Coronavirus: Our role in flattening the curve
The coronavirus outbreak is consuming the headlines. It is in our head 24/7 and there is a reason for it. We already know the implications of this virus and how easy is to spread it. For that reason, companies around the world are making bold moves to help flatten the curve. We are no exception.
How we are dealing with the outbreak
Early this month we had our company meeting – Puff Talks – and it overlapped with the first COVID-19 positive patients in Portugal. This was a time of pure uncertainty, and the information about the disease was all over the place. That’s why our CEO, Pedro Veloso, brought the topic to discussion after a long search for information. He clarified what the virus was and how we can act in order to help to prevent spread the virus.
We came up with a plan with simple steps that I’ll share with you:
- World Health Organization (WHO) preventive measures: hand wash, avoid touching the face, clean and disinfect our space
- Avoid physical contact
- Keep the doors open so that there is no unnecessary contact with surfaces often touched
- Take the computer with us every day in case of need for quarantine
- Be conscientious and follow WHO guidelines
This was an early stage. Simple, but crucial.
However, in the middle of this week, WHO declares the state of Pandemic worldwide. And that was when we knew it was important to take more drastic measures.
Remote work is the only way out
Last year I wrote an article talking about how much I don’t like remote work. Ironic, isn’t it? But as we all know, Social Distancing is the only way to contain the virus. So that’s what we did. Since March 12, we are all working from home.
Remote work is what we do. As a software-house and an outsourcing partner for companies around the world, part of our daily work is to collaborate remotely with multiple teams globally.
But we are an office-based team, and we like to share an open-space and work right next to each other. That’s why this is something that we need to work as well! So, we came up with another plan 😊 Here it is:
1. Provide equipment to work comfortably without putting no one at risk
Our team’s physical and mental well-being is our number one concern. Ensuring that everyone is comfortable and properly equipped to continue doing their work was a worry from the first moment.
2. Preserve a social time as if we are at the office
We have a time slot only for socializing without discussing work. It’s called the Corona Meeting, and it’s 10/15 minutes to just make small talk.
3. Keep our Agile ceremonies
Here at Near Partner, we are big believers of Agile and daily meetings are something that we do on a regular basis. However, this turned out to be of the utmost importance for our work in this circumstance. Every day, at the same time, each team gather and bring everyone up to date. It’s important that each team member briefly describes any “completed” contributions and any obstacles that stand in their way.
This meeting helps us inspire our remote teams and ultimately improve the individual’s commitment within the team. It creates a self-organized team with positive team atmosphere.
4. Maintain face-to-face communication
Obviously, not in person – digitally! Once we are communicating via Teams, we opt by turn the camera on and see each other. It’s important to maintain some kind of human contact, at least by seeing expressions and emotions (and pyjamas!).
5. Working from home calls for productivity hacks
We keep a list of hacks to help us focus and be motivated when we are working from home. In these times of social isolation, they are super relevant! That’s why we shared them in our blog – 5 Productivity Hacks to Work Remotely. Check it out
The wellbeing of our Team and Clients are priority
It isn’t because we are at a difficult moment that we are going to lower our standards. Our customers are used to high efficiency and dedication with their challenges and business goals. All these procedures aim to help our teams to remain inspired and ultimately to maintain the level of productivity that our Clients are familiar with.
As I mentioned earlier, remote work is what we do! Therefore, despite minor adjustments, we are confident that our customer will not feel any impact.
This is only possible because we fully trust each member of our team. We know that no matter what, they will continue to honor our commitments.
One for all and all for one
This is how we are coping with the pandemic. We know that working from home can be a bit of the challenge. But when there’s a contagious illness going around, staying away from packed offices lowers the possibility of transmission. Until the coronavirus is under control, this is what we are going to do. At this moment, the benefits of remote work far outweigh the inconvenience.
And we are confident that with our remote teams’ strategy and strong company culture we will be as productive and motivated as ever!
What about your company? What measures are you taking to prevent spreading the virus?