Normal workday morning routines are no more…at least for the near future.
For many of us, just a few weeks ago getting ready for work involved lumbering out of bed, freshening up, getting dressed and eating a quick breakfast before grabbing a morning coffee and heading out the door. Now, that morning commute to the office has been substituted by the few steps it takes to get to the home office. Or the kitchen table. Or wherever else in the house has been turned into your new desk.
The fact is, the COVID-19 pandemic has more employees working from home than ever before, and some of the largest companies in the world like Apple, Google and Amazon have told employees to stay home.
Working from home has its advantages. It allows employees to self-quarantine while also being productive. However, it could mean less production if there are distractions at home, which means employers may need to plan ways for employees to stay engaged.
The most important thing, however, is getting everyone on the same page with a business continuity plan. Companies create these in the event of any disaster – fire, earthquake, cyberattack, etc. – to avoid losing revenue. The Department of Homeland Security even provides a business continuity plan template.
Here are a few things to include in an effective business continuity plan while employees are working from home:
Have a clear objective
The scope of the business continuity plan should be relayed to everyone. That includes what projects, tasks or anything else are expected to be completed while the plan is active.
Having an entire workforce pick up and work from home can be an obstacle itself. Will employees have access to the files they need through a VPN? What other tools will be needed to ensure productivity? All these need to be planned.
Train as needed
Working from home may be a new concept for some employees, so there’s going to be some training involved. Some employees may have never used a VPN, or and some may need to be trained on how to use video conferencing platforms for meetings with team members or clients.
Unforeseen things may pop up, or the business continuity plan may be active longer than anticipated. Adjust expectations knowing that things will be fluid – and be willing to adapt and modify goals, plans and responsibilities to stay on target.
For more information on workplace policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the Apex COVID-19 resource page here.