We are certainly in some trying times. Everyone taking precautions to help minimize the spread of Covid-19 and then being bombarded with images and clips of humanity’s less than finer moments. It can be easy to focus on the negative, especially when you are out of toilet paper, but there is good coming out of our situation.
I went out on a bike ride the other morning, and my path cut through one of the many parks in the area. Typically, there are joggers, walkers, and a couple of other bike commuters. This time there were families out enjoying the sunshine. Parents were playing catch or walking around teaching their children about nature, it almost seemed surreal, but it got me thinking about all the positive moments happening now. There are several Twitter threads mentioning stories about med students creating a babysitting network to help hospital staff, individuals providing meals and support to those at high risk, or restaurants offering free or reduced-price meals.
Some of our technology partners are also stepping up to help and spread more human kindness –
Expensify announced that starting March 17th, they will reimburse families with SNAP benefits $50 when they purchase with their SNAP card. While this is a one-time reimbursement, this gives extra funds back to those that need it so they can have a little more to help support their families.
Zoom lifted the 40-minute limit from its free Basic plan for China when coronavirus hit the country. Now the CEO has gone a step further and removed the limit for any K-12 schools affected in Japan, Italy, and the United States. These free Basic accounts are also available by Request for Austria, Denmark, France, Ireland, Poland, Romania, and South Korea.
Microsoft responded to the increasing need for companies, schools, and hospitals to work within the restrictions of the coronavirus by offering a free six-month Microsoft Teams trial to those that qualify.
Google began rolling out free access to advanced Hangout Meet to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers. Many of the features now offered are traditionally available on the Enterprise edition, but now available until July 1st, 2020.
LinkedIn opened up 16 courses for free to help companies gain skills to be better prepared with having a remote workforce. Topics include time management, productivity, video conference calls, managing stress, and developing resourcefulness.
As we continue to rethink our day to day, let’s not lose sight of our humanity. This small sampling of tech companies offers a glimpse in the way everyone is putting aside profit goals and focusing on being good humans. Use this to inspire you with ways you can help individuals in your community.