Jane Imrie

Companies That Care Day 2020: How firms are caring during the COVID-19 outbreak

Today (March 18) marks Companies That Care Day, and in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a more critical time for companies to care about their staff, clients and communities.

With the mounting uncertainty around the ongoing outbreak, Bdaily looked at what companies across our key regions of North East, Yorkshire and London are doing to support individuals and groups internally and externally.

Social, Yorkshire

The Yorkshire office of communications agency Social is using its ‘Life Happens’ ethos to support each other and the firm’s clients: “We’ve acted quickly. We’ve already refocused our way of working; our full Yorkshire team immediately transitioned to home working.

“We’ve assured clients we’re there for support and it’s still “business as usual” for us – and have proved it with quality communication and output since.”

“Internally, we’ve rolled-out daily team video catch-ups to support staff’s mental health and wellbeing. We’ve encouraged taking a walk; picking up the phone; making a cup of tea – anything to help create a “new norm”.

“We’re even more active across unit and group communications, using Facebook Workplace to check in with each other and initiating a weekly quiz in true “One Team” spirit.”

“Life really does just happen – for all of us. We understand pressures that clients may be facing, but we’re ready and equipped to embrace challenges and continue to show we care in a time of need.”

Halo Business Consulting, North East

North East consultancy firm Halo Business Consulting have put together a guide for businesses, as well as offering a free communications, marketing and customer experience consultation session for business owners in the region.

Ashleigh Donald, marketing communications consultant and co-founder of Halo Business Consulting, explained: “We are currently in uncharted territory and in these challenging times, authentic and transparent communication with stakeholders is paramount.

“We’ve developed a simple 5 Step Crisis Communications Plan for businesses which is available on our website as we want to help businesses in the region in any way we can.”

Michael Donald, customer experience consultant and co-founder of Halo Business Consulting, added: “We are taking it a step further and offering a free consultation session to support business in the North East with anything from crisis communications strategy, marketing and customer-focused initiatives to help navigate this unprecedented situation.”

Dwell Estate and Lettings Agency, Yorkshire

Dwell Estate and Lettings Agency, an independent estate agency in Leeds, has come up with a practical way to support potential renters and homebuyers in the midst of the crisis: “One of the biggest problems that our customers are facing is trying to view houses when they really would rather be self isolating.

“In order to combat this, we are creating ‘video tours’ of houses where we take a video of the house and narrate over it.

“We cater these videos to specific customers by having them fill out a questionnaire to find out what specific questions they have about the property and then answer these in the video, both by showing them the features of the property and by addressing the questions ourselves in the videos.”

Synthace, London

Biotech company Synthace is making its technology available on a free basis: “With immediate effect, our software is free for teams working to overcome the pandemic.

“We are offering our Antha software ‘pro-bono’ to any teams working on COVID-19 therapeutics discovery, diagnostics or production optimisation.

“The software enables flexible programming and control of lab automation and our users have deployed it to accelerate the optimization of biologics production (through Design of Experiments), to optimize and automate assays (including qPCR) and to rapidly assemble DNA constructs.

In addition, the firm is supporting the wider community by making donations where they are needed most: “Whilst many of us are worrying about the effects on our businesses, there are many families and vulnerable people across the UK and USA who will be concerned about more basic necessities.

“As ‘panic buyers’ strip shelves, temporary staff are laid-off and food banks project shortages, it’s those with the least resources who stand to be hit the hardest by this crisis.

“As such, we will be donating our weekly office ‘snacks’ spend (a perk at many software companies) to food bank charities in both the UK and USA in order to help them during this period.”

Access free online guidance for North East businesses in the Growth Hub North East's COVID-19 toolkit →

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