Written by Bex Hudson
Last year one of my lessons and learning points was to try, in any situation, to “see the good”. Life will always through you lemons but only you know how many tequilas you can drink.
With that in mind, I got to thinking about what, if any, positives we can take from the horrendous and unfolding global issue of Covid-19.
Thus far, for me I have noticed that:
It's taken this global emergency to make more and more businesses to put contingency plans and procedures in place.
This should be in practice regardless, and hopefully businesses will not have to use the plans too often! But should a complete disaster strike, and all of a sudden your whole workforce is forced to work from home, businesses need to be set up to avoid any major setbacks and carry on as usual..
Luckily at Sphere we have amazing systems, infrastructure and plans in place from the Great Fire of Holborn days in 2016.
We have fine-tuned this in the last week, and are good to go, if one of our staff unfortunately contracts the virus, or Boris and his merry men enforce a national lockdown.
Recruitment processes for me in the last week have actually gone really well.
I have had 3 clients do telephone / video interviews when ordinarily I’d have been battling for out of hours appointments for face-to-face interviews.
It begs the question, if video interviews are more time efficient, easier to arrange and ensure great talent stays in the mix for the duration of the process, why has it taken Covid-19 to make more businesses receptive to conducting them as a first choice, rather than a worst case, scenario?
Projects still need to be delivered on time and clients still demand work be finished… Covid-19 won’t change that.
What does need to change is the how. How is that work delivered? Answer, remote working.
A real positive for me this week has been that I’ve placed 2 talented contractors who have proven that work output is not just as good remotely as on site, is is very often, better.
Employees and contractors are more productive, time saved travelling is often reinvested in either more time working, or more time refuelling, both if which lead to increased productivity.
Again, why has it taken fear to get to that point of trust that those individuals will perform out of the office? Necessity has negated that fear that remote working is not right for good business.
The downside is not all businesses / clients are there yet… as much as I have had two clients embrace remote working this week, I have had one client cancel a contract for someone who only wanted to work remotely writing online product descriptions… To me I personally find that baffling!
It's important to not just do what other businesses do. Plans around Covid-19 will differ from business to business.
As an example, companies in Canary Whaf have sent all of their staff home as a precautionary measure. That works well enough if you're a large corporate business but you will have different priorities to the 3 person hairdressing salon, or the business of 60 staff.
Be considered, consult with your staff and create a plan and way of working through this period that works for all.
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