As concern around the Corona Virus outbreak (COVID-19) spreads and governments implement border lock downs, travel restrictions and generally recommended avoiding large gatherings, businesses are looking at how they can reduce the need to come in to the office or host in-person meetings.
For some it will be easy – those already implementing the kind of technology required to support a Modern Workplace will be well on their way. Those that haven’t, may find themselves with a lot of work to do over the coming weeks.
Nobody really knows what the outcome of this outbreak will be, but what we can be certain of is the need to be prepared for the worst. Already we are seeing reduced production and extremely long lead-times for goods. Shipping restrictions and quarantines will further slow things down. With less resources at our fingertips, day to day operational challenges will be faced by all businesses. Service industries will find it increasingly difficult to deliver services and projects will likely get delayed. On top of this, the market and economy are volatile which will see businesses reining in spending. No industry will be unaffected.
It’s not all doom and gloom. I remain positive. We have been in similar situations in the past and we will find a way through. In perspective, human life is far more important than goods and services. However, of course we don’t want the economy to come to a complete halt, it’s what gives us the quality of life we enjoy today. It’s going to be a difficult balancing act and I don’t envy the politicians who have to make the tough decisions – they’ll be damned if they do and damned if they don’t!
So finally to the subject of this article. To ensure you are prepared for the worst and ready to weather the storm, testing yourself to breaking point might be your life saver. Break your business with a remote work experiment. Mandate that all staff work from home for a single day on the same day! Post experiment, review the results by engaging with staff and figure out what went well and what went wrong. You now have a list of things you need to do for your business to successfully operate with a remote workforce. Of course, there will be some businesses who will always need feet on the ground, so use this concept and make it work for your specific situation.
It might seem like an extreme approach, however, we could be heading in to extreme times and this might just give you the insight you need to ready your business. Businesses who make the bold moves now, will be the ones who navigate the heavy seas and come out best on the other side.
Chin up and lets make the best out of a bad situation. Wishing everyone well.
You may need to understand legal, insurance and other implications for having staff work from home. You may need to financially compensate them too – required or not I would encourage this as there is a cost to the person to do so.