We at Media InSite aim to share informative news with our audience. This week we have quite the innovative development to announce. Bearing in mind our recent blogpost in support of understanding the benefits of remote work – hear our CEO, Allison Demas, on actual implementation.
1) Coming from an era of in-office being the norm, how did you manage to move away from this practice and how does it feel?
Prior to Covid-19 I had toyed with the idea of eventually abandoning Media InSite's "brick-and -mortar" operation and going virtual. However, the arrival of the pandemic catapulted that idea into reality. The first confirmed case of Covid-19 in Trinidad was announced on March 12, 2020. The following day, Friday March 13, whilst most of my employees reported for work at the office, they expressed great fear about contracting the virus. I immediately convened a meeting of my management team and we took the decision that most of the employees who had the requisite computer hardware and internet connection at home would be allowed to work remotely. By the time the stay-at-home order was lifted for the professional services sector in early June, my employees had become so accustomed to working remotely that they were reluctant to return to the office, notwithstanding all the precautions that I had put in place including sanitizing of the office. By that stage, having lost revenue and clients I calculated the savings which would be achieved by not having to incur rent as well as all the associated overheads such as utilities, office supplies, security etc. Not to mention the wellbeing of my employees whose productivity had not been affected by working from home and who clearly preferred such an environment.
To be honest, having made the decision to go virtual I do feel a tinge of sadness and a sense of loss. I enjoy interacting with people and miss human interaction with people outside of my family as well as the office banter.
2) How do you plan to keep your staff engaged virtually?
This is indeed a challenge. Although most of my staff are Millennials and have no problems taking selfies and posting them on Instagram, they seem to "refuse" to turn on video whenever we have virtual meetings :) I hope that by Media InSite providing webcams and mandating the use of video for at least monthly staff meetings that we will be able to see each other's faces :)
3) What are some challenges you think you will bump into as this transition settles in?
Virtually engaging with and getting to know new clients, recruitment, and training of new staff, ensuring that all our media monitoring equipment works smoothly, effectively, and securely from remote locations.
4) What is some advice you would give to businesses that want to go virtual but think it will not work?
Not all businesses are able to work remotely. However, those that can, should do the requisite cost benefit analysis of operating virtually and pivot accordingly once their internal business data points them in that direction, especially in this Age of Digital Transformation.
There it is. Full and informative from our CEO. Clear navigation through somewhat difficult waters – but safely through and hopefully of relevance to many Caribbean businesses.