12 March 2020

 

5 Steps to Protect Your Employees and Organization Working from Home

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to dramatically alter the way we go about life. Everything from socializing to childcare to managing work environments, government-mandated safety measures have transformed public and private activity.

 

As a business owner, you must understand and be empathetic to how deeply these changes may impact your employees. To protect them, yourself, and the functionality of your business, here are a few tips on what to do as you transition into working from home.

 

  1. Keep Your Employees Informed

 

As you prepare for the closing of your business (or dramatic changes in business operations), communicate your contingency plan to your staff. It’s not enough to only have a plan in place – your entire team must know how to contribute to its appropriate execution and why the protocol is in place.

 

Your business continuity plan should always have safeguards for unexpected events, even viral outbreaks like COVID-19. Inform your staff of why these changes are necessary, potential exposures, and how to comply with the new company policies.

 

  1. Adjust Travel-Related Company Policies

 

About 63% of organizations have now canceled conferences and other business-related gatherings to prevent the introduction of viral infections into their workplace. Make revisions to your travel policies by referring to the guidance of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). By using input directly from health experts to revise these policies, you will ensure maximum safety for yourself and your staff.

 

  1. Take Extensive Cybersecurity Protection Measures

 

As you transition into a remote work environment, the chances of your company data and identifying information of yourself and staff being compromised become more pronounced. To protect your company from cyberattacks, train your employees on how to conduct work duties online safely. Invest in virtual private network (VPN) software as well, and the assistance of an experienced information technology (IT) provider.

 

  1. Streamline Company Communications

 

Assign one or a small handful of people to manage communications with your company suppliers to reduce the risk of lost data. Regarding supplier communications, you should also implement the “80-20 rule.” This rule encourages business owners to contact their top providers (the 20% of suppliers that provide 80% or more of your business’s needs) daily to remain updated on their functionality. Check in with them to see if their regular hours and services are being maintained.

 

  1. Maintain an Optimistic Mindset

 

Fearful or overly-stressed mentalities are prone to error and could lead to interruptions in business operations. More importantly, though, you want your employees to be as happy and peaceful as possible during this time. Check in on everyone as frequently as possible and offer solutions to novel challenges and potentially stressful situations.

 

Do your best to avoid getting sucked into the news or other potentially stressful situations. Obsessively following news cycles and social media feeds at this time will severely impact your ability to communicate effectively and manage your business and employees. With these guidelines, your staff, and your business will all be thoroughly protected from the risks associated with remote work. Follow these diligently and rest assured that your company will make it through the pandemic.