With many businesses postponing non essential face to face meetings (and rightly so), with the Prime Minister and his cabinet advising against all non essential travel and social gatherings (pubs, restaurants and theatres), its almost as important in my view, that we try to minimise the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business, as much as possible.
On the day that my sons secondary school has decided to implement home schooling from tomorrow, I was initially surprised to receive an email this evening from ASOS CEO Nick Beighton, advising,
"our fulfilment team is making effort to ensure deliveries aren't affected, so you can keep on shopping without having to worry about not receiving your order. We'll also keep on inspiring and entertaining you with our content"
Especially given the hundreds of workers, that are working in close proximity of one and other, at the their Barnsley distribution centre.
However, as 'home working' is not an option for warehousing & fulfilment staff, other than 'shut down', the likes of ASOS (as well as PrettyLittleThing, MISSGUIDED and all the eComm giants) have little choice but to take it day by day, hour by hour, on the advise of Public Health England.
Upon reflection of the position of ASOS, I believe where possible, business should look to try and implement the same mentality, considering staff & customers well-being first and full-most.
Home working is a great example of 'getting on with it' and for those that have had the pleasure (or displeasure) of working with me, will know just how distracting it can be, to work amongst others in the office.
We should take this enforced position to rethink the way we work, to embrace remote working, especially given some of the new technologies out there, that help support it.
When I think of the thousands of miles my teams used to travel, to attend team meetings, or the hundreds of miles I might travel, to go and meet a customer, we have a genuine opportunity to rethink how we do things.
Dare I say it, think of the environmental impact we can influence also, in our new way of working?!
Rather than use 'things are on hold due to the Corona Virus' as an excuse not to do business, how about use this time as the ideal time to review suppliers, to review company spend. Especially given the financial strain that this epidemic will bring.
Swap the face to face, with Skype, Teams or video conference meetings. Save time, money and the environment in unnecessary travel to and from meetings and lets get business done.
That's the great British spirit mixed with a bit of modern day working.