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Flooding, snow and train strikes can prevent your workforce from making it into the office. The coronavirus, or COVID-19, may also result in staff members being quarantined in their homes.
Organisations need to have a business continuity plan in place for these unforeseen circumstances when employees cannot make the journey into work.
How will your business cope?
Can you and your colleagues still access your work systems to remain productive while they wait out a self-isolation if they develop the relevant symptoms?
Companies should plan ahead to support their staff and enable them to work remotely. In addition to being concerned for your employees’ welfare, businesses should be protecting themselves by preparing for staff to work from home.
We have already seen schools and businesses temporarily close and the World Health Organization has said we should do more to prepare for a possible coronavirus pandemic. A vaccine may not be ready for at least another year, so businesses need to plan for potential long-term disruption and give their staff the tools to work from any location.
swcomms have put together the following checklist to guide you through this process:
- Check your staff can access email from anywhere
- Check you can share documents
- Check your staff have a method of making and receiving telephone calls remotely through your telephone system
- Check you know how to divert your telephone system to external numbers
- Check you can access your desktop or important information so staff can do their jobs remotely
- Check your current business internet connection can support your home workers
- Check your corporate documents are secure when accessed on a home network
Hosting IT systems and data in offsite data centres or cloud storage facilities, such as Azure, can give staff access to the files they need via VPN links.
Microsoft Office 365 ensures staff can receive emails on other devices and can enjoy SharePoint file storage for collaboration on documents.
Microsoft Teams offers unified communication capabilities for easy messaging, screen-sharing and video conferencing between employees. Other UC apps are available too, such as Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise’s Rainbow and Gamma’s Collaborate.
Cloud-hosted telephone systems offer flexibility for home and mobile workers with handset twinning for desk phones and mobile devices. Diverts can also be easily set up for incoming calls to go to other branches or mobile devices.
There are plenty of solutions available to help businesses prepare for whatever the coronavirus, or any other disasters or difficulties, bring.
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