Will Coronavirus destroy the way you work?
By now, we have all heard about the widespread damage that has been caused worldwide by COVID-19. Not only is it a major health risk, but it also disrupts the way we work, communicate, collaborate and ultimately make profit.
What’s happened so far?
- As of 5 March 2020, COVID-19 has spread to more than sixty countries, with more than 90,000 people infected.
- Many large-scale sport and cultural events have been cancelled.
- In the UK, new legal powers have recently been passed to force infected people to stay in quarantine.
- Twitter has asked all 5,000 of its employees to work from home and… many other companies are following suit.
So if you’re a business leader, you’re probably asking yourself: what can I do? As a company which operates largely remotely, we wanted to offer some tips, which might help you to take immediate action to continue running your business as usual.
Set yourself up for remote work: Do all your employees have laptops? If not, now is the time to invest in some. If you’ve previously operated mainly based on face to face interaction and email, you might also want to implement systems to ease remote communication. There are two main things to consider:
- Video conferencing – there are a range of tools out there, including Zoom (whose share price has dramatically increased since the start of the year), Google Hangouts and of course Skype.
- Chat – at 10Clouds we use Slack which enables quick, direct communication, gives you the ability to organize your projects into handy channels, and to easily share documents. But there is a range of other tools available, or you can develop your own app to digitize interactions in your business
Worried that operating remotely will result in chaos, with nobody knowing how to progress with projects? Don’t be. All you need is a defined plan
Give your team clear tasks: Worried that operating remotely will result in chaos, with nobody knowing how to progress with projects? Don’t be. All you need is a defined plan:
- Arrange scheduled, regular meetings with the team to check in on progress. Agile structures are helpful (we have been using them at 10Clouds), as they enable you to check in on what has been delivered and to set short term goals.
- Use a single platform that maps the progress of your work. You might find tools such as Asana, JIRA, or Monday.com useful. Ask team leaders to regularly check in to map progress against targets.
Place a focus on communication: At least in the first days of getting yourself and your team set up for remote work, it might be useful to communicate more than you normally would. We would advise that you:
- Continue your one-to-one team meetings, albeit remotely. Ensure that these are done over video conferencing rather than just a call, as it’s important to maintain as much human and emotional contact as possible, and to reassure your staff more than ever that you care about their wellbeing and career progress.
- Combat a general ‘fear of missing out’ among remote workers, particularly when it comes to being part of a process which led to a decision being made. If you’re managing a remote team, it’s important to ensure that they know why you are asking something specific of them and to take a step back before responding in order to align the team member to the goal.
None of us can foresee the true, long-term impact of the COVID-19. It could be a major hit to our global economy, or it could be a short-term blip of paranoia. According to Robinhood Snacks, a worst case scenario in the States might come in the form of a government mandate telling everyone to stay at home to prevent the spread of the epidemic, which would shrink profits and hurt stocks. A best case scenario is that businesses all go on high alert, but the virus proves to be much less of a problem than we anticipated. In any case, we must all agree that being prepared helps.
If you’re looking to create your own bespoke software to facilitate remote work, we can help. Just contact our friendly team at 10Clouds on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you shortly.