We are ALL adapting, coping and rising to the challenges of our current chaotic work environment. After nine (NINE!!) months of this, we at TOBIN continue to innovate, adapt and solve new problems. We received enthusiastic feedback from our last round of helpful ideas for working in 2020, so we thought we’d continue by sharing three new ideas that we have implemented.
Zoom is our way of interacting now, both within our team and with our clients and prospects. This may sound obvious, but we’ve found that Zooming is much more effective if we can actually see and hear each other easily. 🙂
For about $300 per computer, we’ve installed high quality webcams on top of our computer monitors and we use microphones on headsets (or in earbuds) to improve our sessions. We made these upgrades because not using a headset and microphone often results in a feedback loop where the speaker can hear the echo of their own voice. Our updated webcams have brightness and focus controls and our headsets reduce distractions for our family members and filter out background noises. These small additions to our equipment have really enhanced our Zoom sessions.
Result: Smoother, more comfortable Zoom sessions with reduced distraction and repetition and more of a feeling of “togetherness”.
COVID has encouraged me to ask a critical question: “If we’re all working from home why retain unused office space paying $$$ for rent that might be better used elsewhere?” On the face of it, this seems like a simple decision.
In reality, it was a difficult decision for us. A thorough, honest evaluation was our first step. Most of our clients and prospects are outside of Charlotte – regional, national and even international. Our local clients don’t really expect face-to-face meetings in our office and if the need arises, we usually meet in their offices. How might we better deploy the money spent on rent to the greater benefit of the business? And finally, does not having a bricks and mortar office make us less legit?
Result: Effective November 14th, we opted not to renew our real estate lease in Uptown Charlotte. When a vaccine is available and comprehensively used, we will revisit our real estate strategy. But for now, we’re happy with our decision. Ultimately, no one hires an investment banking firm because of their offices; they hire us for our performance and results.
With the onset of COVID-19, many of us cancelled business and personal travel. I personally cancelled numerous business trips as well as an overseas vacation and my youngest child’s college graduation celebration. But I have gotten back on planes in the past few months to change the monotony of working so much from one place. Working in a different location than my home/office has never been easier nor more accepted.
Result: I am traveling again, but in a different way. My travel adds dimension to my conversations with my clients and prospects. Safe travel isn’t always easy but selectively using different locales and surroundings, with powerful WiFi of course, has provided a different outlook on my work and new variety to my life. Secret: Vrbo helps!
If you’ve found new and innovative ways of adjusting to doing business during COVID-19, I’d like to hear them. Email me at Tobin@tobinandco.com. It only makes sense to share ideas because I believe that most of the changes that we have made are here to stay. We are working differently, winning business differently, serving our clients differently. The easiest way to be successful through this time of vast change is by working together.