Wingly, like many other companies worldwide recently, has had to change the way its employees are working.
Due to containment measures, our office in Paris closed and employees went back to their homes and families. It’s been almost 4 weeks already since containment began in France and we’ve started creating new routines, finally getting settled in this strange new working environment.
As you all know, Wingly works in the travel and tourism market which is arguably the most affected by the crisis. Containment forced people and potential customers to cancel their holidays and all activities not deemed necessary: including touristic flights. Our activity was impacted by the covid-19 crisis in more ways than just working from home, we have been forced to see everything from a bigger scale and start working differently than usual.
First of all, we couldn’t operate as normal. Most of our activity was put on hold from one day to the next. As soon as we heard of the containment strategy that France, UK and Germany had chosen, we had to keep the pilots and passengers aware of the situation.
But as soon as the rules to handle the crisis situation were passed, we asked ourselves: “Well, that’s done. What’s next?”. The high season for Wingly was coming. There are usually more Wingly flights during spring and summer than any other time of year, so what should we do in the meantime?
Take time to work on business strategy and prepare the launch of new products
There were plenty of strategic tasks that we’d been hoping to do for a long time now but which we didn’t get a chance to focus on because of the time operations needed. So, like people cleaning their houses, we started digging into our business and brainstorming about new strategies, challenges and opportunities. We chose to take this opportunity and work on preparing the high season, making sure that Wingly’s summer in terms of business would be the best we’ve ever had.
All of the teams were involved in building our strategy:
Marketing have started working on new triggers and new SEO strategies; development team have been digging into the website, to see if anything needs changes, and working on some exciting new tools and products; country teams started working on the onboarding processes and customer support articles to make sure everything is perfect; business development are working hard on finding new external platforms to sell our activities to; and finally, communication and design started ramping up the creativity to ensure that all of our community won’t get bored without flying!
More than just working on the strategy, Wingly was approached by Aviation Sans Frontières in order to create a platform calling up the aviation world to help fight covid-19. This platform is meant to connect medical staff with the aviation world and transfer them to the most affected regions in France and Europe where they can help the sick. In only 5 days, weekend included, our development team set up a website that is now live. You can find it at asfcovid.wingly.io.
But working from home and especially for such a big project, is not the same as working at the office, so how did we manage that?
Working from home, what to expect?
First and foremost, we knew that communication was the key to success. We kept doing all of the weekly meetings that we did when at the office and we even increased the communication, adding daily meetings within the teams to make sure that no one would get demotivated and that everyone would know what to do during the day. We also used our communication tools more than usual : Slack, Google Hangouts Meeting and Asana became our dear friends. Video calls are so nice, it helps to socialize and seeing your colleagues’ faces is priceless when you spend all day in isolation!
In order to keep the team motivated, it was important for us to structure our days. Starting with a personal routine : waking up early in the morning, doing sport, dressing up, and most importantly setting up a nice working desk in our houses and apartments. We needed to feel the working atmosphere even though we were at home. Pen, notebook, computer, water and a little plant is enough to feel comfortable!
Regarding the work day, the key is organisation. First, start the day with a to-do list: what’s important today, what has to be done, prioritize all our tasks. Asana is a great tool for that. You can have a clear view on your tasks. Then set up a day plan and schedule, try not to spend too much time on a single task otherwise you might get bored, try to do as many different things as possible (if your job allows it of course!).
And the most important thing: take breaks from time to time! Working at home might be confusing, the border between your private life and work fades away. Take breaks, leave your desk and go to another part of your apartment, have some fresh air at your window, do some stretching exercises and then go back to your desk and work: there’s nothing better in order to gain motivation and efficiency!
Have a look at the Wingly crew’s advice on how to keep entertained, manage working from home, and survive social distancing and confinement: