Fear is spreading across dozens of countries as more people are being tested positive for the Coronavirus. In a recent report, it was noted that people aged 30-69 were more prone to catching the virus.
Considering the workforce is primarily in that age range, it doesn’t come to a shock that large corporations, like Amazon, Apple, and Nestlé, are restricting travel and letting employees work remotely. Find a growing number of large corporations doing this here.
Over the next few months, Microsoft and Google are even offering free trials of their collaboration tools, Teams and Hangouts Chat, respectively.
Regardless of whether you fear the novel virus, here are a few reasons to offer the option for remote work:
- 1. Eliminate fear amongst employees
- 2. Reduce the chances of employees getting sick
- 3. Give parents the ability to be with their children if schools and daycares are closed
- 4. Let employees focus on work and not on the risks of catching the virus
If your organization never had remote workers, it’s possible that there are no processes in place to allow this. As a result, here are 4 tips to help you prepare for remote work in your organization.
Assess Employees’ Remote Workspace
At this point in time, you do not know if employees have laptops or computers at home to work remotely. Therefore, distribute a survey asking about available workspace, laptops, and internet connection. Use the results to determine the costs of getting every employee properly set up at home. Adjust your budget and prepare for purchasing in bulk. Purchases may include, but not limited to, laptops, mice, desks and chairs.
Further, look into an IT Asset Management tool to keep track of the devices owned by the organization and who is using what.
Set up Remote Control
Then, invest in a Remote Control solution. This provides remote support for employees. Further, it enables employees to connect to PC’s back in the office. Thus, reducing the cost of purchasing take-home laptops.
It also limits the number of new processes to connect every remote device to the network.
There are many free solutions, like TeamViewer, to highly secure enterprise options, like PC-Duo Remote Control.
Plan for Video meetings
A good way to keep people connected is through meetings. It is likely you may already use a video conferencing tool like Zoom, Skype or Go2Meeting. However, take it to the next step and make video meetings mandatory. This encourages meeting attendees to participate in the call and concentrate on the discussions.
Don’t Break Communication
With remote work, more energy needs to be put into communication. Set weekly or daily virtual meetings that would normally take place in person. Then, assess if more meetings are required. Also, get the entire team to use communication applications like Microsoft’s Teams, Google’s Hangout Chats, Skype or Slack. As a result, every employee can communicate with one another without breaks in communication.
Even if your organization decides against remote work, being prepared is ideal. We don’t know when the government will decide on a lockdown. At the time of this article, there are millions of people restricted to the confinements of their homes due to the virus. Were their employers ready for the quarantine?
For stats on the Coronavirus, here is a good website that displays live stats about those who are infected and those who have recovered across all countries.