Coronavirus (Covid-19) - When to Close your Office and How to Work Remotely

Mar 13, 2020


The world health organization has declared Covid-19 (a.k.a. coronavirus) a pandemic. Our job as Faithful Leaders is to redirect panic toward peace, selfishness to sacrifice and fear to love.

Here are three practical steps you can take to lead your organization and love your neighbor.

  1. TODAY - If possible, decide to close your office and enable your teams to work remotely.
  2. IN THE NEXT WEEK - Establish guidelines for how and when gathering is necessary. 
  3. IN THE NEXT MONTH - Find innovative ways to give of your resources.

Here's a breakdown of each of these areas:

1. TODAY - Decide to close your office and enable your teams to work remotely.

Closing your office now is the best way to flatten the curve (#FlattenTheCurve) of the pandemic so that our health facilities are not overrun and everyone can get the medical care they need.  If you’re hesitating because nobody is showing symptoms, realize the virus is often spread before there are symptoms.

Here are some tips for running effective meetings online:

  1. Get meeting software. If you only communicate within your company, you can use tools from Google or Microsoft. If you need to communicate with people outside your organization, use a platform agnostic tool like Zoom. It works for small to large meetings whether you are using Google, Microsoft or Apple.
  2. Establish a clear purpose – what is the outcome that you want to achieve from the meeting? Make it clear to all employees what the outcome is so that they can be fully prepared and fully engaged in working toward that outcome together.
  3. Have clear ground rules for how to engage. Close all email, turn off phones, remove distractions from your environment and pay attention to the meeting. Don't allow multitasking. 
  4. Have a clear agenda.  Let them know what it is ahead of time.
  5. Have clear measures of success. Whether you are generating profit, caring for people, or moving toward your company purpose, you need a clear way to measure your results. Clear measures allow you to identify where your team is stumbling and help them work on what is most essential, every day.

2. IN THE NEXT WEEK - Establish guidelines for how and when in-person gathering is necessary.

As an organization leader, set clear policy and protocol. This is key to caring for all of your stakeholders as part of your stewardship strategy.

  1. If anyone has any symptoms they need to avoid in-person meetings.
  2. Wash all surfaces, door knobs, handles etc. before and after the meeting. 
  3. Wash hands before and after the meeting. 
  4. Keep it to fewer than 10 people. 
  5. Maintain physical distance of 6 feet - This is the critical distance for the coronavirus. This includes sitting 6 feet away.
  6. It's very difficult to enforce these guidelines on the fly, so you need to go over this before the meeting, not at your meeting. Be prepared. (See this example for how church leaders are handling this in China.)

3. IN THE NEXT MONTH - Find innovative ways to give of your resources.

Don't allow this crisis to overwhelm you. Continue to work on your business to make the biggest lasting impact. Consistent discipline will multiply your effectiveness rather than reacting to the whirlwind.

  1. Find ways to flex. If your employees or customers experience a lack of income, consider flexibility in payments, or reimbursements and how you can accommodate and be flexible in this crisis. 
  2. Find ways to be generous. Brainstorm innovative ways to give from your company to your customers, staff, and vendors. For example, many software companies are offering free or upgraded video conferencing services as a result of this crisis. Use your repeatable and scalable products and services to serve the community if possible, don’t try to come up with novel ways to help.
  3. Find ways to sacrifice. What are some ways you can creatively love your neighbor during this crisis? Pitch in to alleviate suffering in the community. What is it that you can give up? What can you sacrifice? Is it your time? How can you help those who are most affected by this crisis?

Remember, Faithful Leaders respond to crisis with peace rather than panic, sacrifice rather than selfishness and love rather than fear. 

Finally, proclaim a message of hope. Remember what is known. Hope in Jesus Christ because he died that we might have life forever with him. So, even if we should die in this life, we have hope for eternity. Spread this message of hope because it is a lasting hope. Spread this message of hope by suffering for doing good (1 Peter 3:17).

Be faithful, leader.

See current information from the CDC on Covid-19.

Who is Thomas Dodds

I help CEOs and executive directors zero in on their purpose, maximize their output (without burning out), and generate higher profit and deeper impact. 
Thomas’s clients have some of the happiest employees in the world - who have vastly increased their profits and joy in their work. Get a free Case Study.


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