How has your organization adapted to the mandatory work from home order?
Did the global pandemic cause your operation to lay off employees or did you need to hire more?
Where did you fall short and are your doors going to be able to open back up?
With so many uncertainties, we wanted to share our strategy and how we have adapted to the changes caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Our hope is to help your business continue to thrive and adapt to these current unchartered waters.
Take Health Precautions Seriously
At Bop Design, we have offices across the continent, so we prepared for the worst-case scenario early on. Our first step was to create an internal COVID-19 Czar role to clean and wipe down the individual and common area surface areas every day both in the morning and in the afternoon. This included the kitchen area, doorknobs, phones, conference rooms, etc.
Additionally, we provided Dr. Bonner’s hand sanitizing spray and Clorox wipes to be placed at each employee’s desk and Emergen-C packets were made available in the common area for the entire team. Employees were actively encouraged to wash their hands as they entered the office in the kitchen area where warm water and soap are located. Anyone who demonstrated symptoms was allowed to work from home, no questions asked and no doctor’s note required.
Enable Remote Work Capabilities
Several years ago, we worked with an external IT team who outfitted our team with the ability to securely connect to our VPN and remote server. This strategy was to provide an added work benefit for employees to work from home on Fridays and to provide the flexibility to our team to work at home if they did not feel well or had an occasional dependent need arise. As such, our transition to working remotely was seamless and business continuity was relatively flawless.
Additionally, we use Cox Communications which has an app that allows our team to receive and make calls from a cell phone as if they were in the office. When callers dial our office numbers, they still reach a live person to help facilitate their needs.
Adapting to Technical Needs
In early March, we finished up interviews for 2 new senior roles that were adding to the team after several months of continued growth and necessity. While some companies were forced to lay off employees, we had 2 new employees start in the middle of the pandemic. Every day as the public received information about how long we may be in self-quarantine, we had to adapt.
Our first obstacle was not being able to have the Apple Mac Book with the amount of storage needed. Apple was on backorder due to China’s COVID-19 outbreak and shut down. We had the new Mac Books (with less storage than we wanted but adequate enough to invest in) shipped directly to our external IT team for all software installation. We ordered the necessary technology required for both new hires to work remotely and meet in front of our building, keeping a 6-foot distance, to hand over $ 3000 worth of equipment.
To say these are strange times is an understatement, but we persevere.
Communication Is Critical!
Your systems may have worked fine previous to your entire team working remotely, but now not you may be hitting some snags and setbacks. Take advantage of this time to refine your process! Communication is critical now more than ever and you need to be able to articulate exactly what is expected from your team. At our B2B agency, we utilize Slack and have sub-channels for different projects and team conversations. This capability enables us to be on a Zoom call onboarding a client and communicate in real-time to other team members via Slack.
Foster Your Company Culture
As with many B2B companies, the company culture at Bop Design is critical to our success, client management, and employee retention. It’s a high priority for us to maintain what we’ve built, so we made sure to schedule a weekly happy hour Zoom call to keep team morale up and introduce the new team members.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we had a weekly happy hour on Thursdays where we shared wins and celebrated the successful launches of client websites. Now, in order to keep our team connected, we include the option for our team members’ families to join our weekly team calls.
Staying at home and being quarantined isn’t easy for any of us, but if we work together, we can stay physically and mentally healthy.