Digitalisation: how sustainability helps globaleyez through corona
The coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic turmoil has touched our lives in many different ways. All over the world, people fear for their health, their livelihoods, and in many sad cases, even their lives.
Research suggests that the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the various restrictions imposed upon people and businesses have far reaching consequences for the world economy. According to the World Bank’s projections, the global economy will shrink by 5.2% in 2020. This is the most serious economic recession since the Second World War.
All sectors of the economy are affected. Small businesses and multinational companies, business owners, employees and freelancers all feel the effects of slowing manufacturing, ruptured trade procedures, stifled tourism, rising unemployment, and thousands of businesses closed due to lockdowns.
However, closed doesn’t have to mean idle. In fact, as businesses were asked to reorganize their activities to allow employees to work from home, many found creative ways to keep up, and even enhance their operations.
Here’s how we at globaleyez did it.
globaleyez and home office
Luckily, we didn’t have to start from scratch. As you may already know, sustainability is very important for us, which is why when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were already running a largely paperless office.
“Simplify your life, and that of your clients.” This is our unofficial motto, and our digital work processes definitely mirror it. We constantly work on optimizing our procedures to make them as smooth and efficient as possible. Our IT Department makes sure that our tools are up-to-date and fit our purposes perfectly.
With digital workflow already in place and our documents stored in the cloud, the shocking news of the spring lockdown didn’t affect us as badly as others. Although our office doors were closed, we remained open for business.
Digital teamwork tools
Our digital teamwork tools allow us to collaborate on shared files, spreadsheets, and much more. This way, our work is a lot faster and more effective than it used to be via circulating hard copies. It’s much easier to keep track of who said what, which is the latest version, and what remains to be done in a digital teamwork tool than trying to decipher each other’s handwriting on various sheets of printouts.
We’re able to transfer data faster and more flexibly, which has greatly increased the efficiency of our work processes. This is a significant improvement for our teamwork, and as we’ve been working this way since before the pandemic, the transition didn’t hit us that hard.
Thanks to our digital teamwork tools we’re much more flexible when dividing tasks, and completing various work processes takes a lot less time than before.
In addition, we have developed an in-house encyclopaedia. There every team member can enter their knowledge about newly developed tools, work processes, software handling and many other company-related topics like processes, experiences, and common work knowledge. If a team member has questions on a specific topic, they can read up on this extensive knowledge pool before they have to contact the colleagues responsible or the IT.
Our clients have also noticed and welcomed this increased speed of work, especially when it comes to urgent requests. In some instances, they can even participate in our teamwork. For example, we share our clients in the file that compiles all updates on the test purchases we do on their behalf. They appreciate the frequent information on the status of their projects.
The Department of Fun
However, we know that work is not only about work, which is why we consciously incorporate regular “check-ins” with each other as a team.
We make sure to have fun together. After all, a team is only as good as its morale!
Since we’re not sharing the same space and can’t run into each other by the water cooler, we had to get a little proactive and more than a little creative to keep the fun in our workday alive. We created the Department of Fun, which is a small team of coworkers responsible for organizing fun activities that usually took place spontaneously in pre-corona times.
For example, work lunches are still happening, except they’re online. Each of us orders food to be delivered at the same time, and we eat together in front of our computers. We also play games like quizzes or Pictionary online, where one of us has to draw something and the others try to guess what it is. Or our very own McGyver game, where we form digital teams and have to work out how to get out of a tricky situation with three random items.
Our biggest hit so far has been the digital Christmas cookie baking. We each received a box of ingredients and baked the cookies from scratch in front of our laptops. Who knew brand protection experts were so good at baking? The only thing left to figure out is how to share the cookies digitally.
Pitfalls to watch out for
While our transition from office to home office went smoothly and without any major problems, there were some small issues that arose from the fact that we weren’t occupying the same space any more.
A clear division of responsibilities
It wasn’t as easy to check who’s working on what as before. A quick question to the coworker sitting next to you usually takes ten seconds. Now, we have to do all that via chat, or, in more complex cases, even schedule a video call to make sure that we’re all on the same page.
This quickly taught us to be as clear about various responsibilities as possible right from the start. An extra five minutes taken at the beginning of any project can save us a lot of confusion and unnecessary investigations later on.
The other issue home office presented us with was the uneven distribution of workload. It’s easy to keep in mind who’s doing what when they’re all sitting next to each other. But, in case of names on a screen, you can quickly forget how many tasks each coworker is responsible for.
Luckily, we found a solution to that as well. Thanks to dedicated chat channels and project spreadsheets, we can quickly get a comprehensive picture of who’s doing what. This allowed us to distribute the workload as evenly between coworkers as we did back in the office.
Onboarding during the COVID-19 pandemic
All is well in the case of coworkers who’ve known each other for a long time. But what about new employees? As the pandemic drags on, it’s inevitable for some companies to hire new employees. That was the case for us at globaleyez as well.
Onboarding a new employee is hard enough in regular times. How can you do it during a pandemic, when “meeting” a new coworker means looking at their picture on your screen?
Thanks to our digital processes already in place (and our sunny natures), onboarding our new coworker wasn’t as challenging as it could have been. Let Berit, our new Junior Marketing Manager explain it in her own words.
“I started working at globaleyez in the middle of the pandemic. I was surprised how easy it was to get integrated from home. The IT department prepared a very detailed onboarding for me and provided me with everything I needed for a seamless entry into digital work at globaleyez.
I've been part of the team for a few months now and have easily made the connection. We have regular team meetings, exchange a lot of information about the work and even meet occasionally for a digital coffee. I was able to get to know all the people, their work and the processes at globaleyez from home.
Despite the pandemic, I have become part of the team and I don't feel that working in the home office has made it difficult for me.
I believe that not many companies could have offered me this smooth career entry during Corona due to the lack of digital infrastructure.”
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictive measures have forced many companies to adapt their daily operation to a new normal. Luckily, globaleyez already ran a mostly paperless office, which meant that the transition wasn’t as difficult for us as for others.
Thanks to our digital teamwork tools, we were able to continue our work uninterrupted, a fact greatly appreciated by our clients. Through constant evaluation and evolving, we’ve ironed out the initial kinks and keep going at full speed.
Our experience in home office taught us to be even more flexible, more creative, and more agile when faced with new challenges. Contact us to find out how we can put our experience and knowledge to use for your business’ brand protection needs.