Coping with Quarantine: How we’ve re-prioritised our day to day at GraphCMS.

Ronak Ganatra
Ronak Ganatra
Alex Naydenov
Alex Naydenov

April 2, 2020

Coping with Quarantine: How we’ve re-prioritised our day to day at GraphCMS.

After the initial uncertainty, teams across the world are starting to adapt (some, with, style) to the new normal of working from home during times of social distancing. As a remote-friendly company, we at GraphCMS have had it easier than some to adapt to these changes, however, like most others, it definitely hasn't been “Business as Usual”. In fact, business as usual is far away, and the old “usual” is months away, if not even longer.

Whilst we certainly aren’t in a position to recommend the ideal transition from daily work life into a remote home office culture, we’ve made certain adjustments to the way we handle our day-to-day that might offer some insights into adapting. The circumstances have allowed us to refocus our priorities, take some time to get to tasks that we’d constantly put off, and maintain our daily habits of keeping the team connected and together.

Most of us can not do more than staying at home to help keep ourselves and others healthy. We can, however, help our workflows by shifting our focus to often neglected mid- and long-term priorities.

Here are 9 activities and KPIs that we have managed to refocus to/around when working from home, and the impact they’ve had.

1. Focusing on delivering.

We recently shipped the preview for the next generation of GraphCMS. Not being reliant on on-premises or offline infrastructure has us in the fortunate position of being able to deliver updates and upgrades on the regular. The time spent at home has allowed us to maintain this workflow, and we’re constantly ensuring that we consistently work on product updates and releases to push out releases that our customers expect from us, now more than ever.

2. Increase and strengthen partnerships.

Ecosystem players in any industry have higher revenues and happier customers. We’ve taken this time to increase the frequency of keeping in touch with our partners, both within the ecosystem and outside. Much like ourselves, several of our partners have been affected by ongoing events, and increasing our touch-points allows us to collaborate better on getting through these times together.

3. Making time for tweaks, adjustments, and audits.

Things like SEO audits, website read-throughs, pipeline cleanups, and documentation updates are what we all love to push away to the future as much as possible. The past few weeks have given us an opportunity to go through all the little tasks we’ve been pushing back because there’s fewer excuses to avoid them with now. Been avoiding fixing meta-tags or adding all those alt-attributes to your images to get back that Lighthouse score? What better time to get at it than now?

4. Rebranding.

If your brand needs any refreshing, now is the time to initiate the process. Invest the creative energy of your team and envision a better future and how your refreshed brand will be a part of it. We recently underwent our own rebranding, part of which was in parallel with working from home, and we’re glad to have had the opportunity to get around to it.

5. Upskilling and education.

Taking a free online course, holding a company workshop or organizing one-on-one coaching sessions will improve your team’s productivity in the mid- and long-run and give everyone confidence. There’s an exceptionally broad plethora of resources available, so whether you want to train your team on new practices, learn how to code, or take that online course on The New Nordic Diet (not a joke), now’s the time.

6. Drive customer engagement.

Your customers are at home – worried, bored, or stressed. Interacting with them now is critical, even if its just to catch up and not have a sales KPI driven conversation. Having someone external to keep in touch with will not only make them happier, but also increase their attachment to you and your brand. Wondering how to make that outreach look a little closer to normality than it is? Need a nudge to bring a sense of normal to your outreach by promoting a space for wearing your work nicer clothes rather than joining Zoom on your pyjamas? Formal Fridays has you covered.

7. Constant touchpoints and updates.

Whether you’re a B2C or a B2B brand, now is not the time to drop off the radar. Regardless of being impacted, customers and users are looking to brands they rely on to portray resilience and trust, ensuring them that the products and services they interact with are there for them. This is the time to focus more on ensuring social media, customer success, and support teams are available for users to address their concerns with.

8. Get some sun.

Be responsible and ensure you comply with local regulations and recommendations when doing so! With the sun coming out and most of the northern hemisphere entering spring, the temptation to stay outdoors and forgo quarantine are strong. We’ve been taking short breaks from working to go walk our pets, grab groceries, or run around the block when we can - always ensuring that we maintain social distancing, don’t venture far from home, and don’t meet up with others or go where there’s more people.

9. Having a laugh.

With everyone home and spread across multiple time zones, it's not always easy to be online at the same time. At GraphCMS we make sure to have a time zone friendly time for our daily standup, and have more syncs than usual to always be talking with one another so no one gets siloed out. Sometimes they’re serious talks, sometimes they’re just catching up over a beer or mate, but it's always about making sure that we’ve got everyone keeping in touch.

Here’s us from GraphCMS signing off, hoping you all stay safe, and looking forward to when everything normalizes.

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