To say that this period is unique would be a gross understatement. Unemployment has spiked, social distancing and quarantine have shattered collaboration and hiring norms and private industry has responded with unparalleled creativity, agility and generosity. In many organizations, our professional and personal lives have collided and formed new, bizarre levels of humanity, hilarity and vulnerability… the professional façade amongst coworkers has been vaporized.
This has all happened with such speed that it’s been nearly impossible to keep track of new developments in best practices and available tools. Folks are finding new ways to get it done. We’re trying new things, learning from what works, integrating them into our processes and we’re doing this at breakneck speed.
We want to share our experience with the hope that it will help others accelerate their evolution and help them improve. We’ve put together a summary of the changes we’ve made, tools we’ve adopted, and tools we had in place previously that have been exceptionally helpful in adapting to this #newnormal.
If we’re able to help 1 company improve their ability to perform remotely, we’d be grateful. Here’s a list of great tools to add to your arsenal… if you have others to add, please do so!
Resource Spreadsheet: Bit.ly/WFHRCSES
Communication — Company status – Radical Transparency
This is an incredibly turbulent time… making matters worse, there’s no 9:00-5:00 respite from the apocalyptic news cycle. If your company is not reinforcing a foundation of stability through regular communication of “How we’re doing”, it can be guaranteed that folks are feeling uneasy. Good or for bad, your employees deserve to know how the company is handling this time, how the company is faring in terms of solvency and what the prospects look like for the future. To help with this we added 2 weekly full company touch points…Happy hour and the Pipeline Call.
Communication — Happy Hour – Zoom Conference (Gallery View)
Current events are fluid and changing every day. Happy hour gives us a chance to summarize if/how these events have shaped our direction and what our response is as a company. This plus any questions/comments thereafter takes up ~15 minutes of the 1 hour time block. The rest of the time is spent on shout outs for celebrating wins, commiserating over cabin fever and always some laughs from the kids as every day is now bring your kid to work day… all over this is conducted over some nice frosty beverages.
Communication — Pipeline call – Microsoft Teams
At DAVIS we host a weekly “Pipeline” call to cover our division by division short-mid term forecasting… how did we do last week? What can we expect this week? What are the opportunities and prospects for the coming month? This is a no BS look at what teams are facing challenges and a very quick opportunity for cross company triage. We’ve seen more cross division generosity and creative problem solving here than we’ve ever seen in times past.
Capability — Remote Support and Video Walkthroughs – Teamviewer and Jitbit
Supporting the transition of a previously “On Prem” workforce to support 100% remote capacity on short notice was a tall mountain to climb. Fortunately, we are big fans of the 6 P’s (Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance). In preparation for our Sept 2019 Corporate HQ move, we had moved critical network resources to the cloud, distributed laptops for mobility and transitioned IT tools and services to SaaS and cloud vendors. The 2 biggest impacts on our ability to gracefully transition our users to fully remote were Teamviewer and Jitbit. Using Jitbit we were able to quickly prioritize, group and triage user issues and Teamviewer allowed us to instantly access users computers, see what our users are seeing and fix issues on the spot. Oddly enough, we found ourselves fixing employee home internet issues more than any issues with actual corporate assets… a testament to our vendor selection and preparation.
This has been such a turbulent time for many… It’s heartbreaking to think that people are feeling isolated and alone when, socially and emotionally, it couldn’t be further from the truth. The changes that we have found to make a positive impact are all focused on ensuring we feel connected. Having a team that is there to pick you up when you’re getting down, gives and receives support, celebrates with you, laughs with you, occasionally cries into a glass of wine with you… it’s reassuring to know, though they are not in the same building, they are there for you. Its invaluable and its one of the toughest aspects of maintaining a positive culture when folks are remote.
Trusting your team with the truth, communicating regularly, memorializing touch points and implementing tools to make communication and support easier are all great ways to stay connected as a family/team/human race during times of strife.