Every day we are learning more about the Coronavirus and how we may be able to stop the spread of this pandemic. The COVID-19 outbreak is a very fluid situation and we still do not know the full impact this will make on our daily lives now and into the future. This threat is like a slow-moving disaster for a business. So, companies of all sizes need to treat this as such and make sure they have a contingency plan to counter this threat.
How can you protect employees during this outbreak? How can workers remain productive during these disruptive times?
Create A Secure and Effective Environment. First, business owners and managers need to consider what employees need to make working from home effective and secure. Some of the areas to consider are the following: internet bandwidth, remote devices, and security. At home does each staff member have adequate internet speed or bandwidth to work on their tasks as if they were in the office? Don’t assume that everyone has broadband connections. Some workers may only have a mobile device when off the clock and will need to have a remote computer. If they have a computer at home to access the company assets, how will that connection be secured? Once these concerns are addressed, now it’s time to focus on how, technically, remote access can be set up for the workers.
Doing Business Online. To counter the spread of Covid-19 many big tech companies, Google, Facebook, Twitter are ordering workers to stay home and work remotely. For these organizations it is easy to provide this access for their employees since they have invested in Cloud based systems to enable staff to work from anywhere. Many small businesses however have not proactively implemented these types of Cloud solutions yet. So how can a small business who has never set up any remote access to the main office enable staff to work at home? There are a few options to choose from depending on a company’s budget and employee count:
Office 365, the only investment is having someone set this up and put in security measures like Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).
Working Remotely. How does a remote worker them self stay productive and not become distracted while working from home? There are a few good practices to follow to make working from home a positive and productive experience. One of the best practices is to designate a specific area where work will be done in the home. It should be a place, if possible, that can be closed off like that spare bedroom or even the man-cave, just don’t turn on the TV or for sure work will decline. Another good practice is pretending that they are in the office for work. Set the alarm, get up early and dive into the to-do lists, make sure to have a routine and defined schedule for the workday. To keep remote workers engaged, make sure that goals are set for each week and that they commit to doing more to keep them focused, keeping them away from the many distractions in the household. Communication between management and employees will take more effort, and tools such as Microsoft Teams can come in handy to facilitate remote communication. These are just a few ideas; the key is recreating some semblance of how they would work if they were still in the office and enforce the same habits at home.
This pandemic has already affected our entire society from entertainment to sports to our school system. Fortunately, we have technology available now that can help keep workers connected and still productive during these unchartered times. Taking the time now to build a foundation that is secure and easy for remote work will aid during the Covid-19 Pandemic. It will also give greater flexibility as a company and keep the business productive. Now is as good a time as ever to build a contingency plan and a “work from home” initiative for you company. It will be useful during this crisis, but more importantly prepare you for any potential disaster scenario.
About Zeta Sky
Zeta Sky offers a full range of business IT services and consulting. Our main expertise is in moving parts or all of your business IT needs to the Cloud.
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