COVID’s silver lining: How coping leads to excellence
History shows that many successful companies have had to find ways of coping in challenging times. For business leaders, this can be a silver lining.
In the first months of 2020, a microscopic virus changed all of human society. In a matter of days our world changed. Our business models changed. Our economy changed.
The recession that’s followed in the wake of the global pandemic proves how hard this has been for everybody.
The tough get going!
Many of the world’s most successful, industry-changing companies got their start during recessions. Here are just a few examples:
- In 1893, America was in a panic. The stock market had crashed. 15,000 businesses closed. Unemployment reached 25%. For 16 months, business activity in the US stagnated, dropping by 40%. General Electric had been incorporated in 1892 – a seemingly inauspicious time and yet Thomas Edison managed to steer it through the depression that followed. It became one of the original 12 companies listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1896, where it remained for over a century.
- In 1937, the United States’ economy had seemed on the mend from the Great Depression so William Hewlett and David Packard decided to plan the future of their new electronics company. Despite the unemployment rate and the US still in the Depression, they managed to build one of the worldwide powerhouses in computing.
- The Recession of 1969-70 was relatively mild – but it’s not surprising that it was on the tail end of this turmoil that Fred Smith founded FedEx and pioneered the industry of express shipping.
The world hasn’t stopped – though it sometimes feels like it!
The world in early 2020 might feel like it stopped. The most successful businesses, however, haven’t stopped planning for growth and looking for ways to adjust their business model to the changing economic climate.
In the past three months, companies all over the world have had to transition, more or less overnight, to a remote, online environment. For some organizations, coping with this transition has been harder than others – but everyone, with no exceptions, has had to find ways of coping to maintain productivity, teamwork, and their daily practices.
Knee-jerk reactions to the change were made simply to keep the lights on. In the face of caustic work-from-home requirements, with no time to assess the impacts it might have on business, not everyone has adapted successfully. Some of the most common shortfalls were in network access, remote work equipment, and remote team management.
Planning for Phase II
As we enter Phase II of the pandemic, and municipalities and businesses are beginning to reopen, we understand that this is not a passing event. Remote work, to some degree, is here to stay. Those quick fixes implemented by companies in the blink of an eye 12-weeks ago might not be enough to keep their companies competitive 12-months from now.
Companies must identify ways to better adapt to this new normal. This is much more than working from home and learning Zoom, Slack, and Google Hangouts. It means learning to use company resources and knowledge efficiently in these new circumstances. It means leveraging partnerships and remote teams to improve productivity. And it means maintaining your company’s culture and values, while still meeting its commitments to customers and stakeholders.
The businesses that continue to prosper in this economic crisis will be those that:
- are flexible enough to adjust to a business model that includes possible cycles of lockdowns and remote work,
- keep their teams focused on core activities, and
- find fruitful partnerships to share in the load of secondary tasks.
This is how we do it!
Proximiteam is founded on the principle of supporting our North American customers remotely. We designed our culture and working methodologies this way.
For example, our development centers in Latin America continue to work as usual, without disruption, despite the lockdown. Our teams in Mexico, Colombia, and Costa Rica continue to work even when physical distancing or quarantine becomes an issue.
We have safe, secure locations in our offices and homes. Our team members have reliable, high-speed internet, the technical tools they need and, most importantly, the ethics that allow them to continue to work with independence.
In addition, Proximiteam’s project managers and team leaders are both skilled and experienced in this working environment. Even before COVID-19 necessitated it, they were managing teams, tracking project activities, and meeting goals and deadlines – all remotely.
Our best practices have not changed, nor has our commitment to excellence and high-quality results.
We are working remotely; we are working together
History has shown that companies that prosper in tough economies can adjust their methods without sacrificing their values. Companies that find ways of coping to maintain their core business will be the dominant players in the coming years.
Developing a partnership with experts in remote work, who shore up areas of technological development and security your company may need in this new economic era, will be the difference between surviving or thriving in a post-COVID world.
We would love to discuss how Proximiteam can support your organization and help it grow even under the most challenging demands. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.