(This was an email sent by Stuart Henry, our President of Business Development, to our clients and colleagues.)
Greetings from Happy Cog! We sincerely hope that you and your loved ones all remain safe and well.
It’s hard to believe that we’ve just entered the seventh week that we have been operating with our New York City office closed. The experience has been as smooth as would be expected and time has gone by quite quickly, although we certainly have experienced some bumps along the way.
Despite some of the hardship, we do feel very fortunate as we are hearing about far too many layoffs amongst our clients and community. It is a terrible burden on both employee and employer and we sympathize with both.
Luckily, at Happy Cog we are enjoying a unified sense of pride and happiness that we’ve been able to adapt and persevere, thus successfully avoiding mass layoffs. That was our commitment from day one and we are still here, over six weeks later, as a happy and earnest team doing all we can to serve our valued clients through this crisis.
During this trying time, the world has seen a lot and learned a lot. From a world view, some notable learnings certainly should include:
- We should all practice good hygiene, including frequent hand washing, for the best interest of ourselves and others around us.
- The world’s environment is a beautiful thing. As our modified lifestyles have produced less pollutants, most people have experienced an environment cleaner than they’ve ever seen during their lifetime. It has proven how quickly things can improve and the benefits gained by reducing pollutants. Hopefully the world has noticed and doesn’t forget.
- All members of the world’s workforce are equally important. The CEO of the largest company is no more important than a grocery worker, those delivering food or supplies, and many other examples we could cite – and certainly no more important than those in the science and medical fields doing all they can to protect us all.
- And, as a very general and idealist statement, we should all do a better job of supporting each other during all times – not only during a crisis.
From a more industry-specific vantage point, we’ve learned:
- The growth rate of ecommerce usage has just exploded. Prior to the past couple of months, a surprisingly large portion of the population had not yet embraced ecommerce for certain types of products and services, if at all. However, during these past months, they have been forced to use it and may never turn back. So, whether a business is a clearly perfect fit for ecomm, or maybe not such a clear fit, it’s time to start thinking about it.
- The use of video conferencing is a must going forward and has also proven to be a very effective approach. Zoom is now a household name, but it is clear that people will be looking for more – even if it means “more secure”. Either way, most companies will be exploring options amongst different tools and including ways to customize the experience.
- For years prior, many companies have considered building a robust Intranet for the purpose of file sharing, communicating, organizing resources, etc… What a luxury that would have been during this time! We suspect 2020-2021 will be a record period for Intranet builds.
- It’s time to consider whether the traditional “9 to 5” day is optimal for team production or even mental/emotional well being. We’ve all been forced to alter when and how we work. It is worth evaluating experiences and any possible data available. You never know!
- Specific to our clients in the higher education field, we’ve been forecasting what the future looks like for enrollment and online vs. on-campus offerings. Whether it is planning for the fall 2020 semester, or years beyond, this experience has inspired us to be even more forward thinking for higher ed and other verticals.
- Specific to our fast casual restaurant clients, we’ve been so proud of our collaboration with them to not only adapt their business model to accommodate the quick and drastic changes, but also serve a pretty darn important public service – feeding all of us!
We see many ways that these learnings, among many others, will allow us to apply deeper and more strategic efforts for our clients.
In New York City, there are signs that we have passed the peak of the “curve” and are now in the descent toward the new normal, whatever that might be. Only time will tell. For now, it feels good to be cautiously optimistic for a change. Therefore, our fingers are crossed that we are indeed turning the corner and we hope that you are experiencing the same wherever that might be.
Despite this optimism, at Happy Cog, we are resolved to be extra diligent as we return to “normalcy”. This is for the safety of our team as well as the greater population. Whether it is under orders from our local government, or not, we are going to take our time and ensure that everyone is safe and comfortable. Better days are on the horizon and, as much as we can’t wait, we will wait.
We remain here for you and wish each and every one of you the very best!