There is never a good time to be short staffed and once there is a gap in resource it can be very difficult to do anything about it.
It's starting to feel inevitable that some or all of us will have to spend a period of time away from the office over the next few months. The UK government's Chief medical adviser has predicted that soon those of us with ' even minor' signs of respiratory tract infections or a fever will have to self-isolate.
For those that are well enough there is the option to work remotely, but what about those that are caring for others or too sick to work? Maintaining business as usual for your clients, whilst ensuring safe working practices for your team has to be a priority.
There are things you can do in advance to help you feel better prepared, here are a few ideas.
Cross training - can you share skills and knowledge within your team. Making sure that there is more than one person in your team capable of completing your core processes.
Administration - check your team are updating the CRM and any project management tools regularly. Ensuring that you can 'pick up where we left off' when it comes to important projects and client conversations.
Postpone non-urgent work - are there any 'nice to have' projects in your plan? It may be a good idea to put them on ice for now.
Contingencies for critical team members - it's often the case that certain roles, skills and individuals are critical and it's not very easy to cover this within your team.
Outsourcing - consider which skills you could outsource easily and quickly and take a look at the relationships you have in place to do this. Maybe an agency you work with or perhaps independent freelancers?
One of the best low cost, low risk ways to plug a gap in your marketing and creative team is by hiring freelance or interim resource.
There are lots of benefits to 'going freelance'! As well as only having a short interviewing process in comparison to perm roles, these diligent workers are also generally available on really short notice. They are well equipped to come in and start 'doing the do' right away, with experience of being agile over a range of different businesses.
In my experience, getting the best out of a temporary relationship requires both parties to commit time up front to understanding each other and being clear on the rules of engagement. That's why there is no better time than right now to do initial introductions and interviews.
Setting some time aside now, to meet some potential freelancers will help you feel better prepared should you find yourself short.
To discuss your team's needs and review a shortlist of suitable skilled freelancers please speak to:
Claire Needham - marketing, PR and communications, campaigns, digital, SEO, PPC.
Amy Bradbury or Jade Baker - creative, graphic design, developer, artworker, UX/UI.
Bridget McGarr or Katy Gaskin - agency account management and client services.