Work Lessons from Coronavirus
With the Coronavirus spreading around the world, many companies and organizations, including our own are having to quickly adapt as this situation affects staffing, travel plans, and many aspects of our operation.
Here are some of the lessons we have learned from dealing with coronavirus.
Keep Calm and Carry On
Staying calm is the first step to dealing with any emergency. Being calm helps you make better decisions.
Remember that this is a form of flu and most people come through it just fine although there is more danger for seniors and people with existing medical conditions.
After calmness, your best tool in dealing with coronavirus is knowledge.
Seek out the proper actions to take as recommended by the World Health Organization and health professionals in your country.
- self isolation of any travelers
- social distancing – keeping at least 1 metre away from others
- frequent hand washing
- avoid touching your face
- call medical care if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing so they can direct you to the right facility
- stay at home if you feel unwell
- staying home unless you really have to go out
By slowing the spread of the disease, we can hopefully keep the number of people in need of hospitalization down to a level that the medical facilities in our country can handle. If a hospital is suddenly hit with just 1,000 more people needing treatment, they can be overwhelmed. And some countries are being hit with 1,000s of new cases diagnosed in a day.
But Don’t Underestimate Panic
There have been some surprising things happening because of people panicing.
I live in Canada and we should have no shortage of toilet paper. Our toilet paper is made in-country and the coronavirus symptoms don’t suddenly require us to use 4x as much toilet paper.
But people panicing and hoarding toilet paper and other items has resulted in shortages of things like toilet paper, flour, rice and some other essentials. So even when new supplies arrive each week, the shelves are often stripped bare in a few minutes because of panic that there won’t be enough.
Some stores have started limiting people to buying 1 unit each so that there is enough for everyone. Other stores have started keeping toilet paper behind the counter so that seniors can still get some when they need it.
Lesson Learned? Keep your pantry stocked.
I have always kept my pantry decently stocked and a good supply of toilet paper on hand, but I will keep a larger supply on hand in future. Usually I always have a couple of weeks of food on hand and I had ramped up a bit as the coronavirus became more widespread, not because I was scared of shortages, but more because I thought I might get sick and not be able to get out. So when the shortages started, I probably had a month’s supply of food on hand.
Embrace Remote Work
We are very fortunate here at PresentationPoint that our company embraces remote work. Our team is scattered around the globe – Belgium, Canada, USA and even a digital nomad who travels the world while working for us. Our resellers are also global.
So working from home and communication via Zoom and email was already in our DNA and, unlike many other companies still tied to having everyone in the office, the coronavirus spread didn’t affect our normal work. Our support people are still working, our clients are still getting helped and work continues as normal.
Be Flexible and Diversify
We had planned on exhibiting at two trade shows this year, one in Las Vegas in the US and one in Calgary in Canada. The Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas at the end of March has now been canceled and they hope to reschedule. We aren’t sure about the Global Energy Show in Calgary in June yet.
So what does this mean? Well, we were all set with hotels, flights, audio-visual equipment and booth furnishings for March and now the show has been canceled.
But trade show marketing is only a small portion of our overall marketing efforts. Our marketing plan for the year has a wide range of different marketing techniques being applied, tested and tracked. So losing the trade shows is only a minor inconvenience as we have many other proven marketing programs that continue.
Have Contingency Plans
The coronavirus problem showed that many companies and people don’t have good contingency plans in place for emergencies like this.
Many companies had no policies in place for remote work and no systems to assign and monitor tasks remotely. One US company, Charter, came under fire from employees and media for refusing to let its employees work from home even when the work can easily be done from home and their competitors were all allowing their employees to work from home.
Company health and safety plans should have policies and procedures that can be quickly implemented in cases like the coronavirus.
And people should have personal contingency plans in place for emergencies if they are cut off for a week or two.
When any type of flu or illness strikes your workforce, you struggle to keep up with your much-reduced team.
This is where automating comes in.
The more things you automate in your business, the more your team can focus on the high value tasks only people can do. And, in a time or reduced staff, automation keeps the basics running while your skeleton team fills in the gaps.
The automation tool many of our clients use is DataPoint.
DataPoint is being used by our clients to:
- Create equipment monitoring dashboards
- Monitor manufacturing in real-time
- Manage conference room space and booking
- Share safety information
- Create year end reports
- Show key performance indicators
- Automating presentations
- and other methods of automation
We hope you have found this article useful and share it with others. Want to automate something in your office during this crisis? Contact us.