It’s not something any business wants to consider, but with the global Coronavirus pandemic, it is something that needs to be thoroughly thought about. What would you do if you and your staff had to be quarantined? How would you continue your business services uninterrupted for that 3 – 4 week period (maybe even more)? How ‘remote’ can your business truly operate? To help you out here are 5 key ways to take your business virtual and in the process, take advantage of the Coronavirus pandemic.
1. Get the agreements in place NOW
Look into your staff agreements and discuss what you expect of them should they be required to work remotely. What code of conducts will they need to uphold? What are your expectations of them working from home? What equipment will they use? Get the agreements in place now so should the worst happen, it is a quick phone call to your staff members to say this agreement has now kicked into effect.
2. Ensure everybody has remote access to work systems
This is the number one factor that will ensure everything runs smoothly. Can your staff access the software they use at work, from home? Is the work sensitive enough to require two step authentications? What computer will it be used on? One provided by you or will they need to use their own system? And if it is their computer/phone, is the virus protection up to date? Yes, there are a lot of different factors to consider but its important to flesh them out now rather than in a panic.
3. You can still hold meetings… just go virtual
So how do you hold important client and staff meetings if you are quarantined to your home? There are numerous online conferencing platforms available now such as Skype, Zoom and even Google Hangouts. The only requirement is a webcam and microphone which luckily is built into nearly all laptops and phones now. To be prepared, set-up any accounts required NOW and do a few tests so you know the software well enough to guide your clients through it should they require your help.
4. Call forwarding is a lifesaver
Do your work phones allow call forwarding to an outside line? Is there a dedicated ‘reception mobile’ that you could use to ensure no incoming calls are missed? It really is a straightforward point but one that is most often overlooked until the last minute. And maybe even more importantly, can you change the call forwarding number remotely should the person holding the ‘reception mobile’ be unable to work that day?
5. Realtime check-in with employees
While emails are a great way to stay in contact with each other during your remote workday, it can become overwhelming when your standard workday emails will be filtering through as well. Using a dedicated employee communication system such as Trello, Slack or Workplace by Facebook will allow you and your employees to remain in contact throughout your business day without clogging up everybody’s emails. Get this set-up and running now to ensure uninterrupted communication, (and you may just find it becomes a permanent way of working in your business going forward.)
But the biggest advantage to the pandemic is that this allows you to create a Disaster Recovery Plan and not be one of the 68%* of business owners who have NO CLUE what they would do should disaster strike. So, while others will be scrambling to keep their business going, yours will be ready and waiting to go without any interruptions.
Not sure what to do? Get in touch with our Workplace Partners ASAP.