State of workplaces due to COVID-19

Traditional places of work are evolving as we speak. The global COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that remote work is here to stay. The organizations that adapted to working in unison from almost anywhere in the world have been the most stable and even successful during this crisis. Nonprofits can learn—and thrive—from these lessons. Virtual work practices are a powerful tool to protect employees and stay supportive to beneficiaries. Connecting safely with partners, volunteers and donors is more vital than ever.

NPO work is important and needs to continue despite difficult times. The steps taken now by nonprofits to create and adopt a virtual work culture can have an immediate impact on the resilience of the organizations. Going digital to adapt and thrive doesn't just boost NPO survival and productivity. It also creates a future-minded model to support the many causes and populations who count on these organizations, including people directly impacted by COVID-19 and other crises.

How nonprofits can manage now

The time to act is Now.

Accenture can help leaders and organizations devise a new work dynamic to manage the deep changes needed in this new environment. Nonprofits can take this opportunity to go digital and reimagine their work practices in a secure, reliable, future-ready model to continue making a difference today and for years to come.

Your team can stay productive and connected with the right tech, software and data security practices

Accenture’s Virtual Ways of Working Playbook for Nonprofits covers three key areas you need to consider as your organization creates and adopts a thriving digital culture. Despite global and local conditions, embracing a virtual culture intentionally empowers your workers, prepares you for the economic recovery and sets the foundation to eventually scale up at a lower risk. The pillars to consider are:

Culture and leadership

Skill your leaders to understand team dynamics and identify what works best while managing from a distance.

Virtual culture is just as important as team culture in the office, and it comes from shared values, mindsets and team rituals. Your leaders need to understand team dynamics and identify what works best when managing from a distance. Keeping leadership approachable can make the difference as your workers, partners and beneficiaries find themselves in an unfamiliar work environment. Communicate clear guidelines and develop a trusting, flexible workplace to increase adoption and as an investment in your NPO’s future path.

Elastic collaboration tools

Choose a virtual workforce solution that supports both sides of the coin: keeping track of work and staying connected.

The essential technology and platform for remote work will depend on the unique needs and budget of your organization. All-in-one options fit the bill for many different teams. In other cases, a combination of tools may be the way to go. Some providers offer discounts or donations for qualified nonprofits. There are countless options so use trusted tools and download from official, secure sites to avoid data risks. Ultimately, the chosen virtual workforce solution needs to support both sides of the coin: keeping track of work and staying connected.

Virtual work sessions

Follow best practices and keep you audience engaged to collaborate no matter where they are.

Virtual everything means that routine meetings, workshops and even external events will happen over digital channels. Sessions can be effective and productive if you follow best practices and keep your audience engaged to collaborate, no matter where they are. Planning thoroughly, anticipating tech support needs and using participation practices—stories, video, polls—can keep things fresh and flowing. Use a clear roadmap for before, during and after each session to make the most out of the time used to collaborate virtually. Having a plan B is ideal in case of technical difficulties.

Applying a combination of these three basic pillars allows nonprofits to set up their digital workplace quickly and efficiently. Youth Business International CEO, Anita Tiessen, had this to say about training her team with the Virtual Ways of Working Playbook:

As we faced the challenge of remote working, we were thrilled to have the support and expertise of our longtime partner Accenture. We quickly got up to speed on key tools for running online learning, practical how-to content and ways to keep learning fun. We provided critical, just-in-time support for young entrepreneurs as they face their biggest challenge yet for business survival.

Turn workplace challenges into meaningful change

Remote work is a new reality.

There is a solution for each need and resilient organizations are using tech-enabled tools intentionally, in a model that works for them. Yes, the way we work has changed forever. While COVID-19 has accelerated this reality, your nonprofit can use this opportunity to embrace proven digital strategies and stay functional. Keeping an innovative mindset will also have long-term benefits for your workforce, volunteers and partners. What’s more, it will support the lasting health and resilience of your organization as you continue to help the recipients of your ever-important work.

Disclaimer: This document is intended for general informational purposes only and does not take into account the reader’s specific circumstances, and may not reflect the most current developments. Accenture disclaims, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, any and all liability for the accuracy and completeness of the information in this presentation and for any acts or omissions made based on such information. Accenture does not provide legal, regulatory, audit, or tax advice. Readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel or other licensed professionals.

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