March 20, 2020
Confirmed Cases of Novel Co-Vid 19: 209,839
Current Active COVID-19 Cases: 148,248
In the past few months, over 150 countries have laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan, China in late December 2019. With stringent locking down of borders by countries such as India, Netherlands, Denmark, to complete the lockdown of countries like Italy, New Zealand, France, Spain, and the United States, the situation is unprecedented.
In India, the Prime Minister has declared a “Janata Curfew” on March 22, 2020, while the state governments of Karnataka and Maharashtra have ordered a complete lockdown of major cities to prevent the further spread of the disease.
Since December 2019, the novel Coronavirus has impacted ALL industries-from production/manufacturing houses, travel, and tourism, retailers, software giants, hospitality sector, to small mom-and-pop shops. Mass events and gatherings, including much-anticipated fashion shows, sporting events, music festivals, and technology meetups either stand canceled or postponed.
Most of the firms around the world including biggies like Apple, Alphabet, and Twitter, are getting their employees to work virtually, providing paid sick leave when necessary, sanitizing their workplace and providing sufficient protective gear in cases they aren’t able to have a work from home option (medical stores, grocery shops, and other emergency services).
Those in the medical, grocery or other emergency services are putting in double the hours to ensure everyone’s needs are met and safety is the utmost priority of all involved.
At TransFunnel, we take the health and well-being of our employees seriously. That said, ever since the first case was detected in India, we immediately offered our staff the option to work from home until the situation is under control. This was to reduce the risk and exposure to the pandemic.
While some of our team members have been telecommuting for a while, for others it is a new experience as prolonged isolation can often take a toll.
This is why we have taken every possible measure to make the transition to remote work smooth for all those involved. Here are some of the steps that we have taken:
Currently, we are having daily conference calls to ensure everyone understands goals and expectations.
We are conducting virtual meetings with clients, who are based out of different locations.
We are constantly keeping ourselves updated with the changing policies and following the mandated protocols.
Our stand-up meeting in the morning makes sure that team members get some amount of virtual face time.
On Fridays, we have a special stand-up, when we don’t discuss the tasks but talk about different topics under the sun.
We also have a WhatsApp group, where all the latest updates related to the Coronavirus Outbreak are shared.
And we are also sharing how we are all working from different nooks and corners of our homes, using them as makeshift workspaces for the time being.
We have a couple of productivity and communication tools that make it easy for the team to collaborate even while they are geographically dispersed.
While these are what we have already implemented, our teams are forever looking at different measures apart from practicing social distancing, regular cleaning, to make remote working fun and sustainable. Here are some tips that we want to offer to our fellow work from home professionals because remember, we are all in this together.
● Schedule Breaks- It is easy for employees to get nervous or stressed in these times. Schedule an impromptu video meeting to have virtual coffee or snack with your team. It would be a nice way to break away from work and check in on employees, especially those living all by themselves.
● Work Away Distractions - Productivity can take a hit in some WFH home scenarios as there are distractions all around. Even if you don’t have kids to deal with, they might think, “Oh wait, let me just do some laundry while I have a minute.” The solution is to get ready and dress up for work, plan the day and use headphones if you don’t have a dedicated room to work from and so on.
● Get Some Movement - At work, we all get some form of movement, whether it be going to make our cup of coffee or walking over to discuss something with a colleague. Make sure you set a “movement”. Ideally, a 10-minute break every 2 hours. Movement is important and can give you a much-needed break from being in front of a screen. This could be something as simple as getting up and walking around your “workroom.” Alternatively, practice some form of exercise to kickstart the day. This will bring some much-needed change in an otherwise monotonous routine.
● Smart use of Technology - Companies are innovating and making WFH more accessible and sustainable for employees and businesses across the globe. Google is allowing the use of Hangouts Meet to all G Suite and G Suite for Education users. Cisco WebEx is offering unlimited time access to its current customers and a special 90-day license for new customers. We at TransFunnel exclusively use tools like Zoom, Trello, Asana, Hangouts among others to get everyone on the same page.
The times we live in are trying to say the least. But if you stick to the protocols, rely only on official information and keep your hygiene and immunity up, it will be easy to cope. This too shall pass as everyone works together for the safety and security of all. Just think of it as Nature’s reset button and see the silver lining in the cloud. Think of the positives like avoiding pollution, being able to catch up on long-lost hobbies and spend more quality time with your loved ones.
We earnestly believe that we will emerge stronger after all the trials and tribulations. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by Coronavirus directly or indirectly. And for those who are not, please stay healthy, stay safe and take the necessary precautions.
“Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep going. Tough situations build strong people in the end.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart