Even a worldwide crisis like COVID-19 won’t change certain fundamental realities. For example, we all still need products. The companies that make products need to reach us and convince us to buy from them. And to do that, many of those businesses will seek help from professional content creators: writers, social media influencers, and even celebrities.
The top influencer-marketing platform today is IZEA, which connects product makers with content creators who can help them deliver persuasive messages about their brands to the appropriate audience. But like millions of other businesses in recent weeks, IZEA suddenly found itself faced with the possibility of having to send home all of its employees to self-quarantine during the coronavirus outbreak.
Fortunately, the company had a big advantage that was going to help get it through this.
Lockdown orders could have seriously disrupted operations
The company has more than 125 employees, many working in its Orlando headquarters and dozens of others operating out of other offices and WeWork locations around the country.
Even though Florida hadn’t joined the list of states issuing lockdown orders, CEO Ted Murphy and his team were monitoring the events surrounding the pandemic, and they realized these self-quarantine rules could eventually affect their employees in every state. And even more important, they wanted to take proactive measures to help their team stay safe and healthy—without having to worry about losing their jobs.
As Ted explains, “We made the decision to tell the whole company, ‘Okay, everybody, we’re going to get you all set up working from home. We’re not coming back into the offices for a while.’ Knowing we had RingCentral, and that our whole staff could remain productive from home, made that decision a lot easier.”
Transitioning to 100% remote work in just a week
Thankfully, the adjustment to a fully remote organization was smooth and quick. In fact, the entire IZEA global team—which also includes employees in Canada, India, and Brazil—was functioning as home-based workers just one week after Ted made the company-wide announcement.
“We were able to do it so quickly because we already had the technology infrastructure in place for everybody to continue their work without a big disruption,” Ted explains. “People can be just as productive working remotely as they’d be in an office, if you give them the tools that they need to communicate with each other.
Finding it easy to stay connected from home
As Ted points out, the IZEA team is finding several ways to leverage their all-in-one RingCentral communications solution to connect and collaborate with each other and with clients.
“One big advantage, thanks to RingCentral’s built-in online meetings, is that we can have video calls with our clients—whether we’re meeting them for the first time, kicking off a campaign, or just strategizing. And being able to dial in and be face-to-face with our influencers—especially high-profile figures and celebrities—is a big deal for us.”
As challenging as these times are, IZEA has found a way to work through the pandemic with minimal disruption to the company’s clients and its employees around the world. In fact, Ted is even finding his staff benefiting in small ways from the company’s unusual working conditions.
“From an operational standpoint, this has brought us together in a new way,” he says. “We rely pretty heavily on video conferencing now on a daily basis. And that has meant we’re spending more face-to-face time with each other. RingCentral has been a lifesaver for us.”