If you haven’t spent the past two weeks under a rock (or maybe that’s the safest place??), then you’ve heard the term “Coronavirus” or “COVID-19.”
Maybe this news has got you thinking, is my organization prepared to survive or even thrive through these unprecedented times?
Do I have the technologies, processes, and governance in place to support the flexibility my people need to work and support customers?
Are my people ready to alter their daily routines?
COVID-19 is making us think and plan. But maybe we should have been thinking and planning about a way to support mobile workers, telework, and flexible officing all along?
Admit it…we’ve been putting off the inevitable, because COVID-19 will be followed by other disaster recovery/business continuity events that always seem to happen at the “wrong time”.
There’s a great saying by actor Will Smith that rings true right now, “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready!”
Here are some good ideas we can offer for both the organization and the individual to “stay ready”:
At an individual level, we should always be practicing the most basic hygienic routines like,
- Washing your hands
- Coughing/sneezing into your elbow or a tissue
- Avoid touching your face or rubbing your eyes/nose
From a business standpoint, we want to start preparing our companies and our employees to be able to work remotely.
With news of the Coronavirus, many companies are already starting to implement teleworking. Like the United States House of Representatives, who, as of March 6, 2020, is making preparations to allow their employees to work remotely.
We’re also seeing conferences, like Facebook Global Marketing Summit and Google Cloud Next ’20, either being canceled, rescheduled, or hosted as an online/virtual event.
So where do you begin this process?
Tools and Technology:
Having the technology, processes, and governance in place to support a more mobile, flexible and geographically distributed workforce is vital. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Video Conferencing capabilities
- Remote, Fast and Secure connectivity
- Collaboration tools
- Mobile Workplace Policies and Procedures
- Remote Work HR Policies
- Productive and Safe Work-at-Home infrastructure
And one that many don’t think about – a Workplace Management platform.
Making sure you have reliable, high quality, and secure means for your employees to communicate with each other, with customers, with suppliers, etc. is important.
This article from ZD Net dives deep into the strategies and tools for shifting to a more digital company.
And this FAQ sheet from Presidio gives in-depth advice on preparing your remote workforce.
Preparing the People:
It’s not just about having the tools and technology to create a remote/flexible workplace. You need to prepare your employees as well.
It’s important that employees know what is expected when working from home and that their jobs can allow them to do so.
Start by deciding which job positions would have the easiest time with the switch. Whether it’s your salespeople who already seem to be on the road often. Or your I.T. department who does all their work online already.
With those teams in place, you can begin to see how the tools you’ve implemented are working to create seamless collaboration between departments. And you can see how your employees work together when they aren’t under the same roof.
[Related article: Everything You Need to Know About Flexible Workplace Management]
Workplace Management Platform:
Then being able to track where everyone is working is the cherry on top.
When you have employees in and out of the office, knowing who sat where, when, is vital information for effective disaster recovery and for longer-term business continuity events like the Coronavirus.
Say an employee tested positive for COVID-19,
- had they been in the office?
- how about in contact with other employees (meetings, collaboration spaces, etc.)?
- which specific workplace did they choose to work? Who was seated nearby?
With a management platform, you’ll be able to answer those questions and decide on the best next steps.
[Learn more about AgilQuest’s Workplace Management Platform, Forum]
Getting your workplace ready for teleworking will benefit you now as we continue to see where the Coronavirus is heading.
But on top of that, it will benefit you to have this in place for the future.
The world is heading towards a more flexible work environment and, when you plan ahead, you can be ready for any event coming your way.
Plus, you can show potential top talent employees just how flexible and modern your company is.
[Related Article: How to Support Your Flexible Workplace]
Are you doing what you can to keep yourself as healthy as possible now and always? Are you preparing your company to be ready and able to allow employees to work from home?
This infographic pinpoints some important do’s and don’ts when it comes to the Coronavirus.
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