Feb 24

Industry Insights

How technology can help Irish businesses prepare for coronavirus

Since the initial outbreak of the coronavirus in the city of Wuhan, China, authorities are taking drastic measures in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus. Organisations, not only in China but increasingly across the globe, are being forced to close their offices to minimise the risk of the virus spreading amongst staff. Recently, Irish employees at Indeed were asked to work from home for a period of a week as a precaution, as one member of staff was tested for the virus.

Embedding flexible working capabilities should be at the heart of business preparations for epidemics such as the coronavirus. Rather than being a nice-to-have, the ability for employees to work from home becomes critical for business continuity in the event of an outbreak.

Here are four steps organisations can take to prepare their team to work remotely in the event of a coronavirus crisis:

remote working

1. Look at the technologies you might need

As a first step, businesses need to survey their employees to see what tasks they carry out daily, what functionality and applications they need, what devices they have available to them and what level of broadband connectivity they have to enable them to work from home. Every company will have its own unique checklists.

2. Trial remote working

Evolving employee expectations for more flexible working options, mean that many organisations are already operating or trialling remote working solutions. By taking the first steps to empowering people to work away from the office, these organisations are in a far better position to handle a forced move to 100 per cent remote working, compared to those who rely on employees always working at their office desks. Don’t wait until it is too late, trial remote working in at least a limited capacity in advance.

3. Iron out any difficulties

By trialling remote working, organisations also have more time to iron out inevitable difficulties and decide on what exactly is the best set-up for them. For example, rather than solely relying on a virtual private network (VPN), organisations can leverage cloud computing to offer a more streamlined and intuitive remote working experience for employees. Listen to employee feedback and refine your remote working solution accordingly.

4. Leverage the experience of an IT provider

IT providers can help organisations to prioritise their needs and put the best-fitting remote working solution in place. Mobilising a remote working solution can be a difficult task for employers, especially with time constraints imposed by a virus. Engaging with an IT services provider can enable organisations to get access to high-level IT skills and knowledge quickly so flexible solutions can be developed much faster.

Both contingency planning for emergency situations such as the outbreak of the coronavirus, and changing user expectations for increased flexibility, are spurring organisations to examine their remote working capabilities.

Services such as Novi OneCloud, offer employees secure, reliable and seamless access to business applications and information from anywhere in the world.

Check out our IT Services for more information on how to equip your business for mobile working and remote collaboration.