Our Lemon journey through the crisis
The Covid-19 pandemic has suddenly changed the world, and governments responded with drastic measures to stop the spread of the virus. Now that we are a few months later and we can gradually pick up our lives and the Lemon squeezers are also returning to the office, it is time to reflect on the past period. How was the situation before Covid-19? What was the impact for our company? And how do we see the future?
Let us return to 2019 for a moment. For Lemon corporate culture is really important, which is why we expect our employees to work from the office as much as possible, in order to stimulate the group feeling. Our Lemon Tribe is one of the success pillars of the company, and the focus is on further developing and strengthening this group. Every March, a ski trip is organized, the most important team event of the year, because here we can forge the bond with the current but also the new Lemon Squeezers.
As a modern IT company, many digital tools are used and we work completely cloud-based (i.e. no offline storage). We work with Slack for internal communication, Gitlab (code repository), Google Drive for document management, Google Hangouts for video calls, Hubspot as a CRM application, Teamleader for invoicing, etc. Everyone in the company has a laptop, so remote work is easy to organize.
All Squeezers stay at home…
Due to corona and the announcement of the lockdown, Lemon quickly decided to let everyone work from home. Health is the most important, so we’ve strictly followed government guidelines to ensure the safety of our Squeezers. To continue to maintain the group feeling and to work optimally from home, we introduced Discord as a tool. In addition to chat, via Discord we can now also easily consult with virtual project groups, meeting rooms and 1-1 conversations. In this way, we were able to bridge the transition from office to fully remote work easily and without major impact.
But what about the projects?
Ofcourse the corona crisis also has a major impact on the economy. Lemon works with companies from different sectors, so we inevitably feel the impact. The existing projects will continue to run, which means that our business can mostly continue to run. However, we have seen the first consequences of the crisis emerge after a few weeks. Customers are becoming more cautious and investments are being delayed because of the uncertainty and fear of what the future will bring. We now see this mainly due to the lack of new long-term projects. We often generate new business through networks and events. Because these cannot take place, our lead funnel nowadays consists more of “cold” instead of “warm” leads, which reduces the success rate of new projects.
In the meantime, we are creatively thinking about how we can deal with this crisis and we are starting up some initiatives ourselves: Lemon sponsors Hack The Crisis, a Hackaton where teams are thinking about solutions to the challenges that were posed by the crisis. In addition, we focus more on our own creative concepts and marketing. An example of this is writing and publishing blogs that largely respond to the entire corona event: “How much does it actually cost? To make (or have made) an application?” is one of the questions that play a major role in times of crisis and which we want to answer.
Supporting the Lemon Tribe
The corona crisis and a worldwide lockdown do not make people happy. The ski trip was canceled, colleagues are no longer allowed to see each other and we are all at home. That is why we thought it was very important to maintain optimal contact with the entire team, but this was not always easy. The longer our employees had to work at home, the more contact fades and the more difficult it was to keep control. Unfortunately, we too were forced to put some workers on economic unemployment.
We do our utmost to support our employees remotely as much as possible by, for example, sharing tips to optimally work at home. When you have children running around at home, it is difficult to work productively and you often get driven up the walls. That is we had space provided in our office for the entire period. Surveys were also sent to gauge the mental well-being of our Squeezers and their findings regarding Lemon’s approach to the situation. These surveys show that Lemon generally handles the situation well, with the right measures and clear and open communication.
In addition to our team of permanent employees, we also work with a few interns. Some internships were discontinued by schools, other internships continued in the form of remote work and new internships were started. We always try to immerse our interns in the world of business as much as possible and to introduce them to various business aspects. Despite the circumstances, we manage to continue the internships successfully.
Stimulate our Lemon vibe
In order to keep the team together as much as possible and not to lose our Lemon vibe, we have adhered to the rituals that characterize Lemon, such as Four-Hour Beer-Hour on Friday, a daily stand-up per project, etc. These are simply continued in a virtual manner. Lemon is very proud of its employees and how they made the transition to full-time working from home without any effort. We have all made the best of it and hardly notice any influence in the delivery of projects. The project managers have taken their responsibility so that projects would not suffer from the situation. To encourage everyone, to keep them motivated and to thank them for their efforts, we brought everyone a small gift at home.
Now that the government has lifted the lockdown, Lemon also envisages a strategy to return to working in the office. We provide extra hand gel, guarantee social distancing and give everyone “Lemonized” face masks with our own designed print (#antivirus).
The corona crisis makes you think about what it was like, how it is and what it will be like and you can gain some new insights. This is a time when many companies are reinventing themselves, causing many new prospects to ask themselves the question: “Is it my time to go digital?” This gives great potential for the future.
We are also putting an extra focus on possible products. For example, we have the lemon stream where we offer videos and live stream in a private environment. Lemon has also been researching and developing Ultra Wide Band (UWB) for some time, which is now shifting up a gear due to social distancing applications.
In the meantime, we are working on the Lemon branding and a new website. SEO and ads investments are increasing and we see an increase in inbound sales. We also noticed that working from home works well, which offers new opportunities for the future. The second half of 2020 will consist of making up for the consequences of Covid-19. That is to say, once again focus more on sales, look for new opportunities and develop them.
In short, Lemon is preparing for the new normal and is completely ready for further successful growth!