What to Do If Your Business Can’t Work Remotely?
We often discuss the “new normal” for businesses post-coronavirus and focus on the need for organizations to update their businesses to continue to complete and, most importantly, remain operational during the lockdown, most notably remote workers. However, the reality is there are many businesses that can’t readily take advantage of a remote workforce, due to the nature of their business. Here are some tips to help your business thrive, even if you aren’t able to take advantage of remote work.
The Effect of the Coronavirus on Businesses
While there are still some unknowns about the coronavirus, we know that the virus is spread via proximity, which means that one of the best ways to reduce transmission is by reducing physical contact. Many organizations, as mandated by their state’s government, closed their businesses (unless they were considered an essential business). However, we all have businesses to run and jobs to do, keeping businesses closed for an extended period is not realistic.
For Directive, we were able to quickly take action. Our infrastructure has always been prepared for easy remote access, and many of our employees were already familiar with remoting in. For many of our clients, it was a relatively easy transition - we had to help guide some employees and provide them with support, but that’s very understandable.
Why a Remote Workforce Is Critical
Pandemic or not, you need to keep the doors open and the lights on. Transitioning to a remote workforce can keep things churning and hopefully keep your business operating until things go back to normal. Even when things go back to normal, it’s likely that many businesses are going to continue to allow some level of remote work, as many business owners are figuring out that it really doesn’t hurt the bottom line at all.
For most office workers, all you really need is a reliable computer, a decent headset, and a good Internet connection. For the business, you’ll need to establish a secure way of remoting into your network, which we can certainly help with. As mentioned, many of our clients already had the technology in place because the same technology that allows for remote access is a required for proactive, streamlined IT maintenance.
For more information about preparing for a remote workforce, please take a look at our remote workforce guide.
Finally, if you still have doubts about the value of remote work and haven't already transitioned your business to take advantage of remote working, now is the time to reconsider telework. If you have embraced your remote workforce, but need help with managing your remote team, Directive can help.
What Can You Do If You Can’t Support a Remote Workforce?
AT Directive, we recognize that we’re fortunate to be able to work in an industry where adapting to remote work wasn’t much of a hurdle. While we have been proponents of businesses investing in their remote workforce, we also realize that many organizations don’t have the luxury. As the coronavirus continues to influence how and if companies can operate, there is little possibility that businesses will return to normal.
As businesses have been reopening, it’s been critical to protect the health of staff members. If your staff simply needs to be in-house to perform their jobs (tending the storefront, working with customers, utilizing in-house machinery, etc.), you’ll need to rely heavily on social distancing.
How to Implement Social Distancing in Your Office
The primary goal during this crisis is to keep team members and your customers safe. The primary way to reduce the risk of transmission is by managing your workspace and how your staff and customers interact with it. Some safety measures employers can employ to encourage social distancing include:
- Flexibility: Develop flexible work hours, such as staggered shifts, to reduce the number of workers in the office at the same time.
- Staggered Breaks: Also, re-arrange seating in common break areas to maintain physical distance between workers.
- Create a Safe Workspace
- If customers need to visit your business, mark six-foot distances with floor tape in areas where lines form, increase the use of drive-through windows or curbside pickup, and limit the number of customers allowed at one time.
- Move or reposition workstations to create more distance, and install partitions.
- Encourage workers to bring any safety and health concerns to the employer’s attention.
Many successful businesses that are coming out ahead have adopted technology solutions to aid them with this - ranging from utilizing smart doorbells and proximity sensors to keep customers from entering areas that would get congested quickly, to utilizing mobile apps and websites to encourage non-physical engagements.
Setting up hand sanitizer stations and making cleaning and sanitizing a priority not only promotes better safety, but it shows your employees and customers that their safety is important to your organization.
Communication is a Key to Success
With all the uncertainty businesses are facing during these trying times, your team and clients must know what is expected of them. Now is the time to use all the tools you have to keep in touch and manage expectations. Your website is designed to keep people informed of what steps you are taking to keep everyone safe, while social media is perfect for the type of quick response needed to keep your team and clients aware of the situation ‘on the ground.’
If you have been waiting for things to return to normal, this is your normal, and now is the time to make the changes your business needs to remain viable in a post-coronavirus world. Directive has a wealth of services designed to get your business up to speed and ahead of the curve. Call 607.433.2200 today to schedule an appointment.