Do you have a pandemic playbook? What does it look like?
It’s been a long year these last six months. The theme for 2020, thus far, seems to be bad news, hard truths and, sadly, “What is true?”. I have a couple more hard truths to offer, but there is some good news to follow as well as a helping hand where needed.
Hard truth #1: Think you have your work from home strategy dialed in? You don’t. Unless your business was primarily a remote work force to begin with, you likely made the radical shift to “work from home” in just a week or two. Properly implemented infrastructure, whether it’s the traditional on-premise, or is built for telecommuting, takes lots of time and careful planning – a week or two is simply not enough to do it right. Before the pandemic, just 4.9% of the US workforce was working from home full-time. By the end of April 2020, that number was closer to 63%, according to Flexjobs. To meet the challenge we were facing, a rush to change was necessary. But now that the dust has settled, this is our opportunity to assess the situation and make improvements, particularly where security is concerned.
Hard truth #2: Think we’re just going to go back to the way things were? We aren’t. The cat is out of the bag. Employees now know that working from home is possible, and many want to continue to work remotely into the future. Workers have a better idea of what to expect from working remotely full-time, both the positive and negative. Employer’s fears that their team wouldn’t be as productive have been allayed, and in fact, most have seen an increase in productivity since the shift to working from home. Even now as we approach July, the COVID-19 crisis is still in its early stages and is as unpredictable as ever. With various factors such as phased re-openings, different restrictions based on business type (think child care), a sizable share of the workforce will be working from home for a substantial amount of time, and will likely account for a percentage of every business’ workforce well into the future.
The good news? Most have realized that implementing some type of work from home option reaps many rewards, and that now is the time to start dialing things in. The next move made from your pandemic playbook needs to be sitting down with your IT professionals to assess what has worked, what hasn’t, then develop and implement a plan to improve your remote infrastructure and policies to help your business survive, and ultimately, thrive.
As the pandemic first began to take hold, the rush to enable work from home left most businesses exposed…and they stayed exposed. So, what’s next? Your first step is to evaluate and take action to ensure your work environment is secure. From employees using personal equipment to connect to business networks and data, a lack of policies that define acceptable use, no defined procedures to keep your data safe, and the associated challenges in managing the infrastructure that was scattered beyond the office walls literally overnight, small businesses are exposed to potentially business ending cyber security events. What a shame it would be to survive the pandemic only to lose your business to a cyber security event. Bringing your security up to speed must be your top priority right now!
I understand that most businesses are financially guarded right now, and rightfully so with all the instability, but many businesses can work through the challenges of improving infrastructure and addressing security exposure without overly burdensome costs.
The most important thing is to get started, right now! The steps you take to address these changes will be critical to the survival of your business moving forward, and a competitive advantage over those who choose not to act.
From infrastructure and security, to productivity and policy implementation, FrameWork is here to help. Don’t hesitate! Reach out today and let’s get a Zoom meeting scheduled - a simple conversation to get us started. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work helping you overcome all of these challenges!