Here at Workville, our priority as a boutique coworking space is supporting our member companies and everyone on their team. What we are now experiencing with the coronavirus crisis is beyond the scope of normal ups and downs that anyone could have imagined. We are proud of everyone’s resilience. Collectively we will navigate this crisis and all the changes.
Here is how our community and businesses rise to meet the needs of today’s rapidly changing climate.
1. Jeff Bezos’ pivoted from his strategy of long-term gain to a strategy of steely-eyed focus on today. In a four-page open letter posted to Instagram, Bezos thanked his employees, outlined infrastructure changes and explained new safety measures. He explained that despite an astronomical increase in shipping demand, all supply chain, logistics management, and purchasing had been adjusted to prioritize essential items (household cleaners, sanitizers, baby formula, and so on).
Fulfillment centers have been reconfigured to accommodate increased headcount while staying in accordance with CDC social distancing guidelines. He was forthcoming in explaining the lack of protective face masks; his workers are in line after healthcare professionals and first responders. The takeaway is that Bezos quickly pivoted from Amazon’s long term gain strategy to prioritizing the immediate needs of customers and employees. Bezos is “focused on COVID-19 and on how Amazon can best play its role” – a question all of us business leaders are asking about our own entities.
2. Teachers all across the world were asked to do the impossible – change an entire semester’s worth of hands-on learning into an online classroom. And do it in a week or less. There was not an extensive remote-training course for teachers, who themselves have differing tech expertise. Nor was there a training course for the families who also have differing tech expertise with differing access to devices. Teachers’ responded to the challenge by keeping a steadfast eye on their goals – educate and engage children.
Similarly, students with all different learning types and personalities are now asked to patiently learn from an online portal. Parents with no teaching experience are now responsible for homeschooling their children. Educators and families have fallen into place and are stepping up the challenge. Of course, there are ups and downs, but nonetheless, this collective effort that happened overnight is resilience at its finest.
3. Healthcare professionals are heroic beyond measure. As pressure continues to mount, and as their own supplies get more limited, healthcare professionals continue to keep calm and carry on with their fight against COVID-19. They make quick adjustments along the way; some healthcare professionals rented a second home or apartment in order to self-quarantine after work, away from their families. Other sacrifices are made behind closed doors, on their commute to work, and more – but we don’t hear any complaints about it. The resolute dedication of healthcare professionals is a reminder that we will adapt to today’s demands.
4. The workers who continue to help our systems run – from delivery, cashiers, security and doormen, public transportation, maintenance and sanitation workers to the farmers, caregivers, first responders, and the military – they do so with incredible grace. The strain that COVID-19 has placed on everyday life helps us recognize that teamwork and leadership skills are all around us. We can all take inspiration from the determination and teamwork underscored in these essential jobs.
5. The need for more protective gear for health professionals and supply chain workers has been heard across all industries. NYC based designer Christian Siriano leads the charge for ateliers to sew masks, alcohol companies are manufacturing hand sanitizer, mattress companies are manufacturing hospital beds and gowns, and the list goes on. Today’s needs are ever-changing and quickly changing. Companies are taking action by listening to their communities and pivoting their own resources to address the coronavirus crisis. It is essential to stay connected so that we can continue to understand what our roles are in today’s climate.
Our coworking space has its own ecosystem of thought-leaders responding to today’s needs as well. Some of our members work in industries that are directly impacted by COVID-19: theater and entertainment, restaurants, education. On the other end of the spectrum, some of our members work in industries that are scrambling to meet an overnight increase in demand: cloud-based platforms, data and metrics aggregators, AI. We commend everyone for their incredible resilience and ability to rise to the demands of their today.
Agility, resilience, and commodore are the key ways we’ll get through this. We’re navigating this pandemic together. The Workville team is here to support you, let us know how we can help.