The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has had some pretty dire consequences on almost every industry (aside from supermarkets, really). We’ve seen massive events get canned and a slew of businesses closing their doors, but we’ve also seen some really insane innovation.
From local cafes pivoting to ready-to-heat meal deliveries to distilleries mass-producing hand sanitiser, it’s been a weird time. While a lot of us are feeling pretty glum and missing the outdoors, we thought it’d be nice to take a look at some of the businesses around the world who are using this time to innovate and expand their business.
The most common company reaction to the situation is sending your employees home to work remotely, to help minimise the spread. People everywhere have been sharing their new work from home tips and businesses have been innovating to keep their company culture alive. Friday afternoon drinks on Zoom, midday check-ins with the team, and shared playlists — it’s been kinda cute.
We’ll share some of our remote working tips towards the bottom of the blog
Ed’s Bred is an organic sourdough bakery based in a ski resort over in Whistler — the place we all know from that friend’s year abroad. Ed’s Bred owners, Ed and Natasha have made the switch to eCommerce in light of the pandemic and are selling their bread online, along with gift cards.
The new online store was set up through SquareSpace and Natasha says, “It’s easy to create and sell gift cards through this SquareSpace platform, but we had to upgrade the site and invest some money to do this.”
They’re now generating sales through the new online store, as well as earning traffic through Instagram and Facebook — but they haven’t forgotten about their offline clientele.
“We also put a poster on the door with information about the online shop for customers who aren’t on social media.”
Amber Renae runs eCourses for professionals looking to upskill — both on her own personal brand and for Corporate Learning and Development Academy. She says she’s seen a massive spike in inquiries for both companies, due to the number of people who are using their time at home to upskill.
In light of this, they’ve rejigged their marketing and sales funnel, as well as their messaging. Amber says, “Our messaging has now turned more emotive to address the current state of the planet, to provide solutions, and to provide support.”
“Our sales funnels have gone from being largely evergreen webinar funnels to being sales calls, as we’ve noticed people are wanting connection and support during this time.”
Air Design Australia
Air Design Australia made the best out of a bad situation when the Australian borders were closed up — and with tourism at an all-time low. They adapted by marketing their short term holiday rentals as self-isolation properties.
Air Design’s Angela Carrick says, “We went from mass cancellations to multiple clients needing to quarantine so as to protect their family.
“They may have been suspecting coronavirus and need to confine themselves or corporates working from home and needing to have some quiet time away from home-schooled kids.”
Melbourne’s Synergie Skin has adapted to the new climate by creating and launching its own hospital-grade sanitiser spray. Synergie’s Cosmetic Chemist and Founder, Terri Vinson created the product out of compassion and a want to support hospitals and medical facilities around Australia.
“As a chemist and immunology graduate, I am fortunate to have the knowledge and tools to take immediate action in this new climate.
“I am so proud to say that with Synergie’s vertically integrated structure and nimble manufacturing ability, I have been able to formulate a clean science Sanitiser Spray,” says Vinson.
You can learn more about the science behind the spray over here. The company will also be donating 5 percent of the proceeds to the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
What’s Sonder doing?
Well, we changed to a remote working model towards the end of last year. Yeah, not so much pandemic related. We decided to work from home to try and regain a healthy work-life balance, cut out an hour (or more) of sitting in traffic every day and get some of that flexibility that’s needed to constantly create that fresh, fresh, content.
So, in light of the new social distancing restrictions, the biggest change for us was taking client meetings online — which hasn’t been too bad. So, with six to seven months of working from home under our belts waistbands, we have a few tips.
Our work from home tips
Morning meetings, even if they’re just 10 minutes, can help. Touch base with everyone and see what they’re up to. Obviously you’ll have project management systems in place already, but it’s a good chance to quickly explain a task you’ve delegated or asked a question you need to be answered.
It’s also kind of nice for the whole team to be able to say they’ve definitely spoken to another human that day…
Separate “work” from home
There is a tonne of tips all over the internet on this. Personally, the rule of never working in the lounge room or bedroom is a gooden. Keeping work confined to your home office is usually pretty solid.
There’s also the whole ~getting dressed~ tip. It’s definitely a good idea to get out of your jammies for the day… but full-on office attire? Your call.
Generally though, just try and structure your workday the same as you usually would. Still take coffee breaks, a lunch break, and try and go outside for at least a little bit.