Every crisis is an opportunity. While there is certainly nothing positive about the global Covid-19 pandemic, there are lessons to be learned and business continuity planning scenarios to be put to their ultimate tests.
This is not another blog post about pandemic preparedness. There are plenty of those available elsewhere. Nor is it a reminder that policyIQ is cloud-based and therefore available 24/7 to your employees working from home. (Although I had to add that small reminder.)
Instead, this is simply a list of lessons our team is learning as we navigate the reality of a global pandemic.
1. Never take virtual technology for granted. Our policyIQ team is based in the Pittsburgh area, with a typical winter giving us at least a couple of significant snowstorms. Virtual technology has all but eliminated the concept of a “snow day”, with the ability to work from home in the worst weather conditions. While we may lament losing the joy of sleeping in with a foot of snow outside, virtual technology makes it possible for our business to keep running. Right now, that means everything.
2. Very few of us have been washing our hands enough or correctly. We all know that we should wash our hands thoroughly and frequently in any normal cold and flu season, or like… on any average Tuesday. And until now, most of us thought that we were doing just that. Did you know you need to be sure to get the tips of your fingers? Did you have your own personal hand washing song to ensure that you were sudsing up for a full 20 seconds?
3. A little video goes a long way.
If you are forced to work from home for an extended period, video conferencing is suddenly a lot more impactful. We want to see our co-workers faces, if only to remember that we aren’t in this alone. And if nothing else, a quick video chat reminds us to comb our hair and throw on a clean sweatshirt.
4. Pets are not the best co-workers.
I have a cat. His favorite sunny spot and my favorite desk are one in the same. While we can co-exist for much of the day sharing space, he is, much to his chagrin, forced from his habitat when I have a meeting. (Although he does like to make a quick appearance in video meetings with the team.)
5. You should stay stocked up on toilet paper. We’re still not quite sure why bathroom tissue is such a hot commodity, but apparently you should not wait for disaster to strike to stock up.
6. Every employee needs the flexibility to implement their own plan.
One size does not fit all when it comes to dealing with Covid-19. Some employees might have kids who are suddenly home from school for a few weeks unexpectedly. Others have older parents in their homes and worry about the impact of passing the virus to them. Others live alone, where working from home can quickly become isolating and lonely. Giving everyone the most flexibility to decide what works for them – within the bounds of corporate and local emergency response guidance – is invaluable. And having the option to do so without impacting our team’s salary or productivity is an enormous privilege.
7. At the end of the day, we care more about the people behind the keyboards.
Uncertainty is scary, and we are in the middle of great uncertainty. We’re uncertain about how long the global pandemic will last. We’re uncertain about the economic impact around the world. But at the end of the day, the health and wellness of our loved ones, our team, our colleagues, and our clients around the world is at the top of our minds.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay in touch. If you are working from home and feeling disconnected, let us know and we’ll be happy to set up a video call to check in.