How M&C is making plans to get out of the house. You can too!
It’s hard to describe- or even to remember- the blur of the last few weeks. At M&C, we packed up our computers and some other gear pretty early into the COVID-19 pandemic and started working from home. We’re a digital company and very nimble: armed with our cell phones and laptops, we can work at the office, at home, in a coffee shop, or even while getting our hair done (true story!)
Never has that flexibility been more important than over the past few weeks as we stepped up to help our clients manage the crush of communications needed to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it's time to think about what the next phase of the pandemic holds, as society begins a slow and thoughtful roll-out, we can be there to help our clients. Here in Colorado, the governor is asking people to maintain 60-65% social distancing, to work from home when possible, and to continue wearing masks when we go outside.
Here’s how we’re planning to meet our clients’ needs over the next several months:
Double down on technology
It’s no secret that we thrive through technology- we’re former journalists and we use our laptops, smartphones, and cloud-based technologies like Google for Work, Dropbox, Zoom, Sprout Social and Meltwater to do our work on a normal day.
Social distancing is the name of the game for the foreseeable future, so we will look for every opportunity to meet with clients on Zoom, deliver reports and content through email or Dropbox, and limit face-to-face interactions to the most urgent needs.
Creating content, carefully
We’re always developing content for our clients: podcasts, videos, social media content, press releases and articles, just to name a few.
While we can prep for this work remotely, often we need to be on location to gather the content we need. In these situations, we are committing to wearing masks, keeping a safe distance from others, and not working if we’re not feeling well.
Making it work for all workers
M&C is a small but mighty team of people absolutely dedicated to giving our clients the best possible service. We’re also parents, spouses, children of older and more vulnerable parents, and occasionally, we get sick ourselves.
It’s one thing to keep working through a minor sniffle, but if we need to take a day, or two, or three, off to recuperate from an illness, we have total freedom to take the time off.
I have school-aged kids who will be finishing this academic year at home, on computers. We’ve already made plans for me to work from home for the remainder of the school year to keep their educations on track. This in-office out-of-office system is even baked into our crisis response plan: I will monitor media coverage and keep lines of communication open with the client while my colleagues travel to the scene and start managing the issue on-site. The plan for managing a crisis is just a quick tweak to make it work for all of us in this new era of social distancing.
Doubling down on M&C culture
This whole COVID-19 experience has given us the gift of dialing in the M&C culture. We are grounded in trust and respect for our colleagues and clients.
We go over and above for each other and our clients.
We keep our promises. We support each other and commit to using our tools and resources to the best of our abilities. We constantly refine our process and plan for the what-ifs so we’re ready no matter what happens. COVID-19 can change how we work, but it only makes our work culture stronger and more resilient.
Welcome back, let’s get to work!
Won’t it be wonderful to get together with family, friends, and colleagues again? We’re not totally sure when that might happen, but when it does, we are going to celebrate! What are you planning to welcome your colleagues back to the office or job? Think of the relief your colleagues and workers will feel if you’ve got a plan to create social distancing in the workplace, by moving workspaces, staggering shifts, or other accommodations that will help keep everyone safer. What about masks- would it make sense to order masks for your employees and customers? Does your workplace need regular or more frequent cleaning, maybe more cleaning supplies for employees to use in their workspaces? Perhaps you need to think about how to take temperatures before people can come into your establishment. What about your sick leave policy-- is it accurate, up-to-date, and reflect the need to stay at home for quite some time if an employee gets COVID-19? What about your work-from-home policy and technology like laptops and shared files? Think about how you’ll set expectations for when employees are available when working at home, especially considering that many are juggling full-time work with keeping school-aged kids on track academically.
By thinking through these issues now, creating a plan to get your employees back to work while keeping them as safe as possible, and communicating clearly you can help welcome your employees back to the office, put their worries at ease and get them thinking about how to do their jobs as effectively as possible.
What are you doing to welcome your employees back? What are your worries and concerns? What are you most looking forward to when everyone is able to come back to work? Let us know in the comments!