Is it hard to run a business from home during COVID-19 time?

(VOVWORLD) - Many of us have been struggling working from home because of COVID-19, and some businesses have even had to close. But there are exceptions. Our guest on this weeks Thats Life is Ms Pham Nhat Nga, founder and CEO of Creatio. She will share her lessons and experiences running a business from home during COVID time.

Welcome to our show, Ms Nhat Nga! What should we know about your company?

Creatio is a 10-year-old national agency specializing in communications consultancy services. We provide clients with event, media, social media and communications product creation services. Our clients range from domestic to international, from the private sector to non-governmental organizations and international development agencies. I founded Creatio from Day 1 and I’m proud that many staff members still remain at Creatio throughout the decade.

As your business is non-essential, it means you had to work from home during social distancing. What were the difficulties and challenges running a company during this time?

Similar to any other companies in Vietnam, we faced emergent challenges brought about by the pandemic. They included travel restriction which made it impossible for our staff to commute to the office and to deliver products to the clients’ offices; the cancellation or postponement in specific services such as offline events and outdoor advertising and promotion; the inability to realize human resource training and development activities since many training centers also shut down their offline classes. And so on….

Is it hard to run a business from home during COVID-19 time? - ảnh 1Pham Nhat Nga's working space at home. (Photo courtesy of Pham Nhat Nga) 

How do you manage to survive this crisis?

It is said that where there is a will, there is a way, we believe that there is an answer for every problem and obstacle. To obey the social distancing directive, we switch from physical office show-up to remote working from home, with a procedure of online reports and daily meetups via video conferencing.

While offline events are unable to be realized, we assisted our clients to move the scheduled event on to digital platforms, such as Zoom webinar or Facebook livestreaming as alternatives.

Whereas our staff cannot go out to extra classes to gain knowledge and tips to apply to their work, we organize a weekly in-house workshop every Tuesday and name it Tips Tuesday. The workshop series is delivered via video conference and with which every staff member can join from wherever they are.

And there are many more resolutions that have been introduced since the first corona virus wave in Vietnam up to now, and so far, all our staff members have gotten used to them.

Is it hard to run a business from home during COVID-19 time? - ảnh 2Pham Nhat Nga, founder and CEO of Creatio works from home. (Photo courtesy of Pham Nhat Nga) 

How do you boost the team spirit among your staff when they dont actually interact with each other daily?

Team morale can also be improved during this period, given that we are now under a difficult circumstance, therefore all staff are strongly bond together, all look forward one vision and work hard to reach a common goal, such kind of team spirit hardly can be achieved during normal condition. Even though working from home can be boring sometimes with no face-to-face meetups, if every employee takes advantage of this time to use time wisely and to add fitness, cooking and self-treatment activities in the time table, the whole staff will in fact become healthier and achieve a better work-life balance. Overall, working from home, as well as running the business from home, have been a meaningful experience for me so far.

 What lessons have you learned from working and running your business from home?

With difficulties arising by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a rare chance to review ourselves as an organization, to identify weakness and limitation, and to fix them. After more than a year, we have gone through different stages: Planning - Experiment - Checking - Adjustment - Action and we are confident that at the moment, we have successfully managed to apply remote working system throughout the company. We have developed the technical capability and apply well the technology all over the company. We learned that, though we are out of sight, but we are not out of mind. With technology, we can close the gap among people from different geographical locations and maintain connection.

Thank you very much for being with us on todays show, Ms. Nhat Nga!