Work has changed dramatically over the past month with the Covid-19 outbreak with most office workers practicing remote work. The economy has taken a nosedive as we collectively lock down. Now in our fifth week, the reality is starting to dawn on us that it’s going to take a long time before we get back to normal, if ever. We are now coming to terms with the idea that there may be a new normal. Most businesses are accepting that work collaboration tools, such as Smartsheet will play an enormous part in helping remote teams get work done.
Tae Kim from Bloomberg in a recent article reported “The bigger issue is how to enable similar levels of productivity without the many brief conversations and in-person meetings during a typical day at the office. To accomplish this, companies are increasingly turning to a handful upstarts in the aptly named workforce collaboration software category. These are the tools, initially designed for use in an office, which the world has now discovered work so well when trying to stay connected remotely, from video conferencing to electronic messaging platforms. And as they gain traction in the home workspace, it seems more and more likely they’ll stick once we’re all back in the office again, accelerating a trend toward greater usage that was happening anyway.
Three tools that particularly stand out come from Zoom Video Communications Inc., Slack Technologies, Inc. and Smartsheet Inc. What these companies have in common is they are upstarts; their products are arguably best-in-class for what they do, and they’ve all seen their shares jump amid the widening coronavirus crisis.”
Offices have closed and with employees working remotely, Smartsheet and other various collaboration / communication tools are vital to keep businesses going. Zoom usage has exploded, whilst Slack, Skype and Microsoft Teams have also been the go-to communication tools used by companies. Collaborative work management tools such as Smartsheet have helped many businesses continue to operate in this crisis so far. Many hospital trusts have been using Smartsheet forms to capture data on the amount of PPE equipment they have in their hospital, providing the local authorities with up to date info of stock levels. This helps prioritise where the PPE goes. Other companies used Smartsheet to manage their team’s whereabouts and created specific Covid-19 portals to keep their employees aware of evolving policies.
At Cheetah Transformation, we have been running training courses in central London for some time and have now had to transition to Zoom based courses. We were sceptical about how we could do this effectively, so we decided to run half day courses as opposed to the full day. Our customers gave us really interesting feedback. One of whom said, “The courses have been great, I don’t miss not being together in a classroom, and we have saved so much time and expense by doing this remotely”. It turned out that 3 customers would have been travelling from Leeds and would have had to pay circa £200 each for train travel and hotel accommodation. Covid-19 has converted us to online training far sooner than we were expecting. We have grown in confidence in front of the computer screens!
Our consultancy team has had to adapt and change from client meetings in their offices to short sharp 2-hour sessions on Zoom. Productivity hasn’t been impacted, and our clients are now seeing the Smartsheet solutions that we have built help them manage their work effectively whilst everyone is working from home. We are also experiencing more enquiries about Smartsheet. Covid-19 has forced many companies to take digital transformation seriously. It’s much more than just working on Zoom. It also focuses companies on how best to work together in a digital world. As Sandy Shen, senior director at Gartner, said recently:
“The value of digital channels, products and operations is immediately obvious to companies everywhere right now. This is a wake-up call for organisations that have placed too much focus on daily operational needs at the expense of investing in digital business and long-term resilience. Businesses that can shift technology capacity and investments to digital platforms will mitigate the impact of the outbreak and keep their companies running smoothly now, and over the long term.”
We believe that Covid-19 will be a watershed moment in the collaborative work management market. For too long, cross function teams in companies have suffered from a siloed work environment. Work getting lost in endless Excel files and emails. Lack of clarity on what’s happening, when it’s happening and who is accountable. Collaborative work management systems, such as Smartsheet, help teams to work more efficiently. Smartsheet provides visibility and transparency of tasks and ensures all individuals have a clear understanding of the role they play in achieving the businesses goals.
At the heart of this is having your project plans, deliverables and financials organised in one place online. Smartsheet ensures everything is always up to date and visible to all. Automation is playing an increasingly important part, as it’s not possible to walk across the office to ask your colleague if they have finished their task. The automation benefit of Smartsheet will enhance your team members awareness of what they need to do, when to do it and replace the in personl interaction. The dashboards we create are becoming more personalised, informing colleagues of all the tasks they need to complete. Whether that’s today, tomorrow or sometime this week, it ensures they play their part in successfully implementing a process or completing a project.
Smartsheet has prepared a range of free templates to help companies deal with Covid-19 and remote work. You can also try Smartsheet for free for 30 days. There are a range of free template and webinars sets to help organisations manage their remote teams.
If you are interested in taking this opportunity to transform the way your business works, please get in touch, and we’d be happy to discuss how we can help organise your business for success in this new Covid-19 world.