Steering the Ship…from my Kitchen Counter

A few weeks ago, it was a relatively benign start to March.  No doubt things would become a hectic – it always does during the last month of a quarter.  

Then the world changed. 

The scale and scope of the COVID-19 global pandemic is unprecedented and unparalleled in our lifetime.  The impact on our families, friends, co-workers, and local communities changes daily, and our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by this crisis. 

For me, the last couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur.  Almost overnight we were all working remotely – some of us from home offices, some on card tables in the living room, and some of us (by that I mean me) from our kitchen counters!   While a lot of our staff already work remotely, either traveling on business or the occasional day or two a week they work from home, I am super impressed with how quickly we all adapted. 

I realize working from home comes with some minor inconveniences (I’m hearing it’s a pretty even argument for which is worse – managing toddlers or teenagers) and that we may not feel as efficient as when we’re in the office.  But I’m grateful for everyone at Altec who have settled into working remote as our new normal, and to continue supporting our customers and deliver services with minimal disruption.  Using a mix of Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WebEx and other collaboration platforms, we really haven’t ‘missed a beat’ in our ability to serve our marketplace. 

And I must admit, there have been some positive experiences of working remote.  So far, I’ve met many of our Altec pets, have had engaging conversations with so many kids I had only heard stories about, and I’ve witnessed a few unsuspecting staff without makeup.  Hey, I’m no prize.  I saw myself (and customers) with a three-day beard.  Luckily I wasn’t committed to the beard so shaving is back to my normal routine.  And the marketing team insisted I stop wearing t-shirts on calls so I’m back to wearing my DocLink polos.   

I read an article yesterday and the following quote really hit home with me about how to survive and succeed as we operate in these unchartered waters:

“Companies that survive are able to act decisively and quickly. But how do you act quickly in the midst of so much uncertainty and human risk? At the macro level, successful companies will “mirror biology as Darwin surmised; those who survive are not the strongest or the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change.”

So, as I settle in to my remote life over the coming weeks (months?) I thought I would share some of my experiences.  Who knows, I may get used to this!  Stay tuned…