Instead of writing about work we’ve done or technology I’m interested in I thought I’d write about Covid-19 & our business. I thought it would be a good time to do this as I’ll be able to look at this post 6-12 months from now & assess how naive I am being.
First off the state of play in New Zealand, today. As of the 18th of March 2020 there are 20 known cases of Covid-19 in my country. But the emphasis should be on known as the number has been climbing every day. While no cases have been identified in my home town the chances are it’s already here.
The focus is on “flattening the curve” - that is slowing the rate of infection so our healthcare system isn’t overwhelmed by people who need assistance. This very good post by Tomas Pueyo suggests there is a tenfold increase in the fatality rate between unprepared & prepared countries.
Most of the advice is around practicing good hygiene & social distancing/ self-isolation.
The latter represents a real challenge to most businesses.
UpShift is lucky - almost all of our work can be done remotely & over half of our business is done overseas. It would be relatively easy for us to not come into the office tomorrow & all work from home.
But while it’s technically possible for us to work in separate houses that is going to impact our ability to work as a team. One of the things I really enjoy about UpShift is our teamwork & camaraderie. To be able to work on something shoulder to shoulder is something we all value.
The other big issue with working from home is the question of how long. With the current situation to properly self-isolate we’d be talking about months of working from home. Working from home for a few weeks is feasible, several months is a whole different ball game.
In a previous job I worked from home for a couple of years so I know this is possible - I also know that it’s not much fun. I don’t just turn up to the UpShift office to work - I turn up to make cool things with talented folk. Even if I’m spending the day cutting code with my headphones on it’s mentally healthy to have people around.
So the current plan is to take as much care as we can & keep coming into the office. We’re assessing things daily (sometimes it feels like hourly). At the first hint of illness people will stay home & we will support that as much as possible.
It’s going to be an interesting year & I do wonder what I’ll think of this post 6-12 months from now.
In the meantime, stay safe & look after yourselves.
Banner Photo by Fusion Medical Animation