As lockdown measures start easing, businesses of all sizes are considering the IT support arrangements they must put in place to prepare for workplace re-entry. Managing the risk associated with resuming operations in an office setting is a complex process that requires planning in line with official safety guidelines
The following checklist provides a quick guide for CEOs and business leaders responding to the challenges posed by Covid-19 and adapting to the new-normal.
✓ What percentage of your employees can continue to work remotely, and which staff members need to transition back to the office? (Employees who are able to work effectively from home are advised to continue doing so.)
✓ Do staff need longer lunch breaks for longer queues in local sandwich shops (or can they bring their own lunch?)
✓ Get your IT support company to visit your office to ensure all devices are updated to avoid staff waiting for Windows updates to be applied when they boot up.
✓ Are there plans in place to test the IT equipment and the environment a day before the planned workforce return?
✓ Has your organisation’s IT infrastructure been reviewed to continue to facilitate employee communication, connectivity and collaboration? Ensure your collaborative technology is able to sustain ongoing non face-to-face interaction with staff and clients.
✓ Is a Covid-19 risk assessment in place based on the current government guidelines?
✓ Has the workforce sentiment around re-entering the workplace been captured? Use surveys to gather employee feedback and address existing concerns.
✓ Does your business have an updated work from home policy? Inform employees of any changes to the company policy.
✓ Have the health and hygiene measures been increased in the office? Provide employees with appropriate hand sanitisation, ensure protective equipment is available and high-touch areas are regularly cleaned.
✓ Are the transmission risks being managed by ensuring, where possible, a 2m distance in the workplace? Where people cannot be 2m apart, consider other practical steps you can implement such as installing protective screens.
✓ Has your organisation’s business continuity plan been tested recently? The last thing you need during a crisis is another one!
✓ Does your IT platform provide you the flexibility to better manage your IT costs during an economic downturn? Many clients are now moving to the Microsoft Modern Workplace to provide a familiar Windows and Office suite, improve IT security, provide additional collaborative tools like Teams video conferencing, and reduce their overall IT spend.
✓ Is there additional IT support / engineers available on the day when employees come back?
✓ Can your IT services flex to your business needs? Are you able to capitalise on modern technologies in Microsoft Azure Cloud like Advanced Threat Detection?
The transition back to the office may feel just as strange to staff as the transition to home-working however with open dialogue with staff, and a carefully managed process, risks can be managed.
This period has been disruptive to all businesses, but it has shown many a different way of working. The strongest businesses will be those that, within the chaos, have learned and identified those benefits that can be applied to their future plans.