetly and personally
  4. You can also attach the card to the workplace

 

04.

Meet better

Basically, you can recognize a good meeting by the fact that most people in the room can answer the following questions with yes: Do I leave the meeting with more clarity? Do I leave the meeting with more energy?

Following defined ground rules in meetings is essential for successful and effective collaboration. Meeting rules ensure that our meetings are productive and goal-oriented. A successful meeting is not a matter of chance, but the result of careful planning and effective execution. In terms of who participates, we openly address who can make a relevant contribution to meeting objectives. We regularly review our meetings to ensure they are meaningful and add Value for everyone.

 

Basic rules -
that makes every meeting better

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    Roles and Responsibilities

    In each meeting there is a meeting leader, a clear moderator and a relevant group of participants. Each person assumes their assigned role responsibly.

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    Individual meeting structures

    A customized agenda and clear structure is required for each meeting, including appropriate breaks scheduled according to meeting duration.

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    Meetings with clear goals

    Clearly defined goals are set for each meeting. It is important to define exactly what needs to be achieved at the end of the meeting.

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    Always want to get better

    We aim for continuous improvement and for this purpose we use the check-out of a meeting to regularly reflect and evaluate what can still be improved.

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    Results
    & clear next steps

    The results, made decisions and upcoming steps from the meeting are documented and made reachable for all relevant persons.

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    Phrasing in the personal
    pronoun form I

    The conjunctive is to be avoided. The 'we' is cancelled and it is formulated concretely who exactly is responsible for a task or who assumes which responsibility.

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    Face-to-face meeting

    In order to quickly achieve an ideal result, a personal meeting is often the most efficient and best way.

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    Meeting hours

    Meetings are normally scheduled between 09:00 a.m. and 04:00 p.m., with the exception of the lunch period from 12:00 a.m. to 01:00 p.m. Fridays are generally scheduled as meeting-free time.

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    Efficient use of calendars

    The calendar is the most important productivity tool. Calendar hygiene and care are essential to efficiently schedule meetings and avoid time gaps, and to minimize interruptions for colleagues.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Send invitation to all participants.
  • Book the room.
  • Communicate purpose and/or outcome expectations of the meeting to the facilitator.
  • Prepare meeting setup.
  • Ask participants to prepare and send documents if necessary.
  • Leave room tidy and ready to use.
  • Ensure agenda and structure are in place.
  • Ensure safe entry and exit for the meeting.
  • Distribute speaking time fairly among participants.
  • Methodically ensure the active contribution of all participants.
  • Actively demand commitment and next steps from participants.
  • Document and communicate decisions.
  • Ensure adherence to start and end times with timeboxing.
  • Ask participants for feedback (meaningfulness, clarity & quality of the meeting)
  • Fulfill the purpose of the roles performed.
  • Make your own misoccupation visible and leave meetings sometimes.
  • Be respectful of colleagues and avoid distractions (smartphone,...).
  • Constructively and actively seek solutions.
  • Communicate in a binding manner.
  • Put away used material, dishes, etc.
  • Support everyone in the execution of their role and point out deviations in a collegial manner.

05.

Hybrid work

While home office offers flexibility, office presence is important for team collaboration.

 

A schedule that all team members can follow is helpful to ensure that enough time is spent in the office to enable efficient teamwork, while also taking advantage of the benefits of the home office.


We work with a hybrid work model. Between fully-remote work and a defined attendance requirement at the agency, there is a balance that makes sense for us. The perfect mix is individual and should enable both concentrated work phases and effective and personal coordination with colleagues and clients. With Hybrid Work, our employees use the workplace that enables the best project results.

Our home base is the pixelart office. We believe in the power of personal collaboration. Because our experience has shown: The best digital solutions are often created in close dialogue. Therefore: Permanent home office or fully remote work is not in our sense. It is important to us that we are all in regular personal exchange have the possibility to meet in person. Our pixelart office remains the ideal common meeting place.

our values, our way.

There is no way to avoid our values. 
They are visible and identifiable in everything we do. They are more than just signposts - they are the path to our goals.

 

Find out more about our values.

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