How to Create a Business Continuity Plan for the Coronavirus
Minimize the spread of disease in your office. Learn how to facilitate remote collaboration. Create a business continuity plan that addresses the coronavirus.
Even with less than 2,000 confirmed cases in the United States, the coronavirus has already made a severe impact. People have died. Significant events have been canceled in unprecedented ways. Disney Land and other popular destinations have closed their doors. As the virus continues to spread, panic may settle, but the reality may be far worse.
To prepare for the unknown, your business needs a continuity plan that facilitates a shift to a mobile workforce.
Keeping Your Team Healthy
To help you minimize the effects of the coronavirus throughout your organization, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released the following tips:
- Emphasize the importance of sick employees staying home.
- Prepare your business for the potential of increased sick or personal days.
- Draft a plan for dealing with infectious diseases that include remote work options.
- Encourage social distancing as a precautionary measure, even if your employees are not actively ill.
While your employees are still coming into the office every day, you can minimize the spread of illness with the following strategies:
- Wash hands often. Hang signs and issue memos reminding employees of the importance of washing their hands after using the bathroom, before eating, and after an encounter with a sick person.
- Try not to touch your face. If germs are on your hands, you increase the risk of contracting illnesses if you rub your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Cover coughs. The coronavirus and many other illnesses are airborne. Make sure your employees understand that they should cough into a tissue or their elbow.
- Do not share personal items such as drinking containers, utensils, or dishes.
You may also want to talk with your team about the need for replacing handshakes with a polite bow or a similar gesture.
Facilitating Remote Collaboration
As the coronavirus spreads, your employees may want to stay home as a preventative measure, they may need to stay home as daycares or schools close, or if they have symptoms, they may need to self-quarantine. In all cases, you need tools and policies that facilitate remote collaboration.
Cloud-based document management systems streamline the shift from an in-person to a remote team. Whether you’re working on a Word document, a PowerPoint presentation, an Excel spreadsheet, or some other type of file, these tools let your employees share files effortlessly, collaborate on the same document from different locations, chat easily within those documents, and switch to video chat if desired.
Cloud-based tools share all changes immediately, so when other workers open the file, they instantly see the most updated version. At the same time, these tools offer features such as “suggested edits” so that a team member can make changes but allow other collaborators to view their ideas before finalizing the changes. Additionally, the chat-based work environment lets multiple members of your team talk about the project, without leaving the document or needing to open a separate application. And of course, you can bring together the whole team through video conferencing solutions.
Maintaining Cybersecurity for Remote Teams
When you move your team out of the office due to health concerns or for any other reasons, you face a new set of security changes. Quality cloud-based tools allow you to collaborate remotely without sacrificing any cybersecurity. These tools encrypt files both in transit and at rest, protecting them from hackers, viruses, and other cyber threats. There are also mobile device management tools that help to maintain your security, even if workers are using their phones or laptops.
At 360 Smart Networks, we work hard to make sure our clients are prepared for anything. We can guide you toward the right tools to facilitate a remote workforce, and we can help to ensure that your cybersecurity is not compromised due to these shifts.
To learn more about our managed IT services, cybersecurity solutions, and the importance of a business continuity plan that takes all kinds of threats into account, contact us today.