I recently updated our company handbook and built a new deck we call the Explore Communications Manifesto that covers everything from why we do what we do to how best to communicate in the office. I have stuff in there about setting the alarm, traits of humility and leadership and information about our benefits. I even covered turning off the space heaters when going to lunch (sometimes I think the people of Explore are incubating themselves – I keep wondering if anything will hatch).
It recently came to my attention that I missed something big. The manifesto and handbook do not cover our Pandemic Policy because we didn’t have a Pandemic Policy. We have one now, although it is fluid and per our company culture, it was developed together. That last time our whole company was together, we sat at least six feet away from each other and discussed everything from our personal concerns to how we would help our clients to how to keep Explore Communications running smoothly through these turbulent and uncertain times.
I’m proud of my coworkers. My peeps are smart, ambitious, passionate souls that care about each other. We already have people working from home now and then, so that part of the equation wasn’t difficult at all. We figured out our best way of communicating, handling tasks usually done in person and in collaboration and most importantly, how to be servicing our clients proactively and also being ready for whatever they throw our way.
As expected, many clients are postponing campaigns. But others are moving forward. I think as long as messaging is relevant, sensitive to the global situation and for a product and/or service that people need and/or want right now; this is actually a good time to be marketing. I think some normalcy (i.e., advertising is everywhere) is actually helpful during stressful times.
I made my kids get up at a decent hour today, take showers and follow some guidelines that we put together from our own ideas and suggestions from the Denver Public Schools system. My boys are teenagers, so the expected stink-eyes and negative reaction are fine by me. As long as each day is better than the last in terms of their productivity, I’ll be happy. Academics, exercise, outdoors, learning, creativity, brain stimulation without screens, etc., – they may not like no longer getting to stay up until 2am and sleeping past noon but I think they will appreciate the loose structure and alternative ways to spend their days on lockdown at home. Like how they’d normally spend a school week.
So, work-wise, its nice to do the same thing. Normalcy. Getting up at the usual time, showering and focusing on work. And as the typical work day functions and tasks dwindle due to the change in clients’ marketing efforts, we can use that time for our own professional development, catching up on low-priority work and proactively finding even more ways to be of service to our clients.
A little normalcy in a time that is anything but normal. It’s a dichotomy that I think is good for our peace of mind. With that said, our collective prayers and well wishes go out to literally everyone. This world is ours, for better or worse. Let’s get through the worse together and enjoy the better together.