The current Covid-19 situation is a game changer for consultancies of all sizes. Our team have always been a hybrid mix of fixed desk and remote workers. We’ve closed the London office and the team are happily working from home, so for us enforced homeworking is simply an extension of the normal. The growing challenge is replicating the onsite camaraderie, the regular team huddles and not being able to read peoples moods and expressions!
We’re having daily checkpoints using collaboration tools to keep project delivery, reporting, and the sharing of information front and centre. It’s vital that everyone is focussed on internal projects to develop the business and emerge stronger in the coming months. To keep the camaraderie going we’ve started an online gaming challenge with varying results based on home broadband speeds, with a home delivery Pizza to the evening’s champion.
To help our clients react quickly we worked together to map absolute priorities for their business, focussing on strategies that would enable employees to continue projects. Having honest conversations enabled us to stop focussing on contracts and accept that every 24 hours will be different, but the end goal is to keep people working and safe. We just need to accept that conference calls now involve being nosey at each other’s home wallpaper (until Teams brings in new backgrounds in April!), barking dogs in the background and children walking past the camera!
We’ve managed to retain 100% (yes 100%) of all our consultants on projects and seen an uplift in our build engineers’ activity nationally. The coming weeks and months are hard to map, but keeping open communication channels between clients and consultancies is vital, and we hope to keep bringing the art of the flexible to our customers. APPtechnology is fortunate in that the core of our customers are from the “essential” categories, namely NHS, Local and National Government, Transport, Construction, Finance, Energy and Food.
We’ve also seen an increase in our offsite facilities where our application discovery team remotely access our clients’ networks and can contact application owners remotely. For the offsite packaging team, it’s business as usual, although we have now mastered mobilising new clients without the need for any onsite onboarding.
Of course every Business will review whether to pause some ongoing projects, the challenge will be on understanding the impact of what has been kicked down the road for sunnier times. Could you restart quickly when the time is right, or will you have to reskill a new team to regain momentum? The market may be awash with clever people for a few weeks, but these will be snapped up as quick as a game of ‘Hungry Hippos’ when normality returns. Think outside of the box, what other projects could the team focus on today to keep them busy, and what can you engage on and constructively start remotely?
I know a lot of buyers will be inundated with email and marketing from companies like us….I’d encourage you to at least have a quick read and delete as you wish, not every idea ‘will land’ but companies that keep talking keep finding ways to innovate. Every day we’re learning new tricks from each other and the next email you get could offer an innovative solution perfect for your company in these challenging times.