“Bad companies are destroyed by crisis. Good companies survive them. Great companies are improved by them.”
This quote came from John Doerr’s Measure What Matters, a book that several of us at Bellomy are reading. It could not have come at a better time, just days into our “new normal” — most of Bellomy’s 100+ staff is now working from home. Though Bellomy has several remote offices spanning from New York City to Los Angeles, most of our work is done out of a few buildings in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Or was…
As schools and businesses closed and we all became familiar with the term “social distancing,” we found ourselves navigating the virtual world of Zoom meetings and the art of remembering to take ourselves off of mute to speak, but going back on before a kid announces he needs a snack or a dog barks at the neighbor’s cat. Even before we began setting up make-shift desks in living rooms, our IT department was working diligently behind the scenes to help us be as productive as possible from our new “offices.” This early planning paid off and just a week after it became obvious that extreme measures were needed (for me, this realization is marked by the NBA suspending its season... the NBA!) we were load-testing our VPN and given permission to take home those small things we all take for granted until we’re working off of a dining room table: second monitors, docking stations, and desk chairs.
Though there has been a good bit of turmoil and uncertainty, and unquestionably more to come, I know that many of us at Bellomy have felt supported and buoyed by each other.
Our CEO provided external and internal guidance on how we should be adapting and adjusting, ensuring our safety but also that our clients’ needs continue to be met without interruption. We’ve shared information on response rates and ideas for research to help our clients help their consumers. We’ve had team meetings sitting on floors to show off our pets. Even without being in the office to see the posted reminders, we had our best turnout yet purchasing t-shirts to support the Ronald McDonald House.
I feel very fortunate to be part of the Bellomy team during this time. I know this isn’t everyone’s reality, particularly our friends and family in healthcare, service, grocery stores, and all the industries that keep our daily lives as “normal” as possible. We’re doing what we can to stay home for those who cannot and to continue supporting our local economies in the safest ways possible.
Despite everything, or perhaps because of everything, we’re setting each other up for success and for the success of our clients. I can’t wait to see all the ways that Bellomy improves throughout this crisis. I especially can’t wait to see my coworkers face-to-face again, all healthy — though it will take some time to get used to being within six feet of each other.