It’s no news anymore, the novel coronavirus is here to stay for long. Families, localities, nations and the entire global community at large has come together in this battle for survival. While experts are working for a once and all cure to it and at the same time expect it to be a part of our lives for longer than expected, the situation has become alarming for business continuity and sustainability.
In the face of this adversity, we are learning to live with the menace. We, myHQ workspaces have fueled up the engines with the resources at hand and the ones needed to ensure business continuity and re-proclaimed productivity in these tough times:
Tough times don’t last, tough people do – Robert Schuller
Coming to the plan of action adopted at myHQ, the first thing we wanted to ensure was employee safety against the COVID-19 spread. We are a nuclear team of dedicated individuals, numbered at 70+ myHQers and to manage a seamless operational flow came with a unique set of challenges and concerns.
But nothing’s a problem if you don’t brave up to it and after you overcome the challenges. So from procuring medical assistance for our team to acclimatize into the new normal for a work-scenario and from doing our bit in breaking the chain of contamination to hedging the risks involved in business continuity, we learned how to live and prosper along with this global tragedy.
When the team needed motivation, we garnered support. When the community needed support, we came up with strength and when the world around needed guidance we went our lengths.
But the path has been tough, and it continues to be so. We’re still uncertain about the extent of things to unfold in the future, but one thing we’re certain about is that together we can overcome the hurdles and roadblocks ahead.
And so today, let’s walk through a set of changes we instituted in our work regime, the challenges and the solutions we came about. And how we as a team, have been able to hold grounds and have emerged stronger to better by using our very own product offerings.
Managed Office Space
The first half of 2020 has really been interesting for us. Since the business was growing and hiring was on full throttle, we needed a bigger office space. Instead of moving to another coworking space (like we did the last time), we decided to move to a managed office space in Nehru Place. This allowed us to work in the same productive coworking environment without the hassle of managing the space.
And then the pandemic hit. In hindsight, we think the decision worked in our favour as having a managed office space gives you better control thus ensuring a safer environment. We’d be in a similar safe environment, had we been at a coworking space but psychologically, managed offices are better.
A managed office space was exclusive to our operational needs and offered extended protection from COVID-19 spread. We were dealing with our employees whom we could trace and manage with advisories and health restrictions. All of which ensured a seamless operational flow and productivity.
Things that worked wonders for us:
- Dedicated, secluded area for our team
- More customised amenities, but fully managed
- Lesser interference and more team-specific autonomy.
- Independence to make our business-centric social distancing policies.
- More space per section for employees, a better sense of safety
Distributed Workspaces Across The City
The second major challenge that we faced in the past few months with travel restrictions and consecutive lockdowns held in the country was that our employees felt a degree of discomfort living in distance parts of NCR. People who shared the vicinity in a different state were often refused to travel within or across the state boundaries. Then came the safety concerns while travelling to such distances and from a relatively lesser contaminated zone to maybe a densely one.
The best solution to this problem was taking hyperlocal office space for 10-15 members at prime locations in various parts of the city. With our network of 200+ spaces in NCR, executing this was a cakewalk.
And the solution more likely improved the productivity on some factors than before. Working across all the major areas of NCR, including Gurgaon & Noida, we have distributed workforce at state – divisional and where possible, locality divisional offices.
Moreover, as a business, we intentionally went for relatively smaller coworking spaces (100-150 seater), because the chances of contamination are higher in a large coworking space.
How did this help us?
- Hedging risk of possible Covid-19 contamination in the entire team
- Ensuring business continuity, in case one of our employees tested positive
- Travel time lessened by hundreds of hours – better work-life balance and satisfaction level of our employees
- Business got a positive push in terms of physical efficiency
- Choice of smaller coworking spaces ensured a better and complexly tuned for social distancing environment.
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Even when you put in some infrastructure to the thought, it doesn’t ensure better productivity. With all of us forced to work remotely, we observed that some of our employees got bored from the same ambience and monotony at home, which gravely impacted their productivity.
In the new normal, working remotely will become a norm but we feel that these inefficiencies would still exist. And for these employees, maintaining work-life balance and coping up with the productivity needed becomes a task. But luckily, our corporate flexi product came as a big relief.
With this product, the employees now have access to all the 200+ spaces in Delhi NCR, thus allowing them to work from a nearby space whenever they feel low on productivity. And the plan being flexible & visit-based, costs us INR 200 per visit per employee only.
With employees working from home on most of the days, it helped break the chain of monotony and weather productivity for days. Working from a nearby office on pay per use model worked efficiently manageable and highly productive for the team.
How did this help?
- A management plan and structure: you can track invoices, add & remove employees and keep a track of their log-in hours
- Flexible & pay per visit model makes it very convenient: a fixed seat is no longer needed which reduces our rental costs and at the same time, employees are productive while working remotely
- You can book a workspace literally in the last hour, there are allocated seats for Corporate Flexi plans.
- You get access to smaller workspaces nearby to your place and which works better for employees with efficient social distancing and reduced travel time.
With a steady operational flow, work was almost back on track with a couple of more things that needed to be addressed. Sales being a very number driven role, we felt it is important for sales managers to meet other on-ground teams once in a week. At times, physical meetings are unavoidable too.
Our on-demand meeting room product helps us do exactly the same. Whenever a myHQ team member is in need of a meeting space, they book it in real-time near their location. It also ensured that we have a specific, sanitized and safe place to gather up and make for the operational requisites.
It also helped in:
- Offering efficient management of time for the team
- A nurturing environment for the teams to share progress and other communication.
- Adds to the business proficiency of any team.
Expansion is a jugular element of growth in any business. We had it pictured and ready for execution when the outbreak hit us. While growing at a natural pace and better, myHQ wanted to expand operations in other metropolitans like Mumbai and Bangalore.
While expanding to a new city, registering a new business or opening a new branch office, there are a lot of legal and financial requisites that one should adhere to. To be fully compliant, we needed a commercial office address that can be used in all the documents.
Instead of taking a physical office, we went ahead with our virtual office in Bangalore & Mumbai. Our virtual office product gives access to a prime business address (used for company incorporation & GST registration) in more than 15 cities in India.
- Mail handling, receptionist services, courier transfer and facilitation.
- Cost efficiency: it costs a fraction of a physical office setup.
With the ongoing pandemic, we all fear whether we will ever be able to come out of it or not. But it is important to ensure business continuity while ensuring the safety & well-being of all stakeholders. Remote working is definitely the future of work, but a shift from a physical office regime to permanent remote working cannot happen in one day.
Our various products helped us maintain a good mix of remote working and physical office experience. We know it is difficult to work from home or remotely on a permanent basis, but here’s a middle ground to get the best of both worlds.
And this is just a small example of how we, at myHQ, used our own product offerings to ensure business continuity and adapt to the new normal. We expect more businesses, SMEs and enterprises to follow the suit.
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