As of today, there have been 9,776,392 confirmed cases and 493,604 deaths worldwide as a result of the infectious disease COVID-19, caused by the most recently discovered novel coronavirus.
Some countries have been quick to adapt. New Zealand reported zero confirmed cases every day for almost a month and many other countries have implemented strict lockdown laws, social distancing guidelines and border closures in an attempt to flatten the curve (rate of growth).
Other countries have been less proactive or fortunate. The United States just reached 40,000 confirmed cases per day totalling 2,467,510 cases. Countries such as Belarus, Mexico and Brazil ignored the early warning signs and are now on the rise.
While this news is troubling and the global numbers show no signs of slowing (they're actually accelerating), I'm overjoyed to see the resilience of the startup community during this time. I count us lucky to work with an industry that already hold safety, health and remote work in such high regard.
Still, the general economic downturn has given us a little breathing room and time to think - evaluate how we work with clients and contractors.
In summary, in the last few months we have made sweeping changes to the way we run projects. Here are a few key changed we have implemented to do our part. Even better, they are changes that save you money, save us time and keep us all healthy. We'll be keeping some of these changes even after the pandemic has settled.
Meetings → Zoom
Our first and most obvious change is switching from in-person meetings to Zoom calls. While we absolutely love catching up for a coffee with you and informally talking through the details of your project over a double espresso, your health and our ability to serve you are paramount.
Workshops → Forms
We're also putting a stop to our in-person workshops. Previously when it was time to kickoff a project, dive into brand strategy or figure out your new website's requirements, we would run workshops where we bring in some of your team and some of our team to hash out the details. This is a harder habit to break as there's no substitute for that real energy that comes from everyone coming together for a discovery session.
However, we can achieve the same end result online. Rather than working with you to figure out the specifics, we'll be switching to online forms like Typeform to assist us in gathering this content in a conversational way.
Gift Baskets and Swag → Slack Love
We sometimes send out gift baskets and swag to our clients and contractors to say thanks for their hard work. New studies suggest that the coronavirus may remain on surfaces for days, so we've decided to press pause on these and start spreading the love in Slack. Hopefully once the pandemic has settled, we can start bringing this back.
Every cloud has a silver lining. Jellypepper is a remote and distributed creative agency, so working from home means you rely on a stack of tools on a daily basis. Given how much these tools impact our productivity, we are starting to invest in our own tooling and plan to make them available to other agencies and freelancers once they're ready.
In the meantime, stay safe and wash your hands.