I think it is safe to say that no one was 100% prepared for this pandemic to happen. In the beginning, everyone was acting like experts as they posted tips and tricks to working from home. But in reality, many of us were simply getting by. Yes, the tools to manage were there, but there was no way to prepare for the unknown.
After ten weeks, many of us could say we are at the intermediate level of mastering working from home. There is still the unknown as restrictions begin to lift, and policies increase to return to the office safely. However, we have conducted a list of items that should be put in place to ‘Pandemic Proof’ your business.
The debate over laptops vs. desktops has lasted forever. Whether you work on a laptop or prefer a desktop, it is essential that you can take your workstation home with you. If the type of work you do requires a desktop computer, ensure that everything is backed up to a hard drive so you can apply it to a computer at home. Doing so will ensure all the information you store on your desktop computer is accessible in the event you need to leave the office.
2. Cloud File Storage ☁️💾
Make sure all employees within the company use the cloud for file storage. Whether that be Google Drive, DropBox, or Amazon S3, files, and folders must be safe and easily accessible. During a pandemic that restricts you from going to the office, you are unable to obtain a file that is stored on an employee’s desktop computer. Using a cloud file storage system guarantees your files and folders are safe and easily accessible.
3. Understanding Technology 🤔👍
It is vital to confirm that all employees know how to set up the technology they are using. Unfortunately, many of us have realized how much we rely on support to solve juvenile issues. If an employee can successfully set up their workstation and understand what cords plug in where, several support calls will be avoided.
Companies should not only train their employees on how to use their equipment, but also provide handbooks with step-by-step instructions. The manuals could contain labeled pictures, diagrams, quick troubleshooting options, etc. A populated handbook will reduce the number of calls to support.
4. Sickness Protocol 🤧😷
Many employees are afraid to call in sick in fear they will lose their job, get in trouble, or get too behind on their tasks. And although the common cold is quite common, many employees will be hesitant to work around a coughing and sneezing colleague thanks to COVID-19.
To ensure the safety of all your employees, there should be no limit on the number of sick days a person can take. Nor should they feel penalized for missing a day or two. Employees should also have the option to work from home if they are feeling ill or developing symptoms.
5. Communication 👥🗣️
Communication is key daily, but even more important when your employees are not reachable in the office. To ensure your employees can contact one another, they should have a unified communication mobile application on their cellphones. Installing a mobile UC app makes it possible to work on the go and communicate from anywhere.
Learn about Bicom Systems mobile UC application, gloCOM GO here!
6. Headsets 📞🎧
Not everyone has a dedicated space in their homes for an office. Many have taken over the playroom, garage, or even the kitchen table to make due, but none of these options are long term solutions. All employees should have a headset that is compatible with their unified communications desktop application so they can use it as a Softphone. A headset will eliminate the need for packing up their clunky desk phone with them.
7. Video Conferencing 💻📹
The COVID-19 pandemic has left numerous people alone and quarantined to their homes. Face-to-face interaction is becoming a necessity for sanity. Providing your team with video conferencing software will allow them to conduct ‘business as usual’ and meet virtually.
gloCOM Meeting takes video conferencing to the next level with a more personal, productive, and efficient solution.
8. Work from Home Options 👩🌾🏡
Allow employees the option (if they can) to work a few days a week remotely. This way, working from home doesn’t come as a cultural shock, and employees can navigate a schedule that works best for them. Autonomous work environments and flexibility within the workplace are extremely important to young professionals entering the workforce.
What do you think would have prepared your business for this? Let us know in the comments below!