Here's How This Singapore-Based Digital Marketing Agency Managed Work Remotely With Covid-2019 being a fast-developing situation, First Page Digital believes it is best to adopt transparency with regards to how it is responding to the outbreak and its implications on the staff, clients and business.
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The outbreak of a novel coronavirus began in Wuhan, the epicentre in China and has since spread globally to Asia and Europe. Countries globally are facing serious humanitarian, political and economic challenges as cases continue to climb. The Covid-2019 crisis has reached a critical point, as public health systems work towards containing the spread in communities.
Businesses are faced with a different, albeit significant challenge. As Covid-2019 developments unfold, companies in Singapore and other parts of the world are learning and reacting along the way. What this means is, business continuity plans are now challenged to keep pace with volatility and unpredictability.
First Page Digital, a digital marketing agency in Singapore, has rolled out proactive measures to ensure the health and well-being of employees and clients served. Focusing on preparation and prevention, the agency has implemented a robust remote work plan that places employees at the top priority.
Making the Move To a Remote-Based Work Environment
As of 9 March 2020, the entire team at First Page Digital transitioned to working remotely from home as part of social distancing measures. A big part of agency life revolves around the interaction, activities and teamwork that occurs daily in the company.
How did this digital marketing agency transition to a fully-remote team and move with business-as-usual?
Response from the First Page Digital's leadership team is equally distributed across these four dimensions.
Clear And Consistent Communication from Leadership
When the Covid-2019 situation is rapidly evolving, the impact and consequences influencing the big picture also changes. Making the change to remote work can be a big one. As such, timely and consistent updates from leaders are necessary to facilitate a smooth transition.
By being present and providing updates through online communication tools used by the agency such as Skype and WhatsApp, the management team has been able to align objectives, goals and challenges with employees.
On top of regular updates, the agency's management has displayed vulnerability and approachability by organizing daily video conferences for teams to check in and encourage each other during a trying period.
Anticipating And Responding To Employee Needs
During a remote arrangement, employees may require additional equipment or support to enable a productive work environment at home.
By liaising with a local courier service provider, the management at First Page Digital has been able to effectively and efficiently dispatch technical equipment such as laptops, desktop monitors and track-pads to their employees at home. Likewise, the HR team provided employees with daily updates by the ministry of health.
Using Digital Tools To Connect And Communicate
Working remotely did not stop the team at First Page Digital from connecting during the work day. Going beyond email threads, the team is connected throughout the day internally as well as externally with clients—conferring through Slack, Skype and WhatsApp messaging, Google Hangouts and Zoom.
Business as usual, First Page Digital has also moved all communications—pitches, reviews and updates—with clients online as well. To ease this transition, the agency has adopted a variety of digital tools for communication purposes. Clients are now able to connect with the team with the pick of their choice for online meetings.
Promoting Culture In Digital Spaces
Remote working arrangements can take a toll on companies that pride on culture and interpersonal relationships. For an agency that has travelled to Bali together on a retreat, how exactly do they keep spirits high and continue to connect personally with each other?
Finding online expressions for culture is possible in a couple of ways. Here is how First Page Digital has managed to do so:
● Sharing non work-related videos, memes and funny stories in company-wide group chats to keep spirits high
● Learning to go offline when the work day is over by playing online multiplayer video games with each other
● Displaying empathy and compassion to colleagues by supporting employees who need it
The agency believes that creating a space where employees are encouraged to be both personal and professional is crucial to keeping agency culture intact. Balance is the key to fostering trust and encouraging empathy across teams for online meetings.
Preparing For a Different Future As a Team
The Covid-2019 pandemic is not a one-off occurrence. The crisis is revolutionizing the way businesses operate, with an elevated focus on continuity plans and the ability to efficiently shift work arrangements. The ability to transition and operate today is a business advantage that many will seek to achieve.
An openness to adapt and get comfortable with unpredictability is how this agency is democratizing opportunities to innovate and operate effectively amid the situation.