Emergencies happen at the most unexpected times, and the recent coronavirus pandemic is a prime example of why businesses and enterprises should be ready. They need to have contingency plans in place to maintain their business. That’s because how quickly an organization responds will determine its longevity, allowing them to adapt to unexpected workplace changes rapidly.
No matter how dire the situation or emergencies, a business should be proactive and provide the right contingency plans in place—and the following is how you can set up your organization for the worst.
Acknowledge That Your Workforce May Need to Work Remotely
When it comes to the backup plan of letting employees work at home, handing everyone a laptop, and instructing them to ‘go work someplace else,’ when an emergency happens, this won’t do you any good down the line. So, make an effort to plan to remain operational and help employees work remotely as seamlessly as possible. You can do this by providing additional technologies like Xorcom IP phones and IP-PBX phone systems that streamline workplace communications, making one-person call management possible.
Additionally, gathering cross-functional teams together beforehand can save you a lot of money, time, and your overall business when a disaster happens. Teams should include business-line leaders, IT personnel, Human Resources, and provided with gadgets for communications and facilities—ensuring an efficient and rapid response. Map Out Jobs and Tasks That Can Be Affected For mapping out tasks that could be affected by the pandemic, you should assess which duties and roles can and can’t be done without being in the workplace and evaluating if the employees can do their tasks at a remote workplace. Be ready to challenge the assumptions about the functions you might have thought can’t be done virtually or remotely.
There are many types of jobs that can be done remotely and benefit the business just as much as the traditional physical workplace does. Just be willing to experiment if you’re not sure if that will work. Of course, some tasks need physical presence to complete the work, but you can plan those particular tasks.
Audit Company IT Hardware and Software
Evaluate the comfort level by applying new techniques, such as video conferences and other virtual communication or collaboration platforms. Bridge the gaps you found by providing opportunities for practice and training for the employees. For some people, their mastery of the new mode of working is not that efficient and optimal. Identify if there are any issues about data-security to consider, and ensure to address the problems beforehand. Check the devices owned by the company that employees can use and inform them on which “bring your own” devices are only acceptable, such as tablets, phones, or laptops.
Set Communication Protocol in Advance
Create an effective plan on how to reach and communicate with everyone- employees and customers. Make a compilation or database of all the contact information and communication channels, such as phone numbers, emails. Slack, IM, etc. Set a proper schedule on when and how the teams will meet and coordinate. Doing this helps employees become more prepared and collaborate better, ensuring optimal readiness during emergencies or crises.
Identify Different Ways to Measure Performance
When the flexible response period is over, the experiences and data will help you contemplate what techniques worked, what didn’t, and the factors affecting the result. Doing this helps prepare you for future changes if you’re required to make a flexible response all the time. Depending on the outcome, you can decide whether you’re going to keep the flexible response permanently.
Worldwide health emergencies like COVID-19 can cause plenty of anxiety and uncertainty, disrupting normal business operations. However, no matter dire, the situation is, if you want your hard work to thrive, at a minimum, be organized, flexible, and prepared. Although it’s unclear whether and to what extent different situations will impact employers, employees, workplaces, and overall business—any of the strategies mentioned can help you create a contingency plan that’s efficient and safe.