(Courtesy photo)

Coronavirus

How organizations, businesses can go digital during the COVID-19 pandemic

‘An opportunity for organizations that may have been resistant to that idea to try it on for size’

While the effects of COVID-19 and coronavirus will have a lasting impact on healthcare, the economy and travel, Jessica Hodgson says she thinks it will be “inevitable” that businesses and organizations will go remote in some capacity during and after the pandemic.

Hodgson is the director of human resources for Later, which was founded as the “first-to-market Instagram scheduler in 2014.” It has operations in Vancouver.

Hodgson, who started working from home “about 80 per cent of the time” at the end of January when Later implemented a work-from-home policy, said the company actually went “fully remote” justr recently.

“We’re already familiar with, we’re already using the technology and have been using some remote best practices for some time. But we actually just made the call to go fully remote for the foreseeable future while some of this plays itself out,” she said, referring to the COVID-19 outbreak.

However, Hodgson said she doesn’t expect going fully remote to impact Later’s operations.

“I would say that having clear objectives in place, whether those are short-term or long-term for your people and having clear ways to measure whether those objectives have been met.”

For businesses and organizations thinking of letting employees work from home during the outbreak, Hodgson had a few recommendations: protect your boundaries while working from home, such as keeping your working space separate from your “sleeping space” or “TV-watching space”; take breaks; not letting your workday “transition forever” into the evening; and utilizing video conferencing.

“Some of the big focuses we’re are making sure that we’re utilizing video conferencing as much as possible, so it feels like you’re talking to a human being when you’re having a meeting,” she said. “A lot of the suggestions that I made to the team was about how to continue to stay connected to your team, which might be helpful or relevant in this circumstance.”

Hodgson said she also has a daily “meeting” with her team to discuss what they worked on the day before, what they will be working on that day and any issues they’re facing.

READ MORE: Do you think you have COVID-19? Here is what to do next

“If somebody on my team is continuing to carry over something day after day after day that they were supposed to be getting done, I can have a conversation with them about managing their workload, how available are they and are they getting their work done.”

But she said it’s also about “finding ways to accommodate people to work from home and trusting that they can get their work done and having conversations about it if they can’t.”

Later is a “cloud-based” business, Hodgson said, so all the employees need is a strong Wi-Fi connection and laptop.

But Hodgson said she’s been thinking about this idea of going digital during the pandemic if it could continue on afterward.

“I think it’s a really interesting idea. I actually thought about it this morning. I wonder if this is going to have an impact on commercial real estate or how many companies actually have physical spaces,” she said, adding that some companies have been “fully remote for years and years.”

Hodgson said she thinks its “inevitable.”

“This is an opportunity for organizations that may have been resistant to that idea to try it on for size,” she said. “It’ll be interesting to see what people’s responses are. I think it’s inevitable that there will be organizations that get the chance to experience it and say, ‘Hey, we have some benefits’ or ‘It wasn’t as bad as we thought it was going to be and our team loved it, so let’s keep doing it or let’s be more flexible.’”



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: District of Kent announces property tax break

Second provincial late payment penalty delayed until October

‘Difficult but necessary’ – local parks, trails, rec sites closed amid pandemic

Several closures by province in area due to physical distancing concerns

Organ donation gives Fraser Valley RCMP officer a second chance at life

Cathleen Falebrinza celebrates Green Shirt Day after receiving a double lung transplant in 2016.

Stay off the tracks and stay alert, rail police warn

Last year, seven were killed and 10 seriously injured in rail crossing, trespassing incidents

B.C., Alberta health ministers urge public to stay home Easter weekend

Regional politicians, online petition calling for closure of provincial border to non-essential traffic

Human rights complaint over city’s Pride flag tossed out

Kari Simpson’s attempt to block Langley City’s flag raising has failed

Abbotsford prison has confirmed COVID-19 case

Pacific Regional Treatment Centre is the third prison in B.C. in one week to confirm case

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Canadian Olympian diagnosed with heart failure, possible exposure to COVID-19

Olympic soccer star Karina LeBlanc diagnosed with pleural effusion

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C. First Nations Health Authority launches virtual doctor program

Program to provide primary health care through COVID-19 pandemic

VIDEO: Fraser Valley singing ensemble overcomes isolation, creates music using digital technology

Members of Belle Voci record ‘a capella’ song together even though they were unable to meet in person

Most Read