How COVID-19 Has Changed The Way We Work
COVID-19 and the future of the pandemic require our businesses to become highly strategic. Regulations, whether interim or long term, are in flux, and the demand for the type of work that we handle has increased.
To offset the risk in a volatile business environment businesses require to conduct an operational risk audit, which has a COVID-19 regulatory lens overlay on it, which is well accounted for. As well, any increase in operational risk also naturally brings about increased sustainability risk, which will impact equity and succession planning.
Multiple changes have to be accounted for when working during a pandemic. For example, disruption immediately occurred with our team meetings as they used to take place in person. We had to substitute the in-person meetings throughout the week, and team-building exercises with virtual platforms.
This immediate and unexpected consistent shift in the way we traditionally related with each other naturally caused us to re-think the essence of the value of every touch-point of our business operation. Specifically, we had to ensure that all the essential elements of our business were maintained, immediately divesting of the standard trappings and optics we usually deem necessary and are expensive to the business. The cost-benefit analysis drastically changed, out of necessity.
Before analyzing cost, the pre-determining question now becomes: Is this required?
Many of our business assumptions needed questioning and have gradually proven themselves wrong. However, we are grateful for the laying bare of these false assumptions, as false assumptions inadvertently add up to building on a house of cards. The benefit of the disruptions to operations is creating lean operations and having a much wider marketplace reception. Pre-COVID-19, even a presentation online, may have been an event to appear intrusive or excessive. Now, it is a necessity that the audience expects and accommodates from lack of having an alternate option.
With remote working, virtual communication, and video calls all coming into play, we had to adapt, which changed to our communication patterns, including:
- 100% virtual team and training meetings, rather than a combination of virtual and in-person
- 100% virtual client needs assessment and closing meetings;
- Increased marketing activity in terms of the website and social media marketing;
- Generating more digitized product content;
- Ensuring a choice of a comfortable tech-based internal team and market communication channels to leverage regularly, to accommodate preferences as much as is reasonably possible.
We spend the highest amounts of our time working remotely and prefer handling communication with our clients over call or messages. Of course, remote working comes with a lot of challenges, and as a company, we learned to adapt to them. One of the most significant was for people living with dependent children during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring appropriate family support during the phase of the day that requires their attention to business.
Another challenge is to ensure that the home internet service package operates at a level that can sustain the usage rate of multiple people in the home actively online for necessary yet disparate use, simultaneously. As a corollary to that, there is also the challenge of identifying an appropriate location in your remote workspace to be able to conduct video meetings. In the alternative, if there are instances where space is not feasible, then there is the challenge of sourcing options of video meeting background images compatible with the brand.
When it comes to the workspace, we follow the rules to make sure the few people who might come our way are safe. We wash our hands frequently, consistently using disinfectant wipes on objects, disinfectant sprays on objects, practice physical distancing, and in situations where it may be necessary to be in physical proximity with others, always wear masks.
My working hours have lengthened. I have frequently been in meetings for more than ten hours in a day, which is primarily due to the amount that business expanded. However, the business model that emerged, which we fine-tune as time progresses, is much more impactful and sustainable.
Our company has a secure, confidential platform for the sharing of client data. We were using the same one well before the pandemic began and are using it now as well.
We are open to having in-person meetings with our clients, if necessary, and solely while adhering to the COVID-19 protocols. Our clients and our team have to be wearing personal protective equipment. We wear gloves, ensure both us and our client have our writing tools and disinfectant wipes to use in the event of needing to exchange documents or physical collateral of any kind. Although we are open to meeting in person, 99% of our business operates online through Zoom or other virtual tools for communicating and video conferencing. Soon we are considering taking part in virtual public events and business expos.
Working through a pandemic was definitely an adjustment but, we transitioned very well and quite seamlessly to ensure we can meet the increased demand for our solutions. delivered in the ways in which we have to deliver them as a result of COVID-19.
If you are considering a free, holistic assessment of your Business’s Insurance needs, or working with an insurance company for Business Owner Insurance, Business Succession and Estate Planning, get in touch with us at OWNSURANCE. I am a Mississauga Insurance Solution Provider with more than two decades of experience working in the financial service industry. I am affiliated with the fastest growing insurance firm in North America and more than happy to assist with Buy-Sell Agreements, Cross-Purchase Agreements, Promissory Note Agreements, and Corporate Redemption.
While all these rules might vary, I have been working with clients across fields and am more than happy to assist and get through this process. As I work across Mississauga and the Greater Toronto Area, if you are looking for the services that I provide, get in touch with me, however, if you are looking for a greater understanding of my services, please click here. If you want to get in touch with me, click here.