Getting Back To Work Securely And Effectively Post COVID-19
After around three months of the COVID-19 pandemic, your business has likely gotten into a rhythm with remote work. But, depending on where you operate, you could have the opportunity to return to work in the office sometime soon.
Do you know how to do so safely and productively?
TAG President Gary Harlam recently joined a panel of MSPs on a webinar to help answer that question:
Top Considerations For Your Return To The Office
Are Your Employees Comfortable Returning To Work?
First, consider the human element. Employees don’t have the same say as executives making the call to reopen the office. Still, it’s important to have communication with everyone involved to understand their thoughts, ideas, and concerns. Those who work in a high-contact industry, for instance, may have many questions about reopening. For starters, will wearing masks in the office cause problems? Try to be inclusive of the people who are concerned. There are many health and safety measures you will need to incorporate, including:
- The use of face masks and hand sanitizer
- Regular cleaning throughout the day
- Testing employee temperatures upon arrival (Talk to us about getting protective screening equipment for your office.)
What Changes Did You Make To Work Processes That Should Be Kept?
Whether you plan to continue with remote work or not, if you implemented new practices for time management, communication, or other workplace priorities that helped to boost productivity and engagement, then you should continue with them.
What Changes Did You Make To Work Processes That Should Not Be Kept?
On the other hand, if you found that some new processes or the nature of remote work itself led to delays and lowered productivity, there’s no reason to keep them going. This is especially important when you’re determining who on your team will continue with remote work. If someone did not thrive in the remote setting, you should bring them back into the office as soon as you can.
Are You Ready For A Second Wave Of The Pandemic?
Although you may be able to bring your staff into the office at some point, it’s important not to forget all the hard lessons learned during this pandemic. A second wave is a distinct possibility, and so, you need to make sure you have a viable remote work plan in place that can be launched quickly.
Do You Have Technology To Help You Collaborate?
In your time working remotely, have you found a collaboration tool that works for you and your team? As you phase more and more employees back to the office, it will be important to keep them and remote employees connected. Microsoft 365 can be a powerful tool in that regard, providing a secure and feature-rich platform for collaboration, with a range of useful apps:
- SharePoint: This is a cloud-based platform that enables companies to backup, store, retrieve, and collaborate on spreadsheets, documents, presentations, databases, and much more. It seamlessly integrates with the more popular of Microsoft’s products, Microsoft 365, and has the capacity of being configured for a wide variety of applications and workflows.
- Teams: This is a chat-based workspace that brings people together to collaborate, communicate, and share content. It offers a flexible environment that makes everything visible, integrated, and accessible to your staff. It’s a messaging application where all conversations, meetings, and notes can be accessed by everyone in one place, and it’s a hub where you can work together with the security and real-time communication you need for collaboration.
- FindTime: This app shows what days and times work the best for all required meeting attendees. When you use FindTime, everyone you’re trying to coordinate for a meeting will get a say in what dates and times work best for them. Once everyone has selected their preferred date and time, FindTime coordinates the best meeting time and generates an invite to be sent to all attendees. It is that simple.
- Bookings: This app allows your clients and customers to schedule appointments directly in your business calendar without any effort or involvement required on your end. Clients can easily access your calendar, view available time slots, and then book an appointment that fits their preferences and your schedule.
Are You Keeping Track Of Hardware & Data?
As you bring employees back into the office, you’ll want to make sure they’re bringing back the hardware and the data they took home.
Are Your Employees Aware Of Remote Work Cybercrime?
Have you considered the state of your cybersecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic? Unfortunately, when businesses start prioritizing remote access to data over the security of that data, they make an easy target for hackers. Cybercriminals have been taking advantage of the confusion and lack of awareness that comes with changing the way a majority of the professional world gets their work done. That’s why your staff needs to be on the lookout for phishing emails and other scams.
Regardless of when you return to the office, and whether it’s your entire staff or just part of it, you have to manage the process carefully. The health of your employees, the security of your data, and the productivity of your business as a whole will be on the line.