Novel Coronavirus known as COVID-19 is causing a lot of concern and confusion for individuals and businesses. Here are five questions we used to form our “Emergency Work from Home” Protocol, which has been enabled for COVID-19.
These questions will help you prepare your own protocol should it be necessary:
- Is our communication protocol well-defined?
- Have we identified our mission critical core functions?
- Who can and cannot work remotely?
- What technology enables our workforce to work remotely?
- Has our Business Continuity Plan been tested?
As we defined the plan, we also considered two major internal challenges:
A. Employees who feel they aren’t sick enough to stay home.
B. Employees who feel they couldn’t work productively if they had to work remotely for a prolonged period.
Using the two challenges above as our guide, we crafted the questions to fully prepare ourselves to operate remotely with minimal disruption.
1. Is our communication protocol well-defined?
Even the best contingency plan can be derailed because of poor communication. A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) relies heavily on your ability to clearly communicate with your employees, customers and suppliers. The triggering mechanism through which you will inform and enable your workforce to start operating remotely is essential (email, text, phone). An executive decision needs to be made and an Emergency Coordination Team must be assembled prior to the event.
2. Have we identified our mission critical core functions?
Planning for the worst and hoping for the best still has a lot of merit even today! In other words, preparing for such an event is paramount to the success of your remote workforce initiative. Identify ahead of time, what are the core functions your company MUST continue to execute no matter what. (sales, customer service, emergencies, payroll, etc.). Defining a severity tiered approach will help you to prioritize.
3. Who can and cannot work remotely?
Based on the prioritization of the above mission critical functions, evaluate the ability for the task owners to fully or partially fulfill their roles. One of the best ways, is simply to ask people “How would you do your job if asked to stay home?”. Rely on the people who do the job daily for the best insight.
4. What technology enables our workforce to work remotely?
When you have identified the gaps between what you need to do compared to what you actually can do remotely, evaluate the technology that is the best suited (VPN, Remote Desktop, Cloud based applications). Don’t forget systems like phones and other hardware-based devices when formulating your plan.
5. Has our Business Continuity Plan been tested?
Finally, no business continuity plan is ready-to-go until you have tested it! Finding deficiencies in your remote workforce strategy is most likely to happen when you rehearse your plan, and you should welcome those needed adjustments!
Your internal team's health is obviously priority number one. We are focusing a lot on prevention! We consequently have displayed this poster to encourage basic hygiene measures.
For more information on the changing landscape of the virus please visit:
World Health Organization (WHO)
Center for Disease Control (CDC)
If you have questions or want a more detailed recommendation of how we've implemented these solutions, please contact us here or call (800) 676-7374. We are here to help you in any way.