With government figures forecasting that at its peak Corona Virus could affect up to a fifth of the workforce, we need to create a contingency plan that will allow our staff to work from home and keep our business up and running.
While the vast majority of patients will most likely only suffer a mild to moderate illness similar to seasonal flu, self-isolation will be important in order to slow and limit the spread.
Even if your staff are not directly affected, with schools already closing we may all have staff that will need to take time off to look after their children.
We’ve been working on this for a while at Cobalt Towers and have already had to put measures in place to protect our supply chain due to production issues in China. With those plans firmly in place, we’re now focused on our team.
Homeworking will be key to maintaining productivity while slowing the spread of the virus, and here are a few suggestions that may help you to do the same.
Most modern telephone systems will provide you with the tools that you need to achieve an effective remote working solution and we have deployed a mixture of the following three:
- Our IP Telephone system allows staff to take their phone off their desk and plug it into their home Broadband. This is great as they get the same experience as they do in the office and can work in exactly the same way.
- We have also armed all of our team with a mobile app that is connected to our telephone system. Once installed on our mobiles it allows us to make, receive, hold and transfer calls through a WiFi or 4G connection. This means that calls are never missed and we’re not reliant on a broadband connection; after all, not everyone has one.
- Our Engineers have a “softphone” installed on their laptop and home computers. It links directly to our customer information, and the addition of a USB headset leaves their hands free to work while they talk.
Of course, this is only half the solution. We know now that the phones won’t be the problem, but the staff still need to access their emails, software and files.
We use Microsoft Office 365 which gives our team all the access they need. A simple login powers our email, software and all the shared files on our servers.
We also use Microsoft Teams and if you don’t already use it, we suggest that it is well worth a look.
Teams is a collaborative tool that can be accessed from any device. It allows our staff to communicate via instant chat and video conferencing, schedule and manage workflows and share documents. It’s a great way to get your team collaborating and communicating efficiently.
We don’t know what the impact of the virus is going to be, but we suspect that it will be a challenging couple of months for business and minimising the impact will be key to ensuring a successful 2020.
If business continuity is starting to give you sleepless nights, then give us a call for a chat. You may already have the technology you need and we can help you get the most from it.