Ensuring health and business continuity at cApStAn during the Covid-19 alert.
by Steve Dept – cApStAn CEO
Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village
In these disruptive and challenging times of the coronavirus pandemic, collective health must come first, followed closely by ensuring business continuity. At cApStAn, we have promptly taken the necessary measures to protect both our staff and the community at large, without creating bottleneck situations. Our services and the communication with our clients and freelance experts are unchanged: all our staff works remotely and has secure access to the server. We have meet and greet video sessions with virtual coffee and tea each morning to maintain informal contact in addition to business as usual (you know: the coffee machine chit chat must go on, too). Projects near completion will all be delivered on schedule, and we are ready to accommodate new orders as they come in. As of today, March 16, and until further notice, the entire team is working from home. We have implemented everything that is required in terms of work-from-home technical capability, all F2F meetings are postponed or held virtually. We have cancelled all our travels, and we abide by our respective government’s instructions (and beyond).
All the key functions of our team are covered. For all our key projects, such as the international multilingual assessments for which we are or will be in charge of linguistic quality assurance (e.g. OECD/PISA, OECD/PIAAC, IEA/PIRLS, the European Social Survey, Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project, etc.), we have a lead project manager and a deputy project manager. This allows a smooth task transfer and hand-over in case of planned or unforeseen absence. In this regard, we will apply our standard cApStAn policy also to any COVID-19 related sick leave (that we hope will not happen!). We also have backups for the majority of our translators and verifiers. For some locales it may be, of course, a bit harder to find a stand-in: Polish for Iceland would be such an example. In any case, our linguists mostly work from home as freelancers and in this sense less exposed to the virus. A very good coordination effort is of course required, on both sides of the Atlantic.
A number of our multinational staff members are living and working abroad so that, as is happening with so many other people around the world, they are experiencing the additional distress of being far from their families and not being able to return on account of travel restrictions. Nevertheless, there is a sense of family, of belonging, and we’ll use communication technology as needed to keep that cApStAn flag flying and boost one another’s morale. it is an opportunity to rethink what we have taken for granted, to streamline our interpersonal communication skills and make the most of a disruptive situation.
Our gratitude goes out to the first-line medical aid who, despite an overwhelming stress, selflessly organise relief and care. Let us help them by contributing to flatten the curve – but without compromising on the quality of our work
Photo credit: Visuals-Lek @Unsplash