The pace of change over the past week is unprecedented. It seems like each day we are learning something new about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is affecting business, work, and life in general around the globe.
Last week, I wrote an article encouraging Boston companies to join Fuze in working from home but that is just the beginning of supporting employees through this unprecedented work from home experiment. The business implications will continue to unfold and we are helping our customers through this transition.
Now, more than ever before, we need to remember that we must be flexible. Many of your colleagues, vendors, partners, customers, and friends are all forced to juggle this new reality of working from home alongside other responsibilities. In many cases, it is alongside their children, spouses, and roommates. We all need to be more understanding and open to flexible work schedules that allow our colleagues to take care of their children during the workday, or take their dog (or spouse) for a walk. We are all in this together.
Here are some thoughts to help you embrace more flexibility at work:
Give your employees the freedom to define their new schedule. It may be different than what made sense two weeks ago, given the current situation. Managers and team members should be having conversations about adjusting schedules if it is necessary.
Consider spreading out working hours so we don’t overload or put a strain on our home wifi networks.
Consider limiting the amount of formal meetings when possible. Can they be shifted to shorter check-ins during a video call or even a chat-based conversation? Maybe we can use this as an opportunity to focus on what matters most and shed the projects that weren’t that important to begin with.
Encourage teams to have more open informal check-ins to just maintain personal connections. We have customers setting up informal morning and afternoon coffee video chats where members of teams who are able to join can just catch up together as people and maintain personal connections. We have departments at Fuze using technology to have “virtual lunches.” It’s important to maintain these types of connections. Communication tools shouldn’t be limited to just work.
We’ve been champions of remote and distributed work for some time now. We’ve also been in the unique position of having the policies, culture, and technology stack to deploy a rapid work from home response to COVID-19. Many of our customers, and the broader community, were not in that position and are looking to us to provide both guidance and support as they transition their organizations to work from home. Last week, we published the Ultimate Guide to Remote Work for anyone looking to get ideas and help on moving to remote work, and The Adoption Playbook: Work From Home Edition, which provides more guidance on using a technology like Fuze at home. We are posting these guides and best practices more broadly in case they can help other companies adapt to during this trying time.
Be safe, make good choices, and remember that we all have a responsibility to keep ourselves and our families healthy - acting in ways that increase your risk of catching the virus not only impacts you, but all those with whom you come into contact.