A letter from Peak Support CEO Jonathan Steiman about COVID-19
Below is an edited version of the update Peak Support CEO Jonathan Steiman sent to our clients this week:
It goes without saying that COVID-19 has escalated significantly in just one week’s time. Here at Peak Support, we are taking the following steps:
We have always been 100% remote. Therefore, we don’t have any disruption due to office closure and so far have been operating with business as usual.
The following technology tools and systems enable us to work successfully in a remote environment:
- All team members have Internet access, some with backup connections
- All team members have computers at home that meet our minimum specs
- We use tools to reduce background noise for phone support
- Security software is installed on team members’ computers at home
- Monitoring tools and systems to ensure productivity and compliance
In addition, we already know how to do the following in a fully remote environment:
- Recruit, interview, and hire
- Onboard new hires
- Conduct background checks (currently on hold by the Philippine government)
- Train new hires and conduct up-skill trainings for existing team members
- Manage teams that do phone, email, chat, and/or social media support
- …and much more
Monitoring our COVID-19 risk
Because our team is 100% remote, we are at a lower risk and our team is less susceptible to getting ill than others, as they did not work in a group setting even before the shutdown.
In addition, our team members are located all over the Philippines and the U.S., so we are insulated if one particular area becomes a hot spot, and we can easily supplement our team by hiring in other regions if necessary.
Our US team is in Massachusetts, Maine, Virginia, and Nevada, none of which are hotspots as of now. The Philippines has taken stricter measures than the U.S., with all travel outside the home restricted in the capitol region. In the Philippines, local barangay governments oversee neighborhoods and are playing a role in ensuring enforcement of these restrictions.
To get a handle on our risk, we have begun to map reported cases against our team’s locations. Below is an update as of 3/24/2020. You can see the geo-diversity of our team (green dots) against cases of COVID-19 (red dots).
We have also set up a communication channel so we can collect the status of our team. Thankfully, none of our team members in the Philippines have tested positive or have even been asked/required testing. We do, however, have 5 people who are under monitoring. None of our US team has been affected yet.
Luzon, the capital region, is on “Enhanced Community Quarantine”, meaning all travel is restricted and people can only leave their homes to procure necessities. In response to this, Peak Support is doing everything possible to get cash into the hands of its team members quickly so they can make critical purchases. More specifically, we:
- Issued a one-time payment to all active team members to help procure supplies
- Converted and released earned PTO into a one-time payment
Most importantly, we updated our Paid Sick leave. If a Peak Supporter gets COVID-19, they get additional paid sick time. We made this decision quickly in order to (1) relieve anxiety around the team and (2) give people the space and time to heal if ever they need it.
Opportunity in the unknown
At the end of the day, we as a society are going to make it. Millions may get sick and unfortunately a small % of those people will suffer the ultimate price. But we will prevail. And when we pull through to the other side, this moment will resonate for a long-time. The way people shop will change; millions of people are learning to love e-commerce. The way people work will change; remote has gone from nice-to-have to business-critical. The way people entertain themselves will change. All of this change provides a huge opportunity. And everyone reading this has one thing in common: They take advantage of opportunities.
We got this. Contact me for anything.
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