COVID-19: An agency update from our MD

By Ian McIntosh • 3 April 2020 • minutes reading time

Businesses across the UK have had to adapt quickly to the new ways of working in response to the pandemic crisis and I just wanted to share a COVID-19 update to detail how things have been impacted here Evolved Search and what we’re doing to stay productive, efficient, safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. 

We made the decision early to adopt a fully remote-working policy and are now in our third (almost fourth!) week of working from home and social distancing, for the health and safety of the team first and foremost, as well as ensuring that we were set up to be there for clients in a time of huge disruption and uncertainty.

Our Team 

It isn’t lost on us that we’re fortunate to work in an industry where working-from-home is easy and the team has adjusted very well to this new normal.

We’re thankful to report that there have been no cases of coronavirus within the team and thanks to the various digital tools we’ve had in place for some time, we’ve been able to keep in touch and have face time with one another. Big shout out to Slack and Zoom, in particular! 

Like many, we have made the decision to utilise the Government’s Job Retention Scheme and furlough a number of employees where their role has been directly impacted by the reduction in client hours. We are topping up the extra 20% pay for all employees who have been impacted by this and are taking this action as we believe it’s the safest way to ensure future job security for our whole team. 

As part of the plans around furloughing staff, we’re adjusting resource accordingly, so from a client perspective, you might meet some new faces, but we promise they’re all (as we say up in Newcastle) “dead canny” and great at their jobs, so there’ll be no disruption. 

Our focus from the beginning of this crisis has been on keeping staff safe and clients supported, and that’s what we’ll continue to do.

Naturally, with isolation can come feelings of stress and anxiety, so keeping in touch and still making time for fun has been a key part of our approach.

We’ve set up a #coffeebreak channel on Slack so team members can catch up with each other via video call when they’re taking a break, along with an #upliftingnews channel to keep us all upbeat and focused on the positives, of which there are many.

We’re also starting an Evolved Search book club to keep people engaged with the industry and personal development.  Every Friday afternoon, we’re holding a video company update with the entire team, which is followed by quizzes and beer (great fun – highly recommend!).

Our team also has free access to Mental Health support both internally and externally, and we’re continuously looking for new ways to keep team members motivated and well during this time.

Our Clients 

This is an unsettling time for all, so it’ll come as no surprise that many of our clients have been negatively impacted by the crisis. We’re doing everything we can to support those clients through it and help them come out of the other side in a strong position.

Our Operations Director, Tom Etherington, has shared a post here with our view from a search marketing perspective.

There are also some clients who are performing well in spite of the disruption to everyday life and our specialists are working closely with these clients to ensure this continues and that all opportunities are seized. 

There have been a number of clients who have unfortunately had to pause or reduce their contracts, whether that’s because their sector has been particularly impacted, or because their team members have been furloughed. We’re still working with these clients to find temporary arrangements that will ensure continuity in their search performance, whilst other marketing activity has been temporarily cut.

Overall, our aim is to be as fluid as possible with regards to what we can offer clients, so we’re coming up with new ideas, repurposing budget into necessary activities, and doing whatever it takes to keep things running smoothly for their online presence and ensuring they are in the best possible shape when the market does return.

Whilst every day and week brings new challenges and more updates, there’s no telling how long this might go on for and how the outside world might look when we’re back to normal.  

What we do know is that we have great people and resources in place to keep things moving for our clients and we’ll go above and beyond to help. We’re reviewing the situation daily and will provide further COVID-19 updates as necessary.

I’m incredibly proud of everyone at Evolved Search and how seamlessly the business has adapted, so just want to give my thanks once again to every single person in the company. 

Stay safe, take care, and we’ll see you on the other side.

Ian McIntosh

Managing Director

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