In a recent LinkedIn post, JP Reis CEO, Greg Collins, reflected on how he had been through many testing times and written numerous business contingency plans, but had never seen anything like the COVID-19 crisis. JP Reis has been operationally resilient for years, with a distributed workforce connected by redundant Cloud infrastructure and collaboration tools. Although we were technically prepared for the crisis, the extreme changes in working practices place an inevitable strain on people. Financial Services is classed as a vital industry and our projects carry on. The JP Reis team are mostly working safely from our homes around the world, but people’s mental and physical well-being has become a priority.
As a company, we have already blogged about implications for disaster recovery, compliance and cybersecurity. Internally, we are coming to terms with the transition we all have to go to through, and the adjustments those of us in leadership positions have to make. The lack of business as usual, with its travel, meetings and social contact, will challenge people in different ways. So, while JP Reis has become a hive of ideation about the insight we need to provide and the solutions we need to bring to our clients as they work in new ways; there is also a resolution at leadership level to help support our colleagues against a background of isolation and anxiety.
It’s a learning curve. We’ve had our first social online get togethers and heard about the things people are doing to keep themselves and their families entertained and grounded. A consistent feature is that people were looking for ways to help fight the virus or take other tangibly positive actions.
Compliance with guidelines is strong within the group. People reported hosting online quizzes, planting trees to help the (already improving) environment, helping vulnerable neighbors, and supporting local businesses including down-payments for future work. Another initiative, sponsored by JP Reis, is an online learning platform, which matches teachers with students for online lessons while we’re all stuck at home. It’s still in beta but it’s a great concept that our staff shared across social media following the calls.
As Greg said, “We will get through this and maybe it will be a better world on the other side. In the meantime, we wish you, your friends and family the best of health.”