Now more than ever it’s important to reach out to your networks to offer support and advice, which has been the main premise behind our latest initiative, #AdaptDontStop as we aim to bring people together to share ideas and new, innovative practices.
Dennis Cheremissin CEO at Aviasoft Inc has been one of the few members still using our physical space during this time as he aims to continue business as normal throughout the crisis. “Undoubtedly, the main problem is the isolation of people. So, before the pandemic, the key concept in my company was that we all work together, in the same office. All employees always talked to each other and discussed the issues and challenges. It was allowed to work from home, but work from the office was encouraged in every possible way.” he shares.
“The COVID-19 has wholly destroyed this mechanism, we’ve had to learn to interact with each other remotely. It's not easy because electronic communication methods don't convey the emotional components that come from personal communication. However, for a while, I think we were able to find the tools. First of all, they are video conferences, calls, task trackers.”
Cam Sinclair, founder of Ammo Marketing has been facing similar challenges with his team. “Probably the hardest thing has been maintaining Ammo’s team culture and work pace when we’re not all in the office together. It might sound like a ‘nice to have’ but as a creative and fast-moving team, maintaining a high standard of work and keeping our team working closely together whilst being physically apart has been challenging.”
He continues, “It takes a bit of hard work and focus on communicating clearly and communicating often. We’re lucky in that we already had work-from-home Wednesdays every fortnight as a team, so the transition has been easier than it could have been. By creating some structure with team video check-ins every morning and afternoon and weekly 1 on 1s, we still have routine and regular contact with each other which helps a lot.”
For Charlie Gunningham, he’s been working from home for over two years, so has been fortunate to already have a routine in place. “I am 100% positive I am more productive now than ever. About the only thing I miss with the WFH is I can no longer walk down to a local cafe to have a meeting, or get out and about and see companies in their own offices, or go to startup events. With the lockdown, it's a bit samey.”
“What saddens me about the current situation is the dramatic effect it's had on so many businesses and people's lifestyles/earnings. Through no fault of their own, some businesses have had to stop. Dead. So unfair, so stressful for them. Some people have lost livelihoods, their business, their reason for getting up in the morning. It's important to pick up the phone and call people during these times. Pay it forward, and keep that sense of community.”
Charlie mentions that he’s seen lots of interest for the Accelerating Commercialisation grant with companies looking for funding, for their innovative projects, etc. “Innovation is alive and well in WA!” He shares. You can see more of Charlie’s updates on dealing with a crisis here.
From our discussions, the biggest challenge isn’t the level of productivity or the new environment in which we’re now adapting to, it’s the communication between our teams. However, this is not to say it’s the communication in terms of projects and workload, it’s the everyday chit chat, it’s the emotional components that get lost in electronic translation. So, where do we go from here?
Here at Spacecubed, our main focus has been the community and how we can continue the little things we all enjoy about being a part of a coworking space. It’s the informal lunch time catch ups, and the little wins over a beer at happy hour. It’s the human connection that we’re all longing for. And while it’s not the same over a video call, for now, it’s exactly what we need to do to get through this time, together.
If you’re looking to be involved in supporting Adapt Don’t Stop, here’s how you can get involved:
Join our upcoming business strategy workshop supported by Plus Eight, Skills of the Modern Age and The Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources through Incubator Support initiative funding as part of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme.