Probably most of us, right now, are having the same reaction to 2020: “What a year it has been…and then you realize it’s only March, and we still have 9 months to go”. We have been through a lot so far, and because of this new pandemic, all of our lives are affected. Don’t get me wrong, hope will prevail and this too shall pass, but until then we are witnessing what you could describe as a new chapter in the history books.
So, how are companies across the world handling this situation? What are some of the measures taken to ensure the safety of their employees? How can we all help diminish the effects of the pandemic? How to keep your morale up and still be productive? We have gathered some information and would like to share some of the tips and tricks we found helpful to get us through this difficult time.
First of all, we see that many countries have put in place travel bans, full lockdowns, limits of public gatherings, canceled or postponed different sporting events and concerts, and other types of restrictions to help contain the spread of COVID-19. While this was truly necessary, a lot of companies were affected by these measures. I’m not even going to talk about the financial and economic consequences, because there is still a lot of information to process and, at the moment as the situation is still developing, we can only speculate the damage on the economic sector.
Many organizations decided to implement a work from home policy. For many of us working in software as a service environment, this isn’t unusual and we made the switch without any problems. Our employees at 123FormBuilder were granted even before this, the possibility to work remotely for 10 days per month, but due to the current needs we are working from home until the end of April.
But, we have noticed that there are people in different organizations, who are not used to working from home, and for them we want to share this Remote Work Survival Kit, which is created by over 200+ volunteers. It has a lot of useful information including collaboration tools, guidelines to organize your day and be productive, recruiting remotely, even educational content and activities for your kids, basically everything you need when working from home.
While we are lucky enough to be able to work from home, there are also many people whose jobs cannot possibly be done in any other place than their workplace. Thus, their employers either stocked up on proper cleaning products like hand sanitizer and soap, to ensure better hygiene measures, or they reduced their open hours to a minimum. However, in some countries all non-essential businesses have to shut down on-site operations, and their employees are in a waiting period for unemployment insurance, due to the drastic measures the lawmakers are forced to apply.
Communication still is the key
Like a paradox, in this digital age, when we have all the means to communicate with anyone across the globe, a lot of people felt lonely, as many studies have shown over the past years. But this is changing, isn’t it? Now when social distancing is the new normal, social media helps us by keeping us informed and in contact with friends, family, people we haven’t seen in ages, and with brands as well. During events like natural disasters or a pandemic like this, we are constantly refreshing our feeds for more information from our elected officials and public healthcare units.
In the last week, we’ve seen how a few people and companies are trying to take advantage of this dire situation by either promoting a massive amount of fake news or by trying to price up items like disinfectants, hand sanitizers, disposable gloves and masks, and even food in the case of some supermarkets. So how can we stop this? By communicating. We all saw the story of the man who stockpiled 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer to sell on Amazon, right? What did Amazon do? They deleted the listings of hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes and face masks with marked-up prices, while eBay prohibited the sale of any of these items, as reported by BBC.
Marketers have to prepare for this ongoing crisis. We need to pause our campaigns and adjust our communications strategies accordingly to the situation we’re facing. To help us, the people at Really Good Emails came up with some tips and emergency email templates for different sectors of businesses like travel and leisure, retail, food, health and wellness and so on. You can read their article on “How to be a human marketer in a pandemic like COVID-19”, here. We hope you will find it as useful as we did.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility. CSR for short – is the practice of incorporating social and environmental goals into a business’s operations. It is the way businesses can have a positive impact on society and the environment while boosting their brands as well. CSR can take many forms like:
- Corporate philanthropy (charity donations of cash, goods, and services)
- Community volunteering (volunteering activities organized at a company level)
- Socially responsible businesses practices (ethically produced products)
- Activism (advocacy campaigns founded by companies)
- Cause-related marketing (charity donations based on product sales)
- Corporate social marketing (company-funded behavior-change campaigns)
Events like this pandemic bring out the best and the worst in people. But let’s focus on the best. Seeing there is a shortage of medical gear to help our medical staff who are battling COVID-19 on the front lines, many companies started donating money to support the production of these items that will save our lives. We saw that the French luxury goods group LVMH, who produces perfumes for brands like Christian Dior, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, started producing hand sanitizer for the French hospitals. Many liquor companies followed this example as well. General Motors, Ford and Tesla announced they are teaming up with medical equipment manufacturers to increase the production and supply of medical supplies like respirators, ventilators, and face shields. This isn’t something unusual, it also happened during WW2 when car manufacturers shifted from making cars to aircraft, tanks, and other military vehicles.
We, at 123FormBuilder decided to help by any means possible, so we made our platform free for those working to help contain the spread of the virus, like health organizations, NGOs, governmental institutions and so on. So, if you need a data management platform to help you track COVID-19 information, you can email “firstname.lastname@example.org” and our Customer Care department will upgrade your account. You can read more on this in our blog article: Together for the World: Free Forms for Organizations Helping to Contain CoVid-19 where you will also find a few templates to help you get started!
How can we help
How can we as individuals help? First of all, by respecting all of the measures imposed by our governments. Second, by taking care of us, in order to take care of everyone. And that means:
- Washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds;
- Using hand sanitizer when water and soap are not available;
- Never touching your face if your hands are unclean;
- Covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze;
- Staying at home as long as possible, this will help to flatten a pandemic’s curve;
- Avoiding large crowds when outside, and wearing protective gear (masks, gloves) and practicing social distancing (at least 2 m or 6 ft away from other people);
- If you are showing coronavirus symptoms (fever, cough, tiredness, difficulty breathing) seek medical care and follow the directions of your local health authority;
- Staying informed from reliable sources only.
Regardless of the present conditions, we hope we will emerge from our houses more thoughtful, more insightful and more compassionate, basically better people. We can’t help but think of the day we will be able to go to concerts, festivals, and sporting events, or hug our friends and family again, and when that day comes we will be reborn. And as Martin Luther King Jr. said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”