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Work from Home: The PR WIRE story

Many people struggled with bringing about solutions to the unforeseen global lockdowns owing to the Coronavirus pandemic. All businesses were looking for solutions to survive the phase before getting back on to profit mindsets. The secret ingredients which helped in making the perfect “success-pie” for the PR Wire Group of companies consisted of the basics, leadership, critical thinking, group effort and all that jazz. However, what set PR Wire apart from the rest and helped us bounce back harder, better, faster and stronger was much more than the basics.

PR Wire offers Public Relations consultation and services to meet business strategies that range from strategic public relations, intelligence, stakeholder relation, internal and external communication, reputation management, crisis communication and public affairs on rapidly changing platforms of communication. 

Prior to the Coronavirus, the office hours, work scheduling and events that we would conduct and attend were quite normal. The shift in all of the above was unparalleled. Office hours went from 8 to 0 and Work from Home hours did not really have a specific time at first, work scheduling went from “do what you do” to “do what you can do”, and events, well, there were none. So how exactly did we come through this?  Staying ahead of the curve helped us get ahead of the system. Our Work from Home operations were initiated prior to the Island wide lockdown, keeping PR Wire one step ahead each day in helping us understand our role and what needs to be done to overcome the situation.

While the first week or so was new and overwhelming, a system was in place shortly after. We set up a system to track and monitor work activities and kept elevating ongoing communication between individuals. The messaging and list-making apps such as Trello were used to discuss work related activities and organize them accordingly to keep each other up to date on where we are at and what needs to be done.

Since the “Work from Home” routine was becoming the new-normal, we decided to provide our staff with the best possible equipment necessary to work from home in an effective and a convenient manner. The resources we possessed were all movable and therefore helped us run operations smoother. We ensured that our team had all what they needed to do their jobs and meet customer requirements in an effective manner where we did not have to say ‘no’ to any of our valued customers who too were struggling during the lockdown.  

Our staff consist of individuals with many unique capabilities in addition to their specialized job roles, which helped the consultancy vastly in using their additional skills for many different tasks. Our valued customers were constantly kept in touch to perfectly manage multiple projects from the comfort of our homes and systemized work from home methods. Constant communications check ensured a smooth project management scheme throughout the lockdown period. This was all possible by developing a remote work space for each employee. Individuals were given their own workstations to set up and use at the comfort of their homes along with network facilities to keep a smooth operational flow.

Company meetings were conducted over the phone through the use of different social media apps to keep communication and progress reports continuous and running. Meeting times and schedules were announced well in advance to help everyone be prepared amidst the family and home responsibilities. 

In addition to a hassle-free working system, wages of employees remained intact with cost effective and cost cutting methodologies adopted within the PR Wire Intel systems. While many businesses started laying off people and implemented salary cuts, PR Wire management continued with online performance evaluations and appraisals to grant promotions to the best performers along with salary increments and all employees were protected against salary cuts or layoffs. 

The PR Wire intelligence unit managed to continue its research and development activities, analytic operations to further enhance and develop our systems and methods to establish a stable ground for the duration of the lockdown. Through this shift we managed to also incorporate new innovations to our systems which assisted the team in smoother operations and processes and establishing common ground with our clients. New business segments were identified and allowed the firm to grab other opportunities in the industry aiding us in greater advancement throughout the pandemic.

As a responsible corporate citizen, constant blogging and write-ups were published to provide information to the general public with tips and tricks on protecting oneself and overcoming the pandemic. Thought leadership blogging by each employee who by gathered and provided information, helped boost systemic changes in and around businesses as well. PR Wire Intel exponentially provided assistance in this regard in conducting surveys, gathering information regarding the necessities of the general public, through which ‘PR Wire Impact’ generated awareness and came up with solutions for Small and Medium Scale businesses. Here’s an interesting video by Pulse on PR Wire’s impact on inexperienced businesses to overcome struggles in the new digital age.

The WFH process not only restructured personal lives and working conditions, it also restructured work operations. New ways of working even more closely with our clients were also established. Clients were engaged with more up close and personal switching from our usual professional schemes. This made it easier for us to come out of the lockdown situation and maintain even greater relations with our clientele. Team leads found better skills in micro managing various projects while blending in as a unit, making the team grow stronger together while developing skills individually.

We ensured our investments went into the right track. Our most important assets were used and well preserved while investing in webinars, workshop programs, soft skill learning programs, and outbound activities. This aided us in understanding the needs and wants of the team while paving way for the necessities of the future.

PR Wire also ensured that our employees were in good health and safe to work from home, by conducting safety checks and constantly sharing safety guidelines via e-mails. The management was constantly in touch with the dynamic team with regards to work and also regarding their well-being to assure their physical and mental health was taken care of. As it was commonly acknowledged, the pandemic caused depression among many people and as an organization we did our level best to assure our team that they are not isolated in any way. 

As part of our “people first” belief, we understood that the virus had no segregation and was affecting every individual and thus, “letting people go” was a last resort in any strategic plan we created and we managed to overcome this together as one, with the involvement, dedication and sacrifices of all team members. Today we are in the 2nd stage of a Work from Home model. Although the country is not locked down, considering the safety of our team and their loved ones, amidst the rising number of positive cases of the virus, we decided to launch WFH 2.0.  With the previous experience and learnings, today we are better prepped, organized and agile! 

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