We’re all in this together. We all struggled, we all grew, we all hurt, and we all learned. At Helix House, we’ve been extremely lucky during these times and we’ve learned to appreciate every day we have with our coworkers during this pandemic. We know we’re one of the lucky ones and we will never take that for granted.
It hasn’t been easy for us. We worked from home from March to September and changed our systems on a regular basis to find something that stuck. We settled in for a while and made the most out of it until we made the collective decision to return to the office in September.
Now we’d like to share what we’ve learned with you.
Either you love to work from home, or you hate it. It’s not for everyone. As a business, we had systems in place to handle the transition. We already handled most of our communications and daily tasks through Basecamp (a project management software). We added in Skype for more internal conversations and away we went.
But it was more than just that. We needed to find our discipline and craft it into a working strategy. While we were good at getting jobs done and communicating in the office, we had to transition from walking across the room to messaging one another and calling one another when we needed help.
It wasn’t easy. Even with the two daily team meetings, it never felt like enough time to communicate face to face. The one-on-one just wasn’t there in a capacity we needed it to be.
On top of that, we still had to communicate with clients, new and old, about their campaigns. In the past, we hosted them in our office whenever possible. Now, it was all through a screen.
To our clients that have put up with Zoom mishaps, muted microphones, phone calls, and misunderstandings, we appreciate you more than we can express. Thank you so much for sticking with us through these hard times and for continuing to be patient with us as we continue to use online resources to meet.
It was amazing to see everyone again. The feeling of togetherness that we lost came flooding back instantly. Some problems vanished overnight, but others remained and some new ones came up.
We’re all still social distancing as much as possible and wearing a mask in the office. We’re wiping down our stations and cleaning everything we touch in the common areas. We’ve all accepted this as the new normal, but it is tough to transition from working at home to wearing a mask 8-10 hours a day.
Another thing we didn’t foresee was the need to transition back into old systems and continue to use some of the new ones. At first, no one knew where we stood. Were we still supposed to update the project manager every couple of hours on our progress? Should we still use Skype or transition back into Basecamp for internal communications? They were little questions, but they still threw us off.
Things that worked before COVID didn’t work during it. We looked at everything we did and had to change it to reflect the times.
And the list goes on. From accelerated deadlines, to spending hours on meetings that would have taken minutes if we were in person, a lot changed. It wasn’t all bad either — we still use quite a few of our new systems and updated a lot of what we do. It was an experience we all benefited from, even though it was a challenge to get to where we are today.
This blog isn’t all about negativity. It’s primarily a reflection of the times and it would be a dishonor to the company and our team to not mention all of the good things we learned.
We now value communication with each other and with our clients more than ever. We always held it to high esteem, but we can appreciate it more than we ever had. No one hesitates anymore when there’s a question — we get up and ask the moment we have it. It doesn’t disrupt workflow like we were worried about before, it enhances it.
For a while, we were full steam ahead. Some of us, if not all, got burnt out from constantly pushing and eventually, things started to fall through the cracks. We stopped, took a step back, and evaluated why this was happening and realized we were pushing ahead too quickly. That isn’t us.
We’re fast and we’re good, but we can’t just work to get something done. We need to be meaningful in what we do and we partially lost that somewhere along the way.
It’s not easy to understand everything over Zoom or Skype calls. And that’s okay! We learned to take time to ensure we understand what we’re doing. We learned it’s okay to ask for questions, to have something repeated, and to make sure everything we did was done with clarity.
To say it again, we learned and changed so much. We emphasized understanding and teamwork, which lead the creation of many new team duties and systems, including:
Throughout all of this, one thing remained the same: Helix House is still there for you. Everything we’ve learned, everything we’ve changed, we did to better serve you. We understand now more than ever that your business is your livelihood and that our job is to keep your investment profitable. No matter what, that is still our number one goal.
If you want to talk, our phone is always on. If you want to grow your business, we’re more than happy to give it everything we’ve got to get you there. Let’s get through this, together.