Coping with Covid

Well done New Zealand, no doubt we’ll be enjoying international praise for the next wee while.

Us Kiwis still love a good high-five from overseas. 
Now to get the machine up and going again, albeit with some significant changes. 

Recently we have been inundated with messages about the inevitable change we are going to endure as a global community.

But as we have settled in to this new way of working, I have come to like the logic that we were already on a journey, and COVID has accelerated that journey. There were plenty of things in motion, that are now considered the new-norm. 

Working from home already existed. The difference being that both employers and employees are comfortable with it now. “80 percent of success is showing up” according to Woody Allen.

Hopefully we’re learning that you don’t need to turn up in person to be successful. Imagine what that will solve in transport, carbon and time. Benefits galore. 
We were already talking about trying to be kinder to one another, less about profit only. Hopefully COVID has given that a shove forward.
Plenty of us shopped online, but now we all do.

And in terms of business post-COVID, I’m hoping we keep what’s worked well, and we ditch the stuff that wasn’t so good. 

I’ve been blown away seeing how most of our clients have adapted during this time. Powershop are a client of ours. Great people selling a commodity with a twist. They have a great culture and have done heaps to protect that. During this time, they have of course looked after their customers, helped them pay bills and shared guidance on saving power. All those things a progressive brand like Powershop should be doing. But they’ve also ensured their own culture didn’t suffer. Maybe they’ve even strengthened it. 

According to Head of Marketing Tom Probert, they quickly anointed a “Chief Banter Officer” to ensure that all of those little workplace interactions that add so much to your day-to-day working weren’t lost entirely – their slack channel is now full of bad lip syncing, Spanish lessons, photos of crew as kids aka Guess Who, quizzes and random facts about the Powershop team. 

Meanwhile Fix and Fogg launched in America and have nearly finished their second window in Texas (first being Wellington). COVID wasn’t stopping them. They split their production crew into teams (or bubbles) and charged on. CEO Roman hasn’t been in the factory yet. Turns out he doesn’t need to.  

Wellington Hospitality Group have also swung into action, popping up Gorilla Burgers all round Wellington. Redeploying staff, they’ve realised that they can execute fast – setting them up for a new model post-COVID. 
And same with us at EightyOne.

We can all work remotely now. I didn’t think we could this easily. And with fewer interruptions, we’re all getting through more work as well.

To quote Darwin, it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change. Well said Chuck.

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