Historically cemeteries and deathcare professionals have carried out their services only in person, involving human touch, personal interaction and reassurance to families as they began their grieving process. The sooner more personal interaction can return, the better for families and cemeterians, however, the current pandemic has forced all sectors to re-evaluate how they’re operating, which has resulted in a shift to remote working becoming the ‘new normal’ over the past few months. Although this may have been initially daunting with fears and expectations of various sorts, it has also presented cemeteries with opportunities they may not have considered previously.
#1 Employee Satisfaction & Retention
Despite a high level of uncertainty, some employees are flourishing with working from home. The benefits of working from home include: Savings due to not commuting to work, increased flexibility of time with employees being more responsible for their own workload and a better work life balance around childcare and home life. These efforts combined result in a higher level of employee satisfaction, which can lead to an increase in employee retention within your cemetery.
#2 Online Networking
With in-person events being cancelled for the foreseeable, there’s no time like the present to take a look at online networking opportunities in the death care industry. This includes webinars led by industry professionals involving Q&A sessions amongst peers and live chat features, LinkedIn groups, COVID-19 resources provided by industry experts including ICCFA and DMAG, and PlotBox Connect, the online community forum for the death care industry. The forum is a place where you can talk to your peers, share challenges being faced and seek out best practice.
#3 Online Team Building Activities
An important aspect of adapting to remote working, involves ensuring your team remains connected with one another. Online team building activities can help with this. Here at PlotBox the team has been working hard to ensure that the positive company culture surrounding team building hasn’t been lost. With a designated social committee we have successfully held online quizzes, social rooms on zoom, video call all team meetings and exercise challenges.
#4 Develop Your Contingency Plan
One thing we’re sure the pandemic has taught all organisations, is that we need to be better prepared for natural disasters. Placing a focus on developing your organisation's Contingency Plan is a good first step in helping to future proof your cemetery for a potential second wave of COVID-19. Consider planning around areas such as: remote working for whenever it’s not safe for employees to be at one location at the same time, logistical problems as seen with a surge in demand, such as more machinery or tools required and sources of finance to deal with a drop in revenue or increased costs.
#5 Assess Current Processes
Think about your transition to working remotely, was it seamless or did it take more time than you originally anticipated? Did your current processes or software hold you back? As PlotBox is a cloud based solution, our customers were fortunate in being able to adapt quickly to the new normal of remote working. Here’s how some of them benefited:
- Cloud based cemetery management solution made shutting down offices to work remotely a seamless transition
- Constant access to their data means they can continue serving clients without interruption
- Continuing to sell pre-need, at-need, take payments and reference cemetery maps from the safety of their own homes
If you enjoyed this blog post, check out our recent webinar recording on Enabling Remote Working in Cemeteries!