Sailing Through Troubled Waters

September 22, 2020

Photo of Laura Toropainen

Laura Toropainen

How we got through the first wave of COVID19 without compromising New Things Co Values.

The first wave of COVID 19 hit Finland, and the world, pretty hard - as we all know. Most people and companies had to re-evaluate how they work, make savings, and cope with drastic changes in people’s personal lives.

Our company was no exception, and we got sidelined - hard. The effects on our company started in March.

In a nutshell, this is what happened:

  • Our biggest client closed doors on us.

  • Business projections were grim, foreseeing losses that could cripple our company.

  • The lockdown forced 95% of our employees to work solely from home.

  • Our internal happiness stats went down by almost 30%.

In the news, we saw that a lot of companies started to furlough staff and make layoffs, which would have been the easy way out. After all, personnel costs have the biggest impact especially in a consulting company with fixed monthly salaries like ours.

However, furloughing goes against our core values; empathy, transparency and curiosity. It’s truly a moment of crisis when those values are put to the test. Our team was determined that we could not follow this route.

Together with everyone in our employe, we started to look for and internally discussing other solutions that would prevent us from following the grim trend of letting staff go. We cut costs wherever we could, sodas and beer, office supplies, performing audits to get rid of redundant licenses. However, the biggest savings-wise impact was found with our holiday arrangements.

If you have asked yourself “why does HR need to know my holidays in advance?”, here’s one potential reason. We saved approximately 50,000€ by allowing people to exchange holiday bonuses for extra holidays and more by doing meticulous planning of the holiday season.

In addition, we put the teams’ heads together and our full force into sales - but alas, our sales also stalled. Our usual closing rate dropped significantly and the number of leads coming in was so much smaller than usual. You could almost smell the fear affecting the whole economy.

Nevertheless, our sales hustle was on fire and for the month of March and April, together we pushed through to find leads, make proposals and drag them to the finish with everything we had.

How did we do then - you might ask? By May we made one of the best months in our history in terms of revenue and closed on a couple of fantastic projects so that nearly everyone in our company was off the bench.

By coming together to pull on the same rope and thanks to the heroic team efforts, we also saw a huge growth in the happiness numbers, which were likely also affected by the looming holidays and sunny weather.

With a little careful optimism, we might be able to say that we will make it through this crisis. But as it goes for everyone else in the world right now, we are not out of the woods just yet. Although we are now definitely able to focus more on the future instead of reacting to the immediate.

In September things seem to almost be back to normal and as a small company, we are able to have people in the office together, which makes a huge difference for those who value working with others and the community in general.

We are also now back to growing our team once again and are enthusiastically contacting all people who are looking to make a jump to a more people focused company.

If you want to work for a company that doesn’t waive their values even in a crisis, check out our available careers and drop us a message. Speak soon.

About the author

Laura Toropainen

People Things

Building New Things and loving it. Other things I love are dogs, cats, running and happy people.