16 March 2020
Paul Morriss

The global threat

The world is currently facing the unprecedented threat of COVID-19. It’s affecting people at many different levels — from day-to-day activities to the larger effects on communities, states, countries and the world. And it’s affecting everyone at some level. For many of us, this is the first time in our lifetimes that we’ve faced such a large-scale negative global event.

As countries around the world do their best to contain the virus, we have to think locally as well as globally. Everyone can play a part...everyone should play a part. We’re starting off at the local level, thinking about the changes we can introduce now to flatten the curve.

Salsa’s COVID-19 policy

Salsa is monitoring the COVID-19 diligently and planning activities to ensure the safety of our staff and our clients, as much as we can. Today we took the step of encouraging our staff to work from home minimising uncontrolled public contact. While we recognise this is a stronger stance than recommended by relevant authorities, we made this recommendation with the knowledge that our staff, work practices and our tooling are geared to remote working. Many of our staff currently work remotely for significant portions of their time and we see this as an extension of these arrangements. In this way, we’re very lucky that our industry and our workplace is set up to accommodate remote workers.

Until further notice we're encouraging all client meetings to be conducted remotely using video conferencing tools such as Zoom. We're confident this will have minimal/no impact to service.

We’ll also continue to monitor the situation and plan forward. Our objective in taking these measures is to stay ahead of the risk that COVID-19 presents to our team, our clients, and the wider community, especially those who are most at risk. It also represents Salsa’s effort to flatten the curve. We see this as an essential step for Salsa and the broader community.

We’re committed to acting locally in an effort to help produce positive outcomes globally.

How Salsa works as a distributed team

Luckily, the core of Salsa’s Business Continuity Plan (BCP) caters for remote working. We are, and have been, set up for distributed/remote work as required.

Below are some of the tools we have in place to make a distributed team work. We mention these to help any other organisations making the transition to distributed working, or planning to do so.

  • Communicate with the team early and often : We’ve been communicating both informally and formally on COVID-19 and what it might mean for Salsa and our work practices.

  • Setup workspaces at home : Make sure employees have a workspace set up, including good headphones, monitors, internet, etc. While the bulk of Salsa employees have worked from home on occasions, extended periods working from home, with the possibility of other household members also working from home, requires extra planning and considerations. We’re helping to ensure all our employees can effectively work from home.

  • Remote meetings : We use Zoom for meetings and sometimes Google Hangouts. These links are always shared with clients, and for the foreseeable future all meetings are remote rather than in-person.

  • Set up your phones: With all team members working from home, who will answer your phones? Make sure phone diversions are in place. Test the process.

  • Share work that’s being completed: We have regular project standups with our distributed team anyway, but these become even more important. You can also use other tools like sending updates to the team everyday so everyone knows what people are doing.

  • Key people and business continuity: Salsa has a Business Continuity Plan in place. This addresses what to do if key people become sick and the systems and processes that are handed over.

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