How Candlefox Has Triumphed Over Covid-19 Lockdowns
One of the immediate consequences of the Corona crisis in the world of work has been the mass shift towards working from home.
And with 60% of the UK adult population now working remotely, there were bound to be some challenges.
Since lockdown was declared on March 23, the Candlefox UK team has been on a one-of-a-kind-journey.
Moving all our work, communication and collaboration online while maintaining team cohesion and continuing to practise the values that make us ‘Foxes’ was no mean feat.
And we’re here to brag about how we made it work.
The trickiest aspect of moving to remote working, for any business, is communication. While in the office, we often take for granted the ease with which we can communicate anything, from ground-breaking news to a review of our lunches.
In-person communication is undeniably easier, more spontaneous and seamless, which can be hard to replicate in a remote environment. This, according to Personnel Today, is one of the main challenges of remote work, which makes informal communication and, what some call, ‘water-cooler moments’, obsolete.
However, no true Fox would let that stop them. And it hasn’t. While we couldn’t replicate these moments or review our lunches in quite the same way, the Candlefox UK team has stood up to the challenge, leveraging the technology at our disposal to facilitate the flow of thoughts and ideas through the team, with the support we’ve always had at the ready.
Whether it be through Zoom, Slack or an old-fashioned phone call, we’ve successfully navigated the changes to our working arrangements while maintaining the same level of commitment to the work that binds us. We’ve had many successes and celebrated them together in lockdown, and we’ve never let these new realities get in the way of the pride we take in our work.
An important part of what makes Candlefox the trailblazer that it is, is the collaborative spirit of our team. Accustomed to facing every issue and challenge as a team, the nature of remote work could have easily disrupted the strength of our collaboration.
Instead, working from home has become yet another thing for our team to face head-on and work through together. Taking advantage of innovative solutions and the technology at our disposal, we have forged ahead in our joint goal to deliver the best quality products and services to our clients; aware of how important our service was to many of Britain’s newly-furloughed or unemployed people.
Maintaining the same level of collaboration and teamwork as before is testament to the strength and cohesion of our team and our joint ability to adapt to challenges. However, credit must also be given to the technology that has streamlined our cooperation.
Whether it’s Airtable helping us keep track of our to-do lists; Jira enabling management of our many projects; Mural (see below) giving everyone the chance to contribute their ideas on any given initiative, or ProdPad providing us with a platform to suggest improvements and have their say in how we do things; we’ve embraced various technologies in weathering the changes to our way of working and continued to deliver great results to our clients.
When the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic started becoming clear and working from home was swiftly implemented across the whole business, all of us had to rethink how our clients would be affected.
Questions arose around whether the crisis would affect student demand, how our clients would handle their portfolio of in-class courses at a time when we were all told to stay home, and whether we could deliver the same volume and quality of leads as before.
Our concerns didn’t last long. While our partners have been quick to mobilise in adapting to working from home and ensuring the pre-pandemic quality of customer service was maintained, we made sure to keep up our side of the bargain and go the extra mile. From the outset, we decided to increase the frequency of contact with our clients to ensure they felt listened to and for us to have all the information we needed to run their accounts successfully.
We also tweaked and re-focused marketing campaigns to emphasise our partners’ online courses and deliver the same, if not better, quality of leads as before. Three months into the pandemic, we’re confident that we’ve done right by our clients and we’re proud of what we’ve overcome and achieved together since March.
In the meantime, we’ve continued to win over clients and reach business milestones, attesting to the strength, resilience and the go-getter mentality of our team.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance while working from home can be tricky. It’s sometimes hard to know where work ends and personal life begins, particularly without a designated office space at home. However, at Candlefox, we’re lucky to enjoy a leadership team that has always subscribed to a more holistic and empathetic approach to people management.
From a swift couriering of ergonomic office furniture, a morale-boosting chat, or a longer break from the laptop, our management has made it clear that many options were within our reach.
Similarly, in our team meetings, we’ve also always made a point of not just discussing business. Instead, space has always been given to informal chats about anything, from lockdown weekend plans to the shows we’ve been watching. Birthdays also haven’t gone unacknowledged, and though we couldn’t crack open a bottle of champagne together, we saw to it that our birthday boys and girls knew we’d remembered!
While the pandemic has brought with it a set of changes and challenges affecting everything from our working arrangements to the way we communicate and collaborate, the Candlefox UK team faced up to the challenge the way we face up to everything else – as a team and with a smile on our faces.
With three months’ worth of experience navigating novelty and change under our belt and our equally resilient partners, we’re confident we can overcome anything else our future has in store for us.