Many of us are in locations that are starting to relax restrictions but there is a potential sequel that no one wants – COVID: The Second Wave. Despite the lack of interest, we could potentially face another coronavirus pandemic. Most experts predict things will get bad again later this year. At least business can plan ahead and revisit their continuity plans.
Hopefully you have a plan in place to cope with fire, flood, or a devastating data breach. But have you added in your plan for quarantine.
One benefit is that we have already been through this issue so you can update your plan with actual first hand experience of what works and what doesn’t.
Your plan should weigh up the options for various issues and list the best way forward that minimises stress. Those reacting in the moment to mandates to shut down probably took more of a “this is the best we can do” approach.
Either way, let’s hope your business found some approaches that had positive results. Perhaps moving to cloud-based services allowed users to access files remotely or installing a virtual private network (VPN) to secure off-site access paid off.
You should now list all the strategies that were successful. If they were adopted as a short-term solution, you may want to explore their value long-term. Perhaps you signed up for a temporary service that worked well, this may cost less if you renegotiate for a longer duration. Perhaps you tried something with one team can roll out company wide to prepare for a potential second period of work from home.
What Areas Need Addressing?
Did you find any shortfalls or issues that interfered with employees when they were working from home? What tech difficulties did your people face? Identify the problem areas and look for solutions now. Some common areas we noticed were:
Lack of Computers: Maybe you had employees working from home on corporate laptops or personal devices.If they had to use their own computers, were they fast enough and did they have the proper security policies in place? Do you need to purchase more laptops now or setup the home office computers better?
Internet Speed: Were there issues with the internet speed at employees houses slowing their productivity down? Was logging in difficult because the servers and internet speed back at the office couldn’t cope? Look at upgrading your internet connection at the office now and maybe supplying your employees with 4G / 5G modems.
Webcams: There was a run on webcams which caused their availability to dry up. Check with your employees to see who can use a webcam on their laptop and who needs a separate webcam for their desktop system and purchase them now.
Monitors: As with webcams, people were trying to source large screen monitors to hook up to their laptops at home. This led to a shortage of monitors so maybe stock up on some monitors now.
Lack of Suitable Home Office Space. A lot of work from home employees had to share their space (and sometimes even computers) with other household members. Can employees work at a different office or do you need to find another office where your staff can properly implement social distancing?
Access to corporate files and email. If you have an internal mail and file server could remote employees easily access this data? If not look at moving to a cloud solution.
It is also not all doom and gloom to have come out of this. Many employers have found that their staff have been more productive working remotely. So maybe look making this a more permanent solution for some or all of your employees.
Make Changes Now
Updating your business continuity plan is prudent, so make the updates now to prepare. Do it while businesses are open and able to work freely. An IT partner can often work remotely, but many tasks are more efficient on-site and goods are easier to obtain now.
The first wave of COVID-19 taught us valuable lessons so do not be caught off guard again.
If you need help then partner with a technology expert to help review your needs and set you up for future success. If you are located in Adelaide, South Australia then contact DP Computing today!