In our latest The Check-in video Q&A series, we chat with thought-leaders across various industries about how they’ve navigated this “new normal” in the workplace.
For this episode, I spoke with Alexandre Saboundjian, CEO at Targetspot, a global tech solution for digital audio. Alexandre shared some insights about how his company has handled remote working, and how they see the way we work evolving in the future.
Watch our video interview (in French with English subtitles) or read our conversation below.
Welcome, Alexandre, and thank you for taking the time to participate in this edition of The Check-in. Could you start by introducing yourself?
Alexandre: Well, I'm the CEO of Audio Valley Group, which is a company that is active in digital audio through two different companies. The first one is called Jamendo, which manages artists' rights.
My main focus today, however, is a company called TargetSpot. We have a platform that manages the monetization of digital audio. With this technology, and with vendors who are in several countries, we help radio stations, podcasters, and large music platforms to generate revenue.
Our operations center is in Brussels, but we have offices in Canada, Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and the UK.
So I assume that with so many sites around the world, COVID-19 has affected you greatly. How have you been managing this situation? Or, more specifically, what is the biggest pivot you’ve had to make due to COVID-19
Alexandre: Of course, the COVID-19 problem in the U.S. didn't all happen at the same time. But the decision we took at the beginning of March is that everyone would follow European guidelines and lockdown agenda.
Today, people are coming back to the office one or two days a week, and we are strategizing on how we will organize our work from September onwards.
Even when forced to work remotely, we still had positive experiences. We are in a phase of reflection as we reorganize the way we work at home. (click to tweet)
Was your company working remotely before COVID-19? Will you continue teleworking indefinitely, or will you gradually get back on-site and to clients’ sites?
Alexandre: Prior to COVID-19, we already had a remote working policy in place, and we had gotten some feedback about this policy. When people worked from home a few days a week, they were actually poorly organized to do so - whether that’s due to the worker themself or the company.
If we want remote working to be efficient and work well, we need to organize processes better, and perhaps more systematically, so our entire company can better manage its time. (click to tweet)
We need to organize ourselves well and find a place at home that’s conducive to working. Our previous negative experiences working full-time remotely taught us some lessons, so now we plan to try new methods and systems.
And how did you handle clients during COVID-19, replacing trips to their homes with forced video calls?
It’s true, confinement has changed our methods of communication with our clients. We work in the advertising world - in terms of revenue, our campaigns really start in May with clients. We realized that video conferencing was a great tool during this time - it’s the tool that will really bring us forward.
But sometimes you may be equipped to have quality video conferences, while the other person is not. That was sort of how it was for our video conferences before COVID-19.
Now, people are really getting the hang of video conferencing, and it’s been easy to talk to clients this way. But that doesn’t mean we won’t have to go on-site anymore. We'll continue to meet people in-person - the way we do so, however, may change with time. (click to tweet)
As we continue to build relationships with clients, we may find that tomorrow, we’ll have a new balance in our meetings that will create even more efficiency than we had in the past.
Thanks, Alexandre. To conclude, do you have any suggestions for companies struggling during this time?
Alexandre: I don't have any specific suggestions, but I think we all have to realize that the world of work is going to change. It's a movement that is not just our movement. It's a general movement among all companies.
I am convinced that HR departments are thinking about what the new working life means and that ignoring the changes that are emerging now may be a bit problem in the development of workers tomorrow - those who are waiting for flexible ways to organize their work.
I don’t think companies can just forget this period we all lived through - we have so many lessons to learn from it, and we must really think about how it will affect us going forward. Now through the end of 2020 will be the time to better prepare. That’s really the best advice I can give.
We should all try to reflect on what we’ve been through, and even question how efficient our working methods were before so we don’t end up with a degraded work system. But I think we're moving towards a new way of working that we can truly optimize. (click to tweet)
Want to share your story? If you'd like to be a part of the next edition of The Check-in, or to learn more about how Proxyclick helps companies get Return Ready, contact us directly.