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In this episode, we learn more of how companies adapted to the pandemic, specifically with David Shirley and his company, Flex We Are, a consultancy specialising in workplace flexibility. 

David shares how he adapted to the pandemic personally and professionally, how they now deliver content, the advantages and challenges with technology for content delivery, and more.

David also shared his thoughts, strategies, and ideas of how the delivery of content will be in the  future, how it fast tracked what we needed to do, and how we needed to move forward.

In this episode:

  • David Shirley is a partner of Flex We Are, a consultancy that focuses on normalised, flexible work arrangements within organisations. Prior to Covid-19, they did 100%, face-to-face training with clients so this pandemic has been a huge change for them.
  • What has been the biggest challenge through this transition to David, the business and the clients? 
  • Since the company is small, David says they are nimble and from their client’s perspective, there has been a huge change in the way their service to them works.
  • “The bigger change really, besides the fact that we were going from face-to-face to online, was bringing the clients along to recognise that we could do this and this would be effective.”
  • Delivery of their content was one big hurdle for David and his company. They were used to doing face-to-face sessions but had to adapt to online delivery because of the pandemic. They had to go back and look at what they’re delivering to adapt.
  • What strategies did David and his team implement to deliver their content online.
  • How the new ways of delivering online have impacted David’s clients and where he sees this going in the future.
  • Gathering clients together in one place before has been a logistical challenge but now that clients don’t need to travel that’s not an issue. 
  • “Our horizon of who’s available as a client has certainly broadened now”
  • What have been some of the challenges and pushback from David’s clients with these transitions?
  • Adoption of technology is the biggest challenge for David. He shared that some clients before wouldn’t even approve the use of Zoom because of security issues.
  • The new challenge coming today is how to equally engage someone online at the same time with the people in the room. David thinks this is a hurdle for the general business population, specifically how to transition to this new way of doing sessions and training.
  • “We’ve got to make sure that that full communication spectrum is available for everyone and not just within the room, but those in the rooms for the people online.”
  • How the gaming community uses software studios and multiple cameras to stream their content and get their audience engaged. David thinks these technologies can be applied to online training and sessions.
  • “We know that there’s visual learners, audio learners, and let-me-do-it learners. We need to cater to all of them.”
  • David also shares one biggest challenge with their clients which is how IT departments can become an obstacle on how employees can deliver their content online due to their equipment’s privacy and secrecy concerns. 
  • Out of all of this, what has been David’s biggest achievement? 
  • Transitioning from 100% full face-to-face service offerings to full 100% online delivery system. This is what David is proud to achieve.
  • With the changes David made, what does he think will stay?
  • David thinks that online delivery is here to stay. He will do face-to-face sessions sometimes but with the diversity of how we can deliver content online, that will be the norm in the industry.
  • Angela also highly recommends the mix of live and recorded sessions for content delivery.
  • Looking forward 6 to 12 months time, what is it that David thinks will change and what will he go back to?
  • From a sales and business pitching environment, David is looking forward to doing face-to-face sessions. From a delivery perspective, and now that their reach and client opportunities are broader, he thinks online delivery is the way.
  • “So I quite love, love that idea of what flexibility brings, and do the right pieces of work at the right time with the right client, with whatever they’re doing. So to me, this is just another tool that’s in our toolbox and our clients have come to know that this is how it’s going to be.”
  • David thinks that workplaces and how we use offices are impacted with the pandemic. He also shared about the 5 “stakeholders” that need to be considered in relation to flexible working conditions.
  • David tells us more about what he is teaching and his work.
  • “The business world will continue to go on and we need to make sure that the tools we’re putting in place and the way we work with each other continue.”
  • Angela shared how the pandemic opened up opportunities for tapping into talent for job opportunities as we’re not restricted geographically.
  • David and Angela discuss the importance of industry consultation on doing business, content delivery, hiring talent for the business,and more.
  • How does David keep motivated?
  • David thinks he has found that he is in a “sweet spot” considering that technology’s become really important. He also shared that he is excited with these changes in training delivery, by what’s coming, and the way we can change this.
  • “I think, COVID has forced us to make changes to the way we deliver training the way we work. And I think it’s just fast tracked what we needed to do, how we needed to move in our training.”