COVID-19 RAPID RESPONSE – Part ONE
While we wish to impress upon our readers the critical importance of ensuring the delivery of timely, accurate, and relevant information regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic, we also wish to share with you, our “rapid response” to this global crisis. It is our hope that our best practices ease your stress level, if even just a little. We’re all in this together.
– The delsurtranslations team
Partnering With Language Services In Times of Crisis
While it is true that humans have survived countless global health crises throughout the years, none have had as wide a reach nor as devastating an effect as COVID-19. At the time that this article was written, there were nearly 1.9 million cases of this novel virus around the globe but this number continues to rise at an alarming rate.*
Not only do businesses, government agencies, and healthcare providers need to act swiftly and responsibly in order to stop the spread of this deadly virus, they also require strategic partnerships – and Language Services Providers (LSPs) play a pivotal role in this equation. LSPs bridge the communication gap between all sectors of global communities and the critical information that will stop this pandemic in its tracks. With our “Rapid Response” initiative, delsurtranslations is one such LSP that immediately took necessary measures to keep our staff safe while collaborating with our clients to ensure the continuation of uninterrupted services.
*Worldometer (updates COVID-19 statistics every 24 hours)
Paving the Way in Times of Crises
If you follow us, you likely already know that delsurtranslations has nearly two decades of experience delivering professional healthcare translation services and that we are strategically located in Argentina. As such, we are uniquely qualified to offer professional language services in Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, as well as in several Native Latin American languages. However, what you might not realize is how well prepared we are to deal head on with global crises.
As a global company, delsurtranslations remains current with global news. To that end, as early as December of 2019, we already began to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and anticipated how this might impact our industry. Here are just a few of the immediate measures we implemented to keep our employees safe while continuing to offer uninterrupted services to you, our esteemed customers.
Technology Preparation and Maintenance
Well before our own government mandated a national lockdown, we made sure our cloud-based services and our TMS system were updated, maintained, and in good standing. We purchased laptop computers for some of our team members to prepare for a likely work-from-home transition. We also advised our third-party collaborators on the importance of investing in reliable operating systems (OS), CAT licenses, and of regularly running antivirus and spyware scans. This advice comes from our own professional experience – delsurtranslations practices what we preach.
In addition to our advanced translation and localization technology, delsurtranslations uses shared online collaborative platforms and accessible communication tools for both internal and cross-company communication. We have regularly-scheduled meetings which allow us to seamlessly share updates and work collaboratively on ongoing projects with our remote teams. In fact, with our built-in infrastructure for remote working, we haven’t skipped a beat.
When the situation started getting worse, delsurtranslations was ready.
Office Preparation and Work-from-home Transition
We lost no time strengthening our sanitation practices and even color-coded our cloths to avoid cross-contamination. We ensured that all employee spaces were added to the regular list of items to be disinfected, and we stressed appropriate handwashing practices as well as safety precautions at home and in public. However, with our employees’ safety as our top priority, we didn’t wait. We immediately began transitioning everyone to a remote working environment even before the total lockdown was declared by the national government.
But after 10 days of total lockdown, it was time to implement further practices.
Caring For Our Staff
Although a great many of our staff already work from home, and although we have years of experience working with remote teams, some of our staff have been accustomed to working physically within our offices. So, after 10 days of total lockdown, we were concerned about our staff’s physical and mental wellbeing. In collaboration with our human resources department which is managed by a board-certified psychologist, we quickly mobilized, helping all of our employees adjust to this new ecosystem. We provided our staff with guidance and tips on how to follow a well-balanced work-from-home routine. In fact, we speak often about the need to take frequent breaks, drink plenty of water, stretch and exercise, breathe fresh air and, of course, relax, laugh, and support one another through this difficult time.
Caring For Our Clients
At this same time we also noticed a sharp increase in translation requests. We further noticed that some of our clients were becoming overwhelmed by a sudden spike in work volume coupled with the growing urgency in turnaround time. They were also clearly concerned about their own safety, as well as the safety of their employees and loved ones. So, our response was immediate and effective. We not only offered our own words of encouragement but also kicked into high gear, offering to help our clients with project management and technology support.
We even counseled some of our clients, sharing professional advice, especially for those whose main source of revenue focuses on onsite interpreting – a language services sector that has suffered severe setbacks. We have also increased our collaboration with other LSPs invested in the life sciences sector, and have been actively working on translations for clinical trials as well as protocols directly related to COVID-19. We sincerely hope that one of these studies will eventually lead to a successful vaccine. In some small way, we’ll then feel that we made an impact in the fight against this devastating disease.
Our Compass Rose Shines On
But probably the most important ingredient to the delsurtranslations’ rapid response to COVID-19, is our passion to keep our spirits high. After all, isn’t laughter the best medicine? Yes, these are trying times indeed, but we all need to pave the way forward in times of crisis. To that end, we’ve encouraged our staff to share pics of working from home in their pajamas and with their favorite flip flops on their feet, playing with their pets or their children. We invite you to follow us on our social media channels so you can join in on the fun.
Overall, we understand that despite a difference in nationalities, borders, and governments, we are all one human race. We are all suffering. We are all fearful. So, in order to calm our clients’ fears and ease their pain, we’ve decided to work during our national holidays to continuously serve our global clients with uninterrupted communication. As our website so eloquently states, “regardless of the fluctuating global market, our compass rose shines on.”
Please know that you can lean on delsurtranslations throughout this entire ordeal and beyond. Reach out to us today.
“Coronavirus Cases:” Worldometer, www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/.
Stathakis, Chris. “Using Color Coded Rags to Provide a Healthy Work Environment.” Janitorial Services in Michigan, www.stathakis.com/blog/bid/344830/using-color-coded-rags-to-provide-a-healthy-work-environment.
As a general rule, wages earned by nonresident aliens for services performed outside of the United States for any employer are foreign source income and therefore are not subject to reporting and withholding of U.S. federal income tax. However, it is important that the IC not be deemed an employee under applicable US and foreign labor laws (ex. ideally, ICs should set their own wages and be free from the hiring company’s control in how they perform their work. Additionally, their duties should be “outside” the usual course of business.”