Many of you reading this may also be working in an office scrabbling to respond to the issue, and some of you may already be working remotely. The coronavirus pandemic itself has undoubtedly placed a spotlight on flexible working policies and business continuity.
Being prepared to move to a flexible working model for office-based businesses is one thing but doing so in a time frame of a few weeks or even days is another. For many companies, flexible working has previously been seen as a nice to have driven by the employee’s demand for greater flexibility around working hours and location. Now it is a necessity.
Fear not. Whilst a concern for many companies, the need for self-isolation amid the coronavirus outbreak has presented an opportunity for businesses to take stock of their employees and IT infrastructure, but also their physical real estate to identify opportunities to improve agility and overheads.
Below, we have outlined five steps on the business continuity check-list to help businesses prepare for the unknown months ahead:
How to prepare your workplace strategy for flexible working
Define a business action
You’ll need to be prepared now that the government is recommending all staff work from home, where possible – including employee and customer communications.
Identify essential staff
Make sure they can work remotely – consider a gradual rollout of flexible working, in the interim, to test out any potential issues before it is mandated.
Review flexible working policies
Are they up to date? Do they clearly communicate business expectations of employees during work hours while working remotely?
Provide the right equipment
Do all employees have the right equipment to work from home? Think laptops, access to the network, VoIP telephone services and potentially printers – and possibly other unique software, depending on each role.
Join up your communication
Are your employees already using communication tools to aid collaborative working while in isolation? If not, we would highly recommend using tools such as Microsoft Teams that already comes with any Office 365 business license to enable employees to communicate efficiently and schedule video calls. Such tools will prevent employees from becoming isolated and are paramount in keeping everyone in sync.
Pandemics such as coronavirus, while very worrying can present businesses with an opportunity to streamline working processes and even save money. Office usage can be minimised, and utilities turned off to reduce overheads. By moving to a flexible working model, Cloudbooking clients have been able to successfully identify how their current commercial property is being used through meeting room and desk sensors, and how it can be optimised even further.
For some, moving to hot-desking, enabling remote working or reducing the size of meeting rooms to create more flexible workspaces, has made many realise that additional real-estate is not required, despite growing employee numbers and some have even been able to reduce real-estate overheads.
As our business community navigates its way through this trying time, follow the Cloudbooking blog for a series of flexible working blogs over the coming weeks, which will explore how to maintain a cohesive business culture with dispersed and remote working teams.
Make your office fit for flexible working
Find out more about Cloudbooking’s agile, flexible workplace solutions.