Business As Usual During Coronavirus The Agency Way
Lesson learnt on remote working from agencies like Expozive
By Nicc Lewis - CEO Expozive Marketing & Marcom
Coronavirus forcing people to work from home
I live in one of the countries that has forced the local workforce out of their offices and set up work as near to usual (as much as possible) from home. Even if you do not live in Spain, Italy, Israel, Denmark and other countries, large companies like Google, IBM and Apple are shutting down their offices and sending their staff to work from home.
Telecommuting is becoming a way of life as fears over Coronavirus spreads. Working remotely is a challenge, but not so for agencies like Expozive that carry out much of their work remotely. Here are some tips from the experts on how to minimize the effects of working remotely and even become more productive.
Top Tips for Working Remotely
Here are some of the operational tactics Expozive use when working remotely with clients:
1. Prioritize and Communicate
Prioritize the work that needs to be done.Start with the most urgent (obviously) based on time sensitivity and interests of the business. Also think like a Vulcan (from Star Trek). As Spock often says: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few!”
The prioritized list needs to be communicated to everyone concerned and monitored and adjusted as needed. Use simple team tools like Trello, Monday, Facebook At Work, Microsoft Teams, or, many of the other tools available.
An additional tip is to categorize tasks by: Current, Queue & Done. This way everyone can get a clear picture of what is going on.
2. Go Agile
Agile Project Management has many lessons we can apply to day to day operations. Start each morning with a short “Stand Up” either by phone or web meeting with teams. Each member of the team should succinctly tell the group:
What was achieved yesterday
What is expected to be achieved today
What problems or possible delays may be expected and what steps needs to be taken to prevent them
What contribution they will make to preventing other team members’ problems to minimize delays or problems (if, and only if, it is relevant to them)
The team leader finishes the meeting with action points. The meeting should take no longer than 15 minutes.
3. Daily Summary
At the end of each day, on a daily email string, each team member should write in bullet points what was achieved during the day - this should be used for the next day’s “Stand Up” as well.
In this way team leaders and managers can keep track of what is going on.
4. Communicate with Clients
You need to communicate with your clients. You also need to be their point of calmness and control. Do not wait for them to call you; you need to push information to them on an ongoing basis. Let them know what is going on, who is their point of contact at all times, what measures you have taken to ensure their business operates as close to normal as possible.
Moreover, be very clear and truthful about any delays or problems, why they occurred, what the solution is and when they can expect resolution. The more you are ahead of the storm the more you transmit control calm and professionalism.
There are many ongoing and repetitive tasks you undertake during the normal course of business. Now is a good time to check and evaluate which could be automated. For example, we work on social media for our clients, posting numerous times a day on numerous accounts. In order to be efficient, a majority of the posts are scheduled well ahead of time and post automatically. Some posts are taken automatically via RSS and posted. This just one example. Every business has operations that can be fully or partly automated.
6. Sharing is Caring
As Barney the dinosaur says: “Sharing is caring”. As part of your service to your clients and other businesses, share tips on how to work better under the current situation - much the same as I am doing here. Firstly, there is something humanitarian and rewarding in helping others. It also communicates your professionalism.
7. Get Help From The Pros
Use a consulting agency to help you strategize and implement operational plans during extraordinary times. (Get ready for a shameless plug!) Agencies like Expozive can help you face the challenges and even make you stronger. They can also take over some the ongoing tasks like Content, Design, Social Media, in order to free up your teams to concentrate on other more pressing tasks and make sure projects are still completed on time.
Be Safe - Stay Healthy
Like every crisis the COVID-19 crisis will pass. Please, do not take any unnecessary risks for yourself or your workers. Stay safe, stay healthy and keep calm. Whether you are a client or not, I am happy to chat, help and advise - just get in touch.