Can Your Staff Keep Working During A Coronavirus Quarantine?

As more and more coronavirus cases occur in mainland US, it’s more important than ever to consider how you can stay healthy, limit opportunities for transmission, as well as continue your working and personal lives as usual.

Working Remote During A Coronavirus Quarantine

The Department of Homeland Security has plenty of recommendations for how to prepare for a coronavirus pandemic, all relating to personal health and safety. However, have you thought about what a quarantine when it comes to your business, and your staff? But what about your business? If your staff gets sick or needs to undergo precautionary quarantines, how can you continue to promote productivity? By having a work work-from-home plan and policy, you are letting your staff know that you understand their concerns for their health and safely—and their livelihood. Hourly workers are most likely to come to work sick because they’ll be the most impacted. Many do not have the safety net that would be needed if they are required to be quarantined, unable to work for two or more weeks. The bottom line is that you don’t want anyone to risk their health or others’ health because they think they need to come into work that day. The safer option is to enable your staff to work remotely.

Your Top 3 Considerations For Remote Work

  1. How Will Your Staff Access Their Work?
    • Will they need to connect to their office machines to use software?
    • Can they work from their home machines?
    • Are a majority of your documents in the cloud (Microsoft Office 365) and your applications web-based or do they need access to applications installed on their office desktop machines?
    • Do they have a laptop that they could be taking home to work from?
  2. How Will They Be Able To Access Their Office Phone?
    • How will you deal with incoming calls?
    • Will they use their own phones for outgoing calls?
  3. How Will They Attend Meetings?
    • Do you need a web-based meeting setup? (e.g. Microsoft Teams)
    • If you will be holding video meetings, do they have cameras on their home machines?

How Can You Empower Your Remote Working Staff?

Effective remote working comes down to the implementation of a comprehensive strategy for ensuring that your employees have the tools they need to be able to do their normal day-to-day work from any location. Empower your staff to work with you as you create your company’s policy, and discuss with them what tools they need to be successful. Some you may already have, like using Microsoft Office 365 to share documents via OneDrive and SharePoint, and chat and hold meetings using Teams. However, you may find that you don’t yet have a good solution to enable phone calls to remote users, or that your staff needs access to their work machines to use specific software that they don’t have on their home workstations. Your IT support company will be able to suggest, implement, and support tools that enable your staff to continue to work, no matter what their location. We know that you’d like to keep your business operating no matter what crisis the nation faces. If remote work capabilities can keep your staff productive and healthy, then you should start planning for it sooner rather than later.

Test Your Remote Work Capabilities Now

If at all possible, make sure to test your capabilities now so you can troubleshoot any unforeseen issues. Waiting until you need to quarantine your staff will undoubtedly lead to complications and obstacles in your business’ continuity. We suggest doing staggered testing, and scheduling your staff to work remotely, as if you would schedule a meeting. By doing this before you’re affected, you’ll give you and your staff time to figure out what does and doesn’t work for your company’s workflow when it comes to working remotely. Also, you’ll be able to iron out any bugs in your processes, so that when it’s needed, your staff knows exactly what they need to do. Like this article? Check out the following blogs to learn more: OneDrive or SharePoint? Will Windows 7 Work in 2020? Phishing Attacks Continue to Soar!
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Published on March 6, 2020