We find ourselves in a time of great uncertainty, as the world watches coronavirus spread. Right now, companies are focusing on keeping their employees safe and minimising the spread of the disease. The result of this is a workforce that is increasingly reliant on remote working, and leadership teams who are working together to make it a success. Coordination and clarity have never been more important. In this article, we speak with Thomas Nyström, CEO at Netigate, about how he is now adapting to leading and managing his employees in light of recent events.
How is Netigate managing communications on the developing coronavirus situation?
We’re keeping our employees informed and updated through multiple different channels, including email and video conferencing. The information we need to share focuses on both what’s happening in the world right now, and how we can continue to manage our daily work.
Has remote working increased amongst your employees?
Remote working has gained traction at Netigate since the onset of coronavirus. The key priority the world over is to keep each other safe, and the same applies here in the office. If any of our employees are showing symptoms of illness, then they should work from home. Of course, this has always been the case, but it is more important than ever now. We have also taken steps to manage the physical attendance of those employees who have recently visited COVID-19 risk areas. Where an employee is showing no symptoms or hasn’t recently visited a risk area, then discussions about working from home can take place between individual employees and their immediate managers.
Have you noticed any changes in your customer behaviours?
We’ve noticed that the use of our product has increased in recent weeks. The Netigate platform is a product that many HR managers and other key decision makers within companies use to understand their employees. Right now, they are using the product to analyse and gather feedback that can help them to adjust to this situation in the most effective ways.
Do you have tips for other leaders on managing communications at this time?
It’s important to be clear about the guidelines that apply in a scenario like this. Each day, they should be updated as conditions change. This will ensure that employees are never in any doubt about their next moves. Furthermore, it’s important that day-to-day operations continue for the sake of your company, your employees, and society at large. Keeping in regular contact with your employees is also important. This is key to maintaining a sense of continuity despite the uncertainty we are currently facing. Don’t wait until you’re all physically back in the office to hold meetings; keep them going over phone or video calls.
How do you anticipate coronavirus impacting the future of the workplace?
The impact of coronavirus is giving us an insight into the workplace of the future. We have had the technical capability of managing a remote workforce for a long time, but only now are we seeing it in action. The circumstances are terrible, but we have suddenly been exposed to how we can all work in a more digital, flexible, and productive way.