Several weeks have gone by since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in France, a new situation that our company was able to face with patience and commitment.
The progressive opening up plan has been in place at VirtualExpo since May 12 with the goal of reducing the risk of contamination. The employees who wished to return to the office were very happy to do so, in conditions that respect the protection of their health and safety.
There was no partial unemployment at VirtualExpo
The staff representative bodies, in close collaboration with the administrative service and human resources, have set up a protocol based on universal health standards such as:
- the disinfection of our offices in Marseilles
- the reduction of our on-site staff (70 instead of 200)
- respect for social distancing rules
- wearing masks in meeting rooms, etc.
Unlike most companies, our group has continued its teleworking activity with employees motivated to reach new objectives. Our employees working from home have adapted to this situation with great flexibility and we have continued to recruit and integrate new talent, despite the quarantine!
For an exceptional situation, exceptional teleworking
Teleworking was already practiced within the company, as Yann D. testifies: "You could say that I was completely prepared, both in terms of a desk separated from the rest of the family and in terms of equipment (desk, computer, comfortable chair, etc.)
One of the main fears of our employees was the possible slowing down of projects due to the teams not being physically at the office. "Getting to grips with quarantine wasn't easy," says Lionel D. "But we have to admit that working from home full time has enabled us to suceed, productivity is still here."
VirtualExpo exployees have capitalized on their strengths in spite of the distance. Autonomy and productivity were the order of the day, as Ophelia B. explains: "It is an experience that teaches us to be more autonomous, in terms of our work environment, but also more productive, because we are in a space without noise and without outside intervention."
VirtualExpo employees shared their daily life as parents with their colleagues, but also with their clients! "My clients love to see my children in our video conferences!" says Anja N. "I feel closer to my clients, it’s easier to discuss things," adds Andrea C.
Adapting to all circumstances
Some employees were confronted with the difficulty of working in the presence of their children. "It's hard to make phone calls or set up meetings with a bottle in one hand and another child next to you who wants to play soccer," says John O.
Another difficulty is the separation between personal and professional life, which sometimes becomes compromised. "With videoconferences that follow one after another for managers, even more so than when you're at the office, the days are busy, you have to find the right balance to work in peace," says Fabienne M.
"We enjoy our family more thanks to the time saved from the commute, but it's not always easy to manage to shut down your computer at the end of the day," adds Nathalie L.
In the face of adversity, our employees have instituted new daily or weekly rituals to stay on course and support each other, as Gerald W. explains: "It warms my heart to share a coffee via videoconference with my team on Friday mornings."
This exceptional teleworking experience has made VirtualExpo employees aware of how effective our management and project management styles are, allowing us to continue to be efficient and develop our marketplace business model, whose official launch is scheduled for July.
One thing is certain, VirtualExpo employees are eager to get back to everyday work at the office, with its social interactions, which are a source of creativity and innovation.