How surreal the last 2 months have been! I’m sure I’m not the first to say it, but I don’t think anyone realised the extent to which COVID-19 would transform the way we all interact so significantly when the first wave in the Far East hit the news.

In that same sense of solidarity, I wanted to share some of the major lessons we’ve learnt and the ways we’ve adapted, just in case a small piece of advice can help you with your COVID-19 troubles.

From the outset, we already had a strong, people-first strategy in place which made it easier for us to implement our business continuity plans and get our staff working from home as soon as possible. Many businesses may overlook just how influential their team can be on the success of the business and while finances and the future may be wrapped in uncertainty, properly investing in your people can be transformational.

We’ve made sure our colleagues all have the equipment at home to stay productive and safe – decent furniture and hardware being a priority, as well as launched several projects to keep staff engaged and entertained. We’ve encouraged video chats to stay connected, along with regular virtual team huddles. Our usual ‘Friday Fun at 5’ – when we could all relax at our very own Fibar – has evolved into a virtual bar, so our team can still blow off steam and socialise. The entire team has been incredibly proactive too, launching ‘wellbeing groups’ on Teams and WhatsApp, where staff can share resources like guides to managing isolation, as well as articles, quizzes and brainteasers.

As a provider of critical infrastructure services, we have remained operational throughout the lockdown. Thankfully, most of our systems have been cloud-based by design from the start and we’ve set up remote desktop applications for those that weren’t, so our entire network can be managed remotely. Our Partners know how to reach us and we’re keeping in constant communication through weekly business updates, ensuring they have the financial support and resources that we’ve managed to make available and help them through this period of economic insecurity. 

We’re not being complacent though.

COVID-19 has meant a significant increase in work for our team but there’s always room for improvement. Busy times present the perfect opportunity for leaders to take a step back and assess the performance of processes and staff. Not to pick holes in employees’ work, but to identify bottlenecks and where more resources are required and ultimately identify better strategies and workflows that will help Vaioni Wholesale better prepare for the bounce back and return stronger than ever before.

Many businesses have understandably been worried about budgets and are trying to save money wherever they can. Yet certain areas like marketing, product and service development, and your employee value proposition are worth continuing investment as they drive new sales, show support for your local community and push your teams to work to the best of their abilities.

We’re still looking to future with the same eyes as before – the same goals, same timeframe and same plan – but with extra considerations for the current climate. While the effect of COVID-19 on the marketplace is an obstacle for all businesses currently, it’s certainly not insurmountable. Our Senior Leadership Team are prepared to consider how Vaioni Wholesale can further adapt to the situation, and our decisions will be considered through the COVID-19 lens. Though ultimately, we will continue to strive for a better service and experience for you, our customers, as well as our team.