Reports suggest that up to one-fifth of the working population ‘could be off sick at the same time’ during the peak of a coronavirus epidemic. In response, businesses are planning for high staff absenteeism and are putting in place precautions to keep work moving during this period of uncertainty.
So, what should you be considering?
The three areas of focus during any situation that challenges normal operations are as follows:
Although we can’t comment on the science surrounding the issue, we are experts in facilitating remote working. Therefore, we’ve penned this article to help you prepare for any possible isolation and the increased requirement to work from home.
Below, we share some insight into how to prepare for remote working. So, if Coronavirus impacts your operations, your business can continue to operate efficiently.
Depending on what contingency plans you have in place, you may have already considered the technologies you may need in place to ensure remote working is a seamless, secure and stress-free process for everyone during this tense time.
If the thought of remote working fills you with dread or makes you feel as if you’re losing control, have no fear. There are many powerful tools to help you maintain productivity from afar.
A sudden change in the way your team works or communicated will inevitably disturb your processes. Microsoft Planner is our favourite project management tool and comes as part of your Office 365 subscription. Planner streamlines all areas of project management. It helps you to:
However, if you’re looking for even more out of planner, including sophisticated reports that help you to stay organised, focused and in charge, it may be worth considering Microsoft Project.
Tip for Maintaining Productivity:
In order to maintain a high level of productivity in your remote workforce, you should encourage employees to follow good practice by taking breaks, having set working hours and encouraging them to keep a to-do list. This was found to aid overall productivity by over 30%.
Whether you’re billing clients by the hour, trying to align multiple schedules or just want to know what your team is working on, Microsoft Shifts can help you manage your efficiency.
Shifts in Microsoft Teams is a schedule management tool that helps you create, update, and manage schedules for your team. Here are some of the great features it includes:
Time tracking tools can help you ensure that your employees aren’t overworking and manage their wellbeing from afar. It has been found that remote workers work an extra 16.8 days every year vs their office counterparts.
Microsoft Teams is invaluable. In simple terms, it’s a tool for real-time discussion and collaboration. It integrates with all other Microsoft Apps and helps you to communicate through direct messaging, calls or video conferencing, share documents and keep projects on track. It’s a fantastic tool for managing your business in one place and, as with Planner, Teams comes as part of your Office 365 subscription.
Moving all your files onto a system like SharePoint enables your team to access any document, at any time, from anywhere.
Sharepoint’s live syncing feature enables the latest documents to be downloaded from any device. Control who has access to specific folders and integrate dual-factor authentication to make sure your business data is protected when your team is working remotely.
For personal files and folders, we recommend OneDrive. This personal cloud storage enables you to save and access your files and photos from any device, anywhere.
Implementing the correct IT technology can make or break the reality of your flexible working arrangements. If you were considering moving to remote working anyway, or whether COVID-19 has accelerated your decision, it is important to invest in the right IT infrastructure to ensure that your business remains safe and secure from anywhere.
For tips on how to work anywhere, check out our top security tips. They cover:
We regularly assist businesses with their flexible working set-ups and have been assured that Microsoft has everything in place to help us support you and keep your business up and running during the Coronavirus outbreak.
If you need some help enabling secure remote working, contact us today to get the ball rolling.