The Experience of Working From Home Under COVID-19
It’s week 2 of COVID-19 self-isolation. You may be one of the many who can heed the government’s advice to work from home to help delay and hopefully stop the spread of this extremely contagious and deadly virus. Perhaps your home office is set up and whether it be your kitchen table, your study, your sofa or your dining room, you are ready to go. Commitment and enthusiasm to making this new way of living and working is strong and, in our experience, productivity levels are high.
As a company CPB UK Ltd is fully supporting the national effort to delay the spread of COVID-19 and in accordance with government guidance has closed its offices. In fact, we went a little early and closed on 17th March – we do like to stay ahead of the game! Our readiness and ability to act so quickly is due to the fact we are an IT focused company with technologies in place that allow us to easily switch from office-based delivery to working from home. This, combined with recognising the impact our choice could have on the wider emerging crisis, meant the decision was a no-brainer.
All staff are now working from home (WFH) with one exception, our dedicated and loyal IT Manager Chris is operating the office so he can manage any IT issues and requests. CPB already uses cloud technology, so it was straightforward to be able to set everyone up in a home office. Our telephony is dealt with by RingCentral, our documents stored and shared in OneDrive and elements such as our partner database ProspectaBase, the Sales Lead Manager, and InteliData platform are all cloud-based.
In our first two weeks of working from home CPB has been delighted with the level of productivity and how well staff have adapted to their new working scenario. The new WFH initiatives have had a positive effect on many of the campaigns that we have running as our conversations with prospects have unearthed all sorts of challenges and vulnerabilities in remote access and security technologies and applications. For many, COVID-19 is raising new concerns and initiating discussions over existing technologies, whether these are fit for purpose, and what other options there may be.
Technologies That Help Your Employees Work From Home
The marketplace contains a plethora of technologies that can support your employees in working from home and keep your companies running smoothly.
Backbone technologies such as VPN, VoIP, data back-up and recovery, network security and malware protection are all vital. Alongside these cloud technologies such as Amazon Web Services, Salesforce, Office365 and Microsoft Azure offer incredible levels of functionality, service and support. In addition, applications such as Basecamp, Evernote, Skype and Zoom keep your teams organised and their channels of communication and, therefore, productivity open.
We have only mentioned a few products and services here. A quick Google search will offer you a bamboozling array of technology options.
CPB’s Experience So Far … So Good!
To give you an idea of how our first couple of weeks have gone, we started 10 new campaigns, received 12 purchase orders and our call room staff have averaged 120+ calls per agent per day. Business is out there and CPB is delivering. Through our conversations with IT departments we have discovered that although a lot of IT contacts have been, understandably, busy thus far, they will be in the office (and expecting to be much less busy) over the coming weeks.
What is more, we’ve received excellent client feedback about our approach and how seamless it has been. Clients have not experienced any campaign downtime, nor have they encountered any difficulty in contacting CPB and continuing our usual working relationships.
This isn’t a long-term solution for CPB, one of the many positives of a call centre business is the buzz created in the call room as campaigns start, gather pace and become successful. Sitting alongside colleagues deep in conversation with hot prospects, uncovering potential new business and experiencing the excitement of leads flooding in is something that cannot be replicated at home. Vicki, our call centre manager, is doing an excellent job of keeping agents busy, inspired and enthused and we have no doubt we will be able to report positive campaign success to all our clients throughout this period.
CPB’s position is that whilst this is not a normal situation, it is our ‘new normal’ and as a business we will adjust to this with creativity, composure and compassion. We will continue to honour our values of hard work, integrity and reliability to ensure our clients continue to experience the high service levels and ROI they are used to. We will strive to support our employees through any challenges, and we will plan for a bright future.
In conclusion, we count our lucky stars that the type of business we are enables us to work remotely, and that the clients we represent can continue to build and strengthen their businesses in these tumultuous times. We will not be beaten by COVID-19. As a nation we will come back fitter, stronger and better placed to face the challenges of what will be a bright, new world.
CPB will continue to be in touch over the next few weeks, but at this point, we’d just like to say to all our readers. Please stay safe, stay healthy, practice social distancing and #stayathome to support our public services and to give them the chance to fight this virus and save lives.