Last week Krescendo simulated the worst case “lockdown” scenario. As a tech business, we were in the fortunate position to switch to “work from home” for most employees without missing a beat (almost).
Now that the UK government has – thankfully – changed tack, the simulation will be enshrined as the “new normal” for some time; following a first-round of quick upgrades (bigger screens, mice v trackpads), we will be looking at ways to help our employees work more comfortably from their new environment.
Most of our clients in the financial sector have also enacted similar plans. The seamless, instant switch of workplace for so many people, far from obvious, is a prime example of Risk Management: in moments like this the work of so many people, operating in the background on a range of contingency scenarios, suddenly becomes the foundation of everything you do.
The virus war already has its undisputed heroes: doctors and nurses.
However, I believe that Technology Infrastructure people and Business Continuity managers, in due course, will deserve their fair share of medals: THANK YOU all, you know who you are!
On the personal front, it’s been weird to experience such a radical shift in a matter of days. When it happens in a different continent, in a different country, the tsunami does not feel quite so real.
Walking to the office today, as the children start their online schooling and university lectures, I reflect on those that are less fortunate in these extreme circumstances: we all have friends in the travel and entertainment industries, in real estate, in bars and restaurants, etc. who are on a cliff-edge.
Governments, over and above supporting the national health systems and the necessary scientific research, are the prime actors in the colossal task of offering safe landing and temporary shelter, and rightly so.
But what can we do as individuals and business owners? This is probably the only area, right now, where we should not thoroughly wash our hands.
It is inspiring to see neighbourhood-support initiatives popping-up everywhere, offering anything from picking up essentials for old people to offering a friendly chat via skype.
All of us for whom the toast landed butter side up (for the moment at least) must think of ways to lend a hand and I am sure that, in the coming weeks, our connected world will offer new, creative channels on top of what already exists.
I used to be a regular at an Italian (surprise, surprise) restaurant near the office: they, like many faced with survival or collapse, are rapidly setting up a food & wine delivery operation. After a personal hoarder of enogastronomic delights, as a company we are now making arrangements to have a goodie-box delivered home to each employee.
Krescendo has offered its clients and the UK Government free services for any project related to the coronavirus emergency (within reason/our capabilities) which requires data collection – something our data management platform, LiveDataset, can be rapidly configured to support.
At a time where many are putting the breaks on, we are carrying out our planned interviews for new positions using Zoom (now there’s a winner) and are investing some of our time and effort, with the help of a work-from-home Art Director, on our marketing and messaging materials. All going well, we will be looking to hire a couple interns (externs?) soon.
In short: keep calm and carry on. For all the havoc this invisible enemy is wreaking, it is clear that we are all re-discovering hidden aspects of our lives, focusing on a common goal, learning something big every day. Good luck to us all.