Word to the Wise: The power of the remote office

March 24, 2020

Each week, XI Technologies scans its unique combination of enhanced industry data to provide trends and insights that have value for professionals doing business in the WCSB. This week, XI’s President and CEO Darryl Stackhouse wanted to share his thoughts on the current situation. If you’d like to receive our Wednesday Word to the Wise in your inbox, subscribe here..

As we all attempt to navigate our way through this difficult and surreal time, I think one of the hardest things to deal with is the uncertainty. We’re uncertain of what this means for ourselves and our families. We’re uncertain of what it will mean for our industry. And we’re uncertain how long this will last and what life will be like when it’s over. 

A thing that’s struck me through all this uncertainty is how we’re uniquely positioned to deal with the difficulties posed by social distancing and self-isolation, as compared with any other time in human history. So many people and companies are able to stay connected and continue working through this isolation because of the systems and tools available to us in our modern world. This struck me as the staff at XI Technologies mobilized in the wake of the COVID-19 situation, and were able to continue to serve our customers and maintain our business while staying at home and protecting ourselves and our communities (for more on how XI is responding to this situation, see our recent blog post). 

We were able to do this because XI made the choice to be a remote working-friendly office space and incorporated many web-based services to help make this happen. From communications and customer service options, to payroll and HR, much of our operations are designed to work remotely if necessary. In the past, this allowed our employees the benefit of working from home when needed. Today and for the foreseeable future, it’s essential to our continued survival. 

I’m proud that our team has responded so well to this new environment, and prouder still that our web-based products afford our customers the same opportunity. We’ve heard back from several customers since this forced isolation has taken hold that they’re grateful both that we’re still around to support them, but more so that they can use our products with ease while away from their office. 

This is a unique situation the likes of which we’ve never seen before and hope to never see again. So while I’m not suggesting that companies need to start preparing as though pandemic response will be a normal course of business, its not out of the question that future situations will arise that will force your employees out of the office for some period of time, from weather to illness to issues with the building itself.  

Moreover, while we are taking extreme measures against a particularly virulent illness, I know I can’t be alone in reassessing how we deal with the contagious diseases regularly brought into the workplace and how some of the caution we’re exhibiting now might be applied next cold and flu season. If an employee is able to do their job from home during a pandemic, surely they could in the future when they’re well enough to work, but don’t want to bring their coughs and sneezes to their coworkers. 

So while you’re dealing with our current circumstances, I think there’s value for all of us in looking at our business processes and noting which ones can survive a remote environment and which can’t. Are your employees able to contribute when they can’t be in the office? Are your vital business tools server-based or cloud-based? If they are server-based, do they need to be and if so, what’s lost when interruptions occur? No one knows what the new normal will look like when we get past this, but I do think there are some lessons to be learned from our current state when we begin to shape whatever that new normal will be. 

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy, 

Darryl Stackhouse, 
President and CEO of XI Technologies 


If you’d like more information on how XI’s cloud-based tools can help your company with its critical research in A&D, drilling, and regulatory reportingcontact our sales team. They’d love to chat… especially right now! (This social distancing has been a little difficult on our extroverts).