It has been a month since we (in Canada) started working from home. For some organizations it was not a big deal , for others it was a major challenge. Now that the organizations have some breathing room after adopting to the new lifestyle, it is time to re-think their operational strategies.
Although there is talk of bringing workforce back to office, organizations should understand that there still is no cure for Covid-19 and until then social distancing is the only prevention available.
There is already talk covid-19 peaking again in Fall. What this means is that bringing in the workforce and all the equipment that has been sent home back will not be good idea and that organizations should be ready to send them back on a short notice. This would be a great time to think of formalizing a remote working program.
- Increased retention
- Increased engagement
- Savings on real-estate expenses, whereby organizations can reduce their real estate footprint or not expand their existing footprint.
- Environmental benefits, where you keep that many cars off the highways, removing congestion and pollution.
- Employees save on their car expenses
- Avoid stresses involved in getting stuck in traffic
- Take a risk based approach to identify which roles can be allowed
- Update job descriptions to advise if they are allowed
- Establish strict rules what is allowed and with is not, eg.
- Cannot cancel daycare arrangements
- Cannot just take off to run errands
- Establish what hardware will the company provide
- Docking Stations
- Company Phone
- Soft Phone
- Hosted Faxing Solutions
- Internet subsidy
- Establish Tax guidelines
- Company resources will only be used for work purposes only
- All corporate policies extend to the remote place of work
- Acceptable use
- Security Policy
- HR Policies
- Expense Polices
- If remote workforce wants to come into office:
- Turn existing workstations into temp workspaces to tele-commuting workforce.
- Implement a reservation system for these workstations that can be reserved to workforce intending to work in the office.
- Workstations should be equipped with necessary technology
- Cyber Security Implications
- Scalable VPN solution that is managed by the organization
- Geographically distributed VPN Clusters
- Each VPN Cluster should be able to support the whole workforce that is allowed to work remotely
- Enough internet bandwidth to support the number of VPN users
- Corporate managed images for laptops
- Ability to manage all company issued devices remotely
- Other solutions
- Remote support capability with screen sharing for Help desk
- Train your leaders how to manage a remote workforce
- Train your employees on how to work remotely
- How to setup your work environment at home for ergonomics
- Every team needs to establish team norms and ensure everyone is on board so that expectations are set in advance.
- Establish emotional support structure and tools as some individuals will find it difficult to work in isolation.
These are challenging times indeed, however human beings are a very resilient in such times. Just see how we have adopted to this situation which makes you think that human change management is not that difficult after all!
If you do have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.
#coronavirus #covid19 #pandemic #telecommuting #remotework #remoteworkforce #covid-19