Working through a pandemic

We’re all doing the best we can right now.

At LRS, doing the best we can during the coronavirus pandemic means most of us are working from home, keeping in contact with each other with text messages, emails, Microsoft Teams chats and video conferences, and other technologies.

Not that we’re strangers to technology – phone screens and Skype interviews have always been steps in our interview process, but in the past they’ve led up to an in-person interview before an offer was made to a candidate. Now, of course, we’re conducting the entire process, including final interviews, without meeting candidates in person.

We’re also working on best practices for onboarding consultants in a remote working environment. We have a client in the broadband industry that is still hiring for its essential communications work; new workers report to the office on their first day to get a laptop computer and are then sent home to do their new job.

Remote work can cause a problem for these workers, because they no longer have the luxury of just asking the guy in the next cube if they have a question about doing the job.

Our philosophy is to stay connected while working apart, and companies like ours are conducting meetings by using Teams or Zoom. We’re all enjoying “zoombombs” when pets and young children wander into their parent’s work area during a conference call. For most of us, it’s a nice diversion from daily bad news.

And the news can be very bad. We’re hearing that many of our client companies have implemented a hiring freeze for the time being. Some of them are still conducting interviews while making sure candidates understand that nobody gets hired until stay-at-home directives are lifted. We’re also hearing that the practice of furloughing employees is increasing.

Companies in the retail industry are reeling as so many “nonessential” stores have been ordered closed in most states. The ones with online operations are finding that customers are holding onto money (since so many are unemployed) and that shipping merchandise other than food and drugs is a nightmare.

So we keep doing the best we can. Part of that effort for us is to simply be here to do what we can to help. Feel free to reach out to your Account Executive or Recruiter even if you just want to share your latest story. We’ll share your stories, and especially your tips for dealing with coronavirus restrictions, with others. If all you really want is a sympathetic ear, we’ll provide that too.

If there was ever a time when the cliché “we’re all in this together” applied, it’s now. Let’s stick together even while we’re working far apart.