What initially seemed to be happening only in Asia at the beginning of the year soon triggered an international health emergency and has been a central issue in Germany ever since – the coronavirus.
Like practically everyone else, we were not prepared for a pandemic. However, after an initial phase in which we got our bearings, we quickly adjusted to the new and still fast-changing situation. Our most important goal was protecting everyone’s health while furthering client projects at the same time. Read the brief Coronavirus Chronicle below to find out how we experienced the last few months.
Phase 1: Internal communication & providing initial information to customers
We kept ourselves informed about developments on a regular basis and quickly established internal communication to keep everyone at Seven2one up to date about current arrangement (work-from-home rules, social distancing guidelines, use of public spaces, etc.).
Many clients contacted us early on to explore the idea of collaborating on projects in the coronavirus era. We promptly responded to these inquiries. In addition, we summarised the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) and communicated them to all customers by e-mail.
Phase 2: Focus on digital channels
Almost in parallel with this, we shifted our communication to digital channels to a greater extent than ever before. This is because many of our contacts were no longer permitted to go on business trips or receive external guests. In our digital collaboration, we are supported by tools such as Microsoft Teams, Skype, e-mail and telephony. Apart from a few “hiccups” at the beginning, these channels have been working extremely well. For example, we held workshops with clients and external partners on a digital basis. We also made our application process digital through the use of videoconferencing for interviews and virtual tours of our premises.
An example of this was when Managing Director Carmen Bickle picked up the laptop during a job interview and spontaneously offered a virtual tour of the office. Ever since then, digital tours of the Seven2one office have been an integral component of every job interview. 😉
Phase 3: The “digital pact” for client projects
We want to remain in close contact with our clients in our projects so that we can quickly clarify any open questions, keep ongoing projects moving forward and be in a position to launch new projects. We developed a concept to make all of this possible. This will allow us to continue to ensure close cooperation in client projects – at times in which face-to-face meetings are very difficult to arrange.
Instead of using a flipchart and a facilitator’s toolbox, we now conduct professional workshops using tools such as Teams/or TeamViewer with live recording, and appropriate webinar and collaboration tools are used to train administrators and business users.
Phase 4: Observing and adapting
As the second coronavirus package of measures arrived in autumn, we continued to focus on digital channels. With the developments of the pandemic always in mind, we have established and adapted measures especially for internal collaboration, including rules on ventilation, use of public spaces, mandatory mask wearing and so on.
The spacious premises at Seven2one make it quite possible to work in the office while complying with social distancing rules. We otherwise also pay attention to the usual recommendations in this context, such as washing hands, social distancing and so on. Those who prefer to do so can also work from home. Virtual meetings on a regular basis and updates posted on the intranet ensure that everyone at Seven2one remains well-informed. Our regular jour fixe with more than 40 participants has been held via Microsoft Teams for several months.
We believe that we have managed to cope with the pandemic era quite well so far – also thanks to the flexibility and commitment of our clients.