POV. Gabriela Streza (Business Development Director, Valoria): COVID-19 virulently propagates work from home

Mihai Cristea 25/03/2020 | 13:40

Many companies in Romania have decided that their activity can continue by work from home and have adopted this solution because of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Thus working from home passed from NICE TO HAVE to MUST HAVE, transforming the activity of many sectors of activity in only a few days.

By Gabriela Streza, Business Development Director, Valoria

 

This was not too hard a decision for companies that were well prepared for agile work and had the technology needed to manage the virtual workspace. But how do those for whom this mode of work is just beginning to adapt?

For the people who are part of teams that are experimenting for the first time, the implementation of the five practices described below is relevant in order to be effective and successful.

  1. Don’t panic. The virtual world has become such a big part of our daily lives (online shopping, social media, entertainment, training, gaming, tutorials, DYI, etc.) that the shift to working from home is, psychologically, a smooth transition. It will not resemble the ordinary work routine, but it certainly can.
  2. Evaluate the situation. Which devices will work? Do they have all the necessary features and applications? Do I need additional equipment for printing, scanning, video recording? Are software updates required? Assess the situation accurately and find the best solutions.
  3. Be sure. Not just people have viruses. Make sure you have a powerful online security solution to work safely from home, accessing the network through your own devices or using unencrypted memory sticks. Immediately adopt safe technologies and practices for connecting home and work online and always be aware of how important it is to respect them every time.
  4. Communicate via video. As comfortable as working from home, the fact that you no longer interact as in the office with colleagues can make you feel isolated and alone. Use video collaboration and communication tools such as Skype, Zoom, Webex, Hangout, to interact with colleagues daily. Managers should contact each member of the team at least once a day, informally, beyond the formal communication side.
  5. Monitor your productivity. Many people say that working from home makes them more productive, but there are others who will be prone to distraction and procrastination. You can cope with these negative effects by setting clear and realistic deadlines for projects and daily monitoring your work, progress, and results.

In the meantime, at the office …

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has a terrible effect on people’s lives and on the global economy. While locked cities and closed countries are doing their best to solve the health crisis, this creates the opportunity to adopt new ways of using technology.

But if some companies still need some of their teams to come to work, because not all activities can be done remotely, there are ways to protect their employees.

Safety tips for contagion with COVID-19 at work:

  • All sick employees must be proactively identified and then take all necessary measures
  • The use of safe distance in all instances should be encouraged
  • Strict hygiene and disinfection rules must be imposed
  • A crisis cell should be organized to implement all relevant measures
  • An internal communication plan regarding the new procedures must be developed
  • It is important to provide support to the staff because a crisis has a financial, emotional, mental, etc. impact.
  • Ideas or innovations resulting from the implementation of new working procedures must be communicated and shared

In conclusion

We do not know exactly how long the COVID-19 crisis will last or how strong its impact will be, but one thing is certain: from its approach and from finding practical ways to continue the activity we are learning valuable lessons. Could COVID-19, once defeated, make a whole new world, much more adapted to the digital age, appear? Possibly. Actually, this extremely challenging period will change mindsets, ways of working, and why not, it will help the planet breathe better even for a period of only a few months.

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About the author

Gabriela Streza has over 15 years of experience in marketing and business development teams of major multinational companies and family businesses in Romania, leaders in their fields of activity. Gabriela graduated from the Polytechnic University of Bucharest and has solid expertise in marketing, communication, and business development during hundreds of successfully managed projects Gabriela also has a broad knowledge of public relations and high-quality professional communication in interpersonal communications, organizations and event management to generate awareness of the company’s brand and business development. In recent years he has coordinated complex marketing and business development projects involving Romanian entrepreneurs, non-profit associations and multinational companies.

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