Last Monday, the 16th of March, we made the decision to distribute 80% of our workforce to home. Over the course of the week due to changing requirements, that became over 90%.
We have a team of 26, and as of Monday the 23rd of March, we have 2 staff in our Engineering Office. That will change over the coming 48 hours, but so far, with over 90% of staff working from home and an increase in requests for help of over 50%, we have been fortunate to maintain a reported net Customer Satisfaction rating of 100%.
We do come into this new norm of Remote Work from a position of privilege. We made the strategic decision several years ago, to be “all in” the cloud. We have our phone system, applications and data all in various “clouds” meaning nothing is tied to our physical locations. Given our position, it would have been irresponsible of us to not distribute our staff to self-isolate, last week.
So, what have we learned 1 week in?
Collaboration is the first thing to go
This was the first thing to go. We have webcams, we have phones, we have chat, we have Teams channels. But, when sitting at home in front of a screen, the tendency to become inward facing takes over. Where before we would ask the question of a colleague, we may continue working the problem. Taking longer to achieve an outcome than would normally be the case. Without face to face supervision, it’s difficult to catch this.
By now, we have all hear the word Agile and Huddle more than we care to remember. While we have always “Huddled” as a team, sharing what our priority is for the week/day, we need to take it up a notch. We now Huddle twice daily.
- Morning Stand Up = What’s big for the day, what changed over-night
- Afternoon Retrospective = What did we get stuck on, how can we do it better tomorrow
All our Service Teams (Projects, Service Desk and Systems Admins) will be following this Rhythm.
We are an EOS organisation, and continue to practice Weekly Level 10 Meetings for all teams. To take this up a notch also, and increase our organisational pulse rate, we now meet twice weekly as a Leadership Team.
- L10 1 = Standard L10 Agenda – Segue, Scorecard, Rock Review, To-Do Review, IDS, Recap
- L10 2 = “Lite” Agenda – Segue, IDS, Recap
We continue to adjust the level of communications required, but over-communicating clarity is and always has been, one of the leadership commandments we should follow.
Client Success will always be our success
We are a service and support business, so without businesses to support, well… We don’t have much to do! We have 100’s of clients we deliver support to on a daily basis, and we want every single one of them to make it through this. But, they are not all ready! Legacy applications that can’t be moved to the cloud. Poor remote access solutions. For any number of reasons, some businesses have not been able to embrace the cloud and remote work opportunity as quickly as others.
Like all Incident Response scenarios, situational awareness is step 1. What is the current state of our clients, and who is in most need of help? We have mobilised our Systems Administrators to identify any opportunities in our client’s to increase their work flexibility, quickly. Our IT Managers are on the phones with our client discussing critical data and staff requirements.
We are tracking all this in Microsoft Teams, so all our business units have visibility. Our Projects Team are working at over 100% to deliver solutions as quickly as we can. We are assessing our clients’ requirements, we are initiating communications to find ways to help, we are responding to requests as we receive them, we are doing what we can as humans supporting humans.
There are the 2 big takeaways from week 1 of Remote Work at Evologic. Force Collaboration, and Focus on your Clients. Probably things that in a normal commercial environment, we should be doing anyway!
Leadership is paramount, clarity of mission and vision, metrics and management. All staples of management 101, but now more than ever, tenants of good and hopefully resilient business.
We’re all in this together, and I’ll share more as I learn more.
Any businesses feeling overwhelmed and have technology questions or concerns during this period, my personal email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll help if I can.