Lessons from Conduit’s Pivot to Remote Work

Woman on a video call with several other people showing on the monitors.

Conduit Health has always been ahead of the curve on business needs. Looking back to January of 2020, we were operating as a traditional in-person health call center. We could see the value of having a remote work option and wanted to offer that to our associates, so we began working on policies, procedures, and developing technologies to make that goal a reality. We expected to have our first fully remote associate position in May of 2020.

We never expected that the COVID-19 epidemic would require us to accelerate those plans in a big way. By the end of February, it became clear that we would need to make a change, and quickly. Within a few short weeks, we were able to acquire the laptops, monitors, and headsets to provide excellent customer service, and by the end of March 2020, all of our teams were 100% remote. During this same time, our call volumes quadrupled. The communities we serve were frightened, and people were looking for guidance. Initially, we didn’t have the staff to handle the sheer volume of calls, but we again were able to pivot by hiring nurses, clinical and non-clinical staff from our parent organization who had been furloughed as clinics shut down.

Fast forward to today, and many companies are adopting a permanent or hybrid work from home model. We learned a few lessons along the way that we’d like to share.

  • Identify and commit to a platform that supports communication and team-based work. We use Microsoft Teams for 1:1 and group chat features. You may choose another platform, but do not solely rely on email.
  • Keep those cameras on! We’ve all adapted to remote team meetings, but it is essential to see your team, even if you aren’t meeting in person. Without it, that human connection isn’t there, and subtle cues from observing body language are lost.
  • Create an onboarding program manager/ remote work manager. This vital role coordinates the equipment needed for remote work, providing that to new employees and coordinating with HR so that employees who start remotely can still feel part of the team.
  • Obtain the right equipment. You’ll need the right technology to support virtual preceptor-based training and performance monitoring.
  • Define your decision-makers in your organization and streamline approvals.
  • Create a remote work policy that defines and validates the technical requirements for the systems you use.

COVID-19 caused challenges for almost everyone across the board. But Conduit’s quick thinking and nimble approach to work allowed us to adapt to these complex problems and pivot successfully, keeping our business in operation throughout the worst of it. If you’re looking for a partner who is ahead of the ever-changing healthcare landscape and able to create customizable solutions to complex issues, we’re here to help empower your team to focus on what they do best, managing your business.