(Courtesy photo)

(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

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A recent virtual gala raised $150,000 for Abbotsford Hospice Society and its Holmberg House. (Abbotsford Hospice Society photo)
Abbotsford Hospice’s Light Up the Night gala raises almost $150K

Virtual event included pre-show drive-thru pickup of farm-fresh meals

Matthew Balogh was last seen in Abbotsford on Sunday, April 18 at 10 a.m.
Police seek help in locating missing 17-year-old in Abbotsford

Matthew Balogh was last seen at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 18

Michael Colmant, a former manager of Abbotsford International Airport, was killed in a hit-and-run in Washington state while he was riding his bicycle.
Abbotsford man dies in hit-and-run while cycling in Washington

Seattle police still searching for driver of vehicle that killed Michael Colmant

Sasquatch Days typically takes place in May but has been canceled the past two years due to COVID-19. The Sts’ailes First Nation recently announced this year’s cancelation. (Photo/Tourism Harrison)
2021 Sasquatch Days canceled due to COVID-19

Second year in a row the pandemic canceled this event

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

John Wekking, Merritt Road Report - Facebook
 Coquihalla Road Report
Wildfire sparks off Coquihalla in Merritt

The wildfire is located near the Dollarama off of Highway 5

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read