Our Company Gets Back to Work
JP Morgan is bringing its traders back to work. So are we. A couple of weeks ago we decided the effectiveness and success of our public-relations firm couldn’t survive on Zoom alone.
Like many American employers, on March 13 we switched overnight to 100% remote working. At the time no one knew how quickly the coronavirus was spreading or how deadly it was. Testing was all but nonexistent, and so was government guidance for businesses. So we told our employees to stay home and hold meetings via Zoom, even though no official had ordered us to shut our doors.
Amazingly, productivity went up. Our clients, facing the same universal crises, needed more help. Our employees had extra hours to work without commutes or lunch breaks. While we lost some business due to pandemic budget cuts, we were fortunate to receive some government aid and pick up additional business.
But as weeks turned into months, the deficiencies of working remotely became apparent. Online video conferences are no substitute for the creativity that happens when a group of smart people get together in person. Trust between colleagues can easily break down outside the office. As managers, we started having to sort more interoffice strain than we’d ever seen when we were in the office.
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