In times of crisis, Hylink's primary objective is to ensure the safety of its employees and preserve jobs. Although the industry has recently endured a spate of layoffs, reduced work, and wage cuts, Hylink has maintained its current staff count and its benefits, which include a fully-paid healthcare plan with dental and vision. Hylink has managed this through an emergency remote work plan that has enabled its teams to carry on with their tasks from a safe location. However, this also presented the unique challenge of how to guarantee productivity and maintain a cohesive culture when all employees are working separately out of the office.
This was actually taken into consideration when the ERWP was first drafted, and several protocols to mitigate this scenario were included. The plan sets expectations for how employees will communicate internally and with clients. To ensure each team is on schedule with completing its tasks, the plan stipulates that all employees use time management software and submit timesheets at the end of each work day. Finally, Hylink's ERWP also enables employees to request company infrastructure such as desks and electronic hardware that will make working from home more productive and seamless.
In addition to addressing productivity, Hylink has also preserved its company culture in spite of the current situation. With Hylink's employees constantly connected under ERWP, the intuitive step was to convert Hylink's in-office culture events into virtual experiences by leveraging the video conferencing software already being utilised. The virtual events, to name a few, have included Hylink's Wine + Share happy hour at the end of each work day, a daily lunch room/spill the tea event where employees share they're meals and exchange celebrity gossip, themed fashion competitions such as Floral Friday and social media posts featuring Hylink employees' 'pet secretaries.'
For many agencies during this time, it can be difficult to juggle a sudden and massive decline to revenue while maintaining their most expensive line-item: the employees. But even during a crisis, Hylink continues to honour its commitment to 'constant improvement' and 'smart thinking' as it prioritises the safety of its employees without missing client deadlines. Hylink has also helped its employees stay connected through virtual events that capture the agency's culture and encourage collaboration.