If you've been keeping up with the latest news, chances are you've heard about COVID-19 and how quickly it's spreading all over the globe. With over 100,000 confirmed infections and over 3,000 deaths worldwide, businesses in Wichita and all over the United States are making contingency plans so that operations will continue even under the possibility of an outbreak.
One plan is to have employees work remotely while the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) look for effective ways of containing and treating this virus. Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Twitter are already allowing their employees to work at home as the coronavirus continues to spread. The goal is to reduce the risk of infection and to keep those already infected from spreading the virus further.
Does remote work reduce the risk of infection?
As far as we know, COVID-19 can be transmitted just like the common cold through coughing, sneezing, and touching infected surfaces. The risk of infection increases if you or your employees are near infected individuals, such as in public transportation and contained office spaces.
Self-quarantine and working remotely are good ways of lowering your chances of infection. You don't have to worry about shared items or being in direct contact with an infected person, which is one of the prime modes of transmitting COVID-19.
What do you need for remote work?
Before you and your employees can start working remotely, here are some of the things you need:
- A computer or laptop
- A good and stable internet connection
- A dedicated workspace
- Communication and collaboration apps
As a business owner, it's your responsibility to provide your employees with the applications they need to perform their tasks at home the same way they would normally do at the office.
Are you ready for a remote workforce?
Adopt a healthy remote working strategy to ensure productivity by following our tips listed in our FREE eBook.
How to adjust to remote work?
While it can help minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection, remote work comes with its own set of challenges. Freelancers will often tell you that some of the biggest challenges they face are the distractions that come with working remotely.
Noisy children, neighbors, and pets can divert your attention from work and prevent you from being productive. To ensure you maintain a high level of productivity at home, you should have a dedicated workspace isolated from any form of distraction.
Making your home conducive to productivity is just the first step to making remote work succeed. The next step is to motivate yourself to work at home. Knowing that your bed is within reach and that you can take a nap any time of the day can hamper your ability to work efficiently. To prevent this, follow the same routine you use at work so you can stay focused on your tasks. If you usually get up at six in the morning on a normal workday, do the same once you start working at home. Following your usual work routine will help you deliver the same quality of work.
Do this with your breaks as well. Take your lunch and coffee breaks at the same time you would at work and resist the urge to watch television or engage in activities that will otherwise prevent you from being productive.
Don't forget about security
When working remotely, you and your employees should observe the same cybersecurity measures when doing remote work the same way you do at the office. Here are some tips to keep your devices safe while working remotely:
- Use a virtual private network (VPN) to connect to company resources
- Encourage the use of multifactor authentication to reduce the risk of a data breach
- Train employees to identify and avoid phishing emails
- Ensure that all devices come with updated cybersecurity software solutions
Working remotely can be a beneficial situation for both employers and employees. While allowing the employee to maintain productivity, they can also realize the personal benefits of social distancing in order to minimize their chance of COVID-19 infection.
Here at Summit Advisors, LLC, we'll ensure that your operations will continue uninterrupted despite the COVID-19 outbreak. Our cloud services will allow everyone in your firm to access company apps and data while working remotely, and our cybersecurity services will ensure all devices used to access your company's network are equipped with the latest cybersecurity software solutions. Get your free IT assessment now.