VIVA Work Remote Day Simulates a COVID-19 Quarantine

Yesterday, VIVA Creative proactively hosted a pilot ‘work remote’ day for all employees to simulate a quarantine situation. Why preemptively test our ability to be fully operational with a 100% remote workforce? For the same reason we test our creative ideas – to learn, improve, and position our people and projects for success.

We began the day with an all-team meeting of 75+ people on Zoom.

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Seeing coworkers, up close and personal, was a great way to start the day. We shared open discussion about recent COVID-19 cases in our regions, reviewed #CDC advice to help #stopthespread, and shared updates on cancelled events.

Throughout the day we tested new Skype groups, a broadcast text tool, and a group collaboration wiki on our intranet. Our employees held all internal and external meetings using Zoom, and shared a steady stream of positive feedback throughout the day.

So, what did we learn?

  • First, the process of simulating a quarantine was emotionally and mentally beneficial as it helped us all to accept the possibility that this could happen at any time. No one wants to assume the worst, but as cases and exposure increase in the Washington, DC and San Francisco Bay areas, team VIVA will be 100% prepared.
  • Second, because our employees took the simulation seriously, we pressure-tested our technology preparedness. People reported that Zoom, Skype, and texting were highly effective collaboration tools, although screen share on Skype was less reliable. People benefited from VIVA’s pre-existing policy of diligent file storage on Box, so remote access to work files was never an issue. A few people struggled to access server files via VPN, and it’s reassuring to know that this issue was addressed in a non-emergency situation.
    We all came together again on Zoom at 4:30 pm to reflect on the test day. Here’s where the magic happened. With the stress and anxiety of the unknown alleviated, our team began to show their creative selves.

Coworkers faces on Zoom were enhanced with rainbow unicorn heads, clever backgrounds, and creative avatars. The Zoom chat was alive with wry comedy, like someone in motion graphics offering to sell avatars for $10 bucks each. I am pretty sure a new form of VIVA crypto currency was born.

While we shared ‘lessons learned’ in open and transparent conversation, we also shared a collective sigh of relief. Most impressively, we gained several new ideas from all levels of the company about how we can help our clients, and each other, navigate these challenging times.

In a 100% remote working situation, our team at VIVA Creative is confident to deliver our signature FA3 (strategy, creativity, and service) without disruption. We are fully prepared to continue our business of producing extraordinary live and online events, and producing creative content, video, and motion graphics for our clients.

As meetings cancel due to #COVID-19, VIVA offers proven online event options that are effective, engaging, and easy to deploy – many of these platforms VIVA helped to pioneer over 10 years ago. From fully immersive virtual events to streaming and webcasting, VIVA has both the creative and technical skills to produce online events on any platform, and the experience to help clients quickly adapt to changing conditions by moving cancelled events online.

As co-founder of VIVA Creative, started in 2001, we have faced global meeting and travel industry slowdowns before. We started our business right before 9/11, and also weathered the 2008 recession. In both situations, we successfully helped clients communicate with audiences in times of restricted travel through online events and engaging content.

VIVA has delivered online events at scale for Martha Stewart Weddings’ Luxury Expo, Marriott Hotel Group, and many worldwide companies. We have streamed content and online events for MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines and several international public-sector organizations.

VIVA has created numerous online communication portals with live and on-demand content for B2B and B2C companies. In addition, we are experts in creating immersive virtual experiences for travel, real estate and hospitality clients.Just last week, VIVA produced the AIPAC Policy Conference in DC, with over 18,000 live attendees, and streamed to thousands more globally. We combined multiple livestreams between Israel and the US within the general session — including remote Q&A with live audiences.

Be reassured, there are many options to effectively engage audiences in times of restricted travel, and VIVA Creative is here to help.