What we’re doing to flatten the curve

In light of everything going on with regards to Covid-19, LSD created an Covid-19 action plan last week, and we thought it would be good to share to the rest of the family.

For those not too familiar with our business unit, we fall under #OpenDigital and work on amazing open source solutions. We work out of the Waterfall office in Midrand, and have multiple resources deployed on customer sites. This is how we are approaching Covid-19 with our action plan. Feel free to copy, modify or use this plan for your own unit.

The starting point was to figure out the trigger conditions for the plan to kick into effect. The number of cases in the Western Cape and Gauteng-area was the most logical indicator to use as a trigger and using a model, which you can find here, it became apparent that the magical number was 16. This condition was hit over the weekend, which according to the model meant that LSD would work from home from this week.

LSD is going to work on the following plan:

LEVEL 1: Work from home for 5 business days (the whole business week), re-evaluate at the end of the week whether to go back to working in the office. The evaluation will take into account the information being fed to the public by the Health Ministry, and the NICD. Should we work remotely for two consecutive LEVEL 1 weeks, we escalate to LEVEL 2.

LEVEL 2 is a two-week work from home stretch, which keeps our resources working remotely for an entire month by the end of the process (L1+L1+L2), keeping us out of the office and away from possible infection at the office. This is a contingency step that assumes the situation does not improve during the initial two week period.

The following measures are also in effect:

  • Remote work on customer projects instead of going on-site;
  • Virtual meetings, including sales meetings;
  • Daily morning stand-ups between our people (divided into teams, according to function). We use this to lay out what we want to achieve that day.
  • Daily afternoon feedback in a Rocket.Chat thread. No need for a second call, but a quick update at the end of the day on what you achieved since the morning stand-up.

Overriding everything in this plan is when someone feels sick and might need to get treatment. In that case, self-isolation for 14 days and medical treatment is recommended (standard treatment procedures recommended by the Health Ministry on Covid-19).

Loadshedding also factors into the ability to work remotely. Some of our people do have back-up systems in place, but for those who don’t, we recommend working from the office. Coffee shops and other venues are out of the question considering the circumstances, and (I can’t believe I’m saying this) thankfully loadshedding schedules vary, reducing the chances that everyone would need to be in the office at the same time.

Additionally, we’re also supporting our people with additional paid family responsibility leave if a family member is infected during this period.

With regards to tools, LSD is equipped with the following for remote working:

  • Primary communications platform: Rocket.Chat.  It has a community-like feel to it, and LSD has been using it for a few years as our chat platform. The same can be achieved with Microsoft Teams, which many in the family already use.
  • Meetings and general voice chat: Zoom. LSD has two lobbies set up which any of our people can jump in/jump out from to have a quick conversation and stay in touch. For 1-on-1 meetings, a meeting room on Zoom can just be spun up as needed.
  • Collaboration and file sharing: GSuite. (The rest of the family use the corporate Sharepoint with OneDrive and Office for the same effect). This is self explanatory.
  • There is also constant chatter on Rocket about online community-based tools for having fun. Group drawing tools, online gaming sessions, etc. We aren’t known for ‘Funnalism’ for nothing.

That is how we’re trying to flatten the curve and protect our people from the virus. We are privileged to be able to do this, many others are not in the same situation. Consider looking at remote options for your own business unit, and let us know what you came up with! This is also a gap for innovation, and the more heads we have thinking about this process, the better!