How we globally ensure business continuity during COVID-19

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation has now evolved into and pandemic around the globe, especially focusing in the European region. We at Valo had to re-group to think about how we are going to manage the internal and external communication, our actions in our ways of working and day-to-day work between our multiple locations on different continents and all of the events we had organized and are taking part in.

It’s not the first time we are working remotely since most of us in an IT-oriented world are used to be able to work from anywhere, anytime. At Valo, we can do remote work 100% of the time, but still, to some, it might be a new situation being at home for 100% of the time.

Valo Team

Valo Team remote working all the way

Some of the Valo Team are used to working from an office at least some of the days and now, since we have multiple locations in all three continents, we have taken a lot of actions to make it possible for everyone to work from home as easily as possible!

We have been given guidelines and tips for remote working, as well as prepared our personnel for a longer period of working from home regarding IT, HR and more. All internal and external meetings are being held via Microsoft Teams and we are leading the way of digitilizing the meeting, workshop and demos realm.

On the long-term our strategy and offering is a combination that really helps our customer organizations and Partners make effective modern digital work possible, so I feel we are doing exactly the right thing regarding the current corona crisis.

As this is the case I am now concentrating on the human side of things – making sure the workday experience of our own 140 professionals, at Valo Solutions and its mother company Blue Meteorite, is as good as possible and they can focus on their work (also while working remotely myself). We’ve now been forced to really prove that we can operate entirely digitally from sales to implementation and I’m happy to say it has been a positive experience in a crisis situation.

To establish good working conditions at home, we have been given permission to lend IT devices from the company to be able to work as normally as possible. Our IT support does business as usual and being in a different location doesn’t make a difference – everything runs as they would normally.

The groundwork for remote work is laid in a company’s openminded strategy and overall understanding of how the modern workplace can continue to function in circumstances that we see today. The monetary investment in people’s tools pays serious dividends not only in employee satisfaction, but especially in these kinds of situations, where decisive actions must be taken and restrictions on movement are quickly enforced.

We are fortunate to have long seen the benefits of remote work and in doing so having built a working culture, in which people’s contribution is measured by results and not by time spent at the office desk. Not only state of the art laptops, monitors, docks, keyboards, mice and headsets, but also Office 365 and many other cloud solutions help us work efficiently, whatever the situation. So bring it on, we’re up to the challenge!

Regarding keeping informed about the ever-fluctuating situation, our HR is more than prepared:

Generally we love working in the office environment with our cool colleagues. However, in this situation when it’s better to keep physical distance and lessen even the small gatherings due COVID-19, we’re taking the opportunity to emphasize the social gatherings of people online, e.g. we’re offering a daily HR Q&A hour on Teams with a face-to-face video connection to be there to support any needs.

It’s also a great chance to perceive what everyday work-life is like for our employees who work remotely every day in different countries around the globe. I’m overly ecstatic that our employees have, on the very first workday of our voluntary all-company COVID-19 remote period, started a social group meeting on Microsoft Teams to act as a break room!

It’s all about keeping the team spirit high even in times of change! Our CEO also launched a campaign on Twitter called #RemoteWorkBeardChallenge, where the idea is the same as with the Playoff beards: shave off your current beard and grow it for as long as you work remotely. During the campaign, you can share images from Teams video meetings with bearded people and share ideas to make remote work more fun and efficient.

This is a somewhat gender-related campaign but we’re hoping no-one sees that as a negative thing – everyone can participate at least in the innovation and fun part at least! And for everyone else who doesn’t want to or can’t grow a beard, try being for as long as you can without makeup, drink enough water or time and Tweet your daily walks in the spirit of the challenge.

Partner communications even more online

Our Partner Manager in the EMEA region said the following about our preparations for everything, especially when it comes to Partner meetings and demos:

In general, and especially on these exceptional times, it is evident that we need to rethink our ways of working. It is vital to keep the business running “as normal as possible” and we have all the tools to do it. We will keep on doing demos online and replace our face to face meeting with partners with online workshops.

Nothing must stop, there only will be new ways of working.

Since we at Valo have the knowledge and tools to work and help others help work remotely, this is a sensible and a great example of how even Partner communication and f2f meetings can be held virtually, keeping as normal as possible in the times of a pandemic. And for our Partners, remember that you always have our Partner Hub for you to use and find useful tools and materials.

Participating in and hosting of future events

At the moment we have had to cancel out the Valo Summit Tour North America event that was supposed to take place at the start of April. This was the responsible choice for us and for everyone. If you had signed up, you should have more information in your email and keep up with the current info in our website. We are also thinking of the possibility of remote workshops and a remote Summit.

Our Summit Tour Europe, scheduled for the start of June, is still on. We are however closely monitoring the situation regarding the event happening and will keep everyone posted. Regarding our participation in events, we are closely monitoring the situation and considering each event as a separate case. Our full list of events we are participating in can, as always, be found here on our website. We are keeping you up to date also in social media.

We hope everyone to be safe, stay positive and participate in making this virus slow down!

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