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Making self-isolation work

Brian Eccles and Lisa McDonald of CRS Software ready to work from home. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN

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None of CRS Software’s 43 staff turned up to work on Tuesday at its Masterton office because they are working from home to “see how it goes”, managing director Brian Eccles said.

The computer software company works in “the cloud” a lot so decided covid-19 presented a good opportunity to test out its belief the team could work from home.

Many staff effectively worked from home now and used video conferencing regularly.

“We don’t expect our clients to see a difference in service,” growth manager Lisa McDonald said.

“We have a team-based approach so no one person holds all the knowledge on a project, so this helps us operate too.”

As well as the business aspect of operations, Eccles was interested in the social or “anti-social” effect working at home had on his staff.

They won’t get the daily, causal interaction gained at the workplace.

“Everyone is different, so we are very keen to see how everyone gets along in isolation so to speak, this is a big part of why we are doing this test,” Eccles said.

“People do communicate in many ways now with texts and using emojis, but body language is still a huge part of how we share information.

“We like the casual interactions at work that make up a day.

“In fact, that’s a reason many people are reluctant to retire.”

Eccles did not think working from home or in isolation was what people wanted all the time, but he wanted to be sure his business could survive and succeed should covid-19 turn into a pandemic in New Zealand.

CRS customers are farmers who require farm management computer software.

It has 10,000 clients nationwide and about 500 across Wairarapa.

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