It turns out a lot more went right…
The past few months have been interesting, to say the least. We mobilized the entirety of our workforce in early March and we are seeing common themes emerge across our business units, staff, and audiences that we are happy to share.
As we near the end of our calendar year Q2, we are seeing a speedier return to ‘normal’ than expected and more optimism from our GMs. But we are being pragmatic and staying focused on customers and costs for the time being.
Internally: connection, people, and performance
Between chat, video meetings, and existing communications channels, the leap from digital to virtual proved to be fairly seamless and we have found that it is easier than ever to connect with each other. With every employee remote, the playing field has been leveled for remote employees who may have felt disconnected in the past. This has helped lead to a more unified organization and facilitated strong levels of productivity and performance—even in areas where we assumed performance was dependent on an in-office work environment (inside sales for example).
We implemented weekly forecast updates that helped us identify modeling issues that we weren’t capturing properly, including optimizing monthly sales and churn forecasts and accounting processes around accruals both in vendor costs and staff management with vacations and time off.
One key advantage of being a part of Constellation Software is the direct access we have to business leaders and insights across industries that allows us to both guide and learn from one another. In addition to leveraging best practices, operations, and expertise across the businesses within our operating group, Perseus portfolio and General Managers have been sharing bi-weekly business updates focused on business continuity, customer support, accounts receivable and our workforce—insights that proved to be instrumental as our businesses began navigating uncharted COVID territory.
Industry & Growth: double down on relationships.
We have connected directly with 208 technology companies since March, strengthening connections and sharing best practices around culture, operational challenges in working from home, and capital strategies focused on cost management and accounts receivable that support both short and long-term plans.
Having closed one acquisition a few weeks ahead of SIP orders, followed by another a few weeks after, we quickly learned that agility and the strength of the relationships built over the years made for an easier transition to remote success. We are almost three months into our ‘new normal,’ and remote confidence is high.
What isn’t working
Remote: distractions and imbalance.
Perhaps a double-edged sword, working from home appears to be taking a toll on some. The lack of face-to-face interaction with colleagues, coupled with distractions an at-home work environment can present, some employees are struggling to adapt to working remotely. Increased communication has helped to ease the burden, but the transition has been challenging for a few.
Working from home presents a lack separation between work and life. We are seeing longer hours being put in with little time off. We are encouraging our people to find downtime, rest, and balance through both dedicated paid time off and establishing well-defined working hours.
The jury is still out on
Return to office
Employee safety and confidence are important considerations as we assess when, and if, we return to our offices. We find ourselves asking if keeping all of our office locations is necessary or if there are opportunities to reduce overhead while allowing some teams and businesses to continue to work remotely.
Since March, we have terminated a few short-term leases and many teams are expecting to work from home after the pandemic. We have downsized one location and are expanding another for future growth. Each business is assessing its individual needs; identifying if and how space is needed to support staff post-pandemic as physical distancing recommendations continue to evolve.
Return to travel
We have suspended all business travel until it further notice. In the future, as reasonable, essential travel may resume for our executive and leadership teams, but only if precautions are taken to protect themselves and their families.
In March, we implemented a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine period for all employees who had traveled internationally and, should we return to office, will continue to take similar precautions for anyone who has traveled to at-risk regions.
We are always interested in connecting, sharing insights and keeping in touch. If you’d like to discuss any of the above or learn more about Constellation Software, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Hope you are all staying well and we look forward to connecting soon.