Coronavirus: changing the way you work. Posted by Richard Holbrook, 03 Mar 2020

Since the onset of coronavirus, businesses around the globe have taken precautionary measures to prevent further spread of the infection. This has led to an unprecedented rise in homeworking.

And with Boris Johnson today announcing the UK’s plans for containing the outbreak, ‘social distancing’ could become one of the tactics used to control the spread of the virus. Whilst not overreacting, businesses need to prepare for the possibility of remote working at scale.

So, how can IT teams respond to such events quickly and seamlessly? Much will depend upon how far your digital strategy has been developed and progressed. Businesses that already have a cloud-based approach with the inherent security, flexibility and productivity benefits have a distinct advantage. Here are some key considerations:

1. Maintain productivity

For remote working to be efficient, employees need to be able to use the same tools and resources as they have in the office – wherever they are in the world. Setting the right access permissions to email and office apps, line of business apps, and appropriate corporate data is essential to enable your employees to work and collaborate productively. A cloud-based next-generation desktop and mobile experience will provide a more consistent, secure and scalable solution for users.

2. Empower effective customer service

Effective communication and delivering a consistent customer experience is one of the biggest challenges of remote working. A modern Unified Communications (UC) platform enables your employees to work from anywhere while being able to make and receive calls via softphones, respond to emails and collaborate in real time with customers and colleagues as if they were in the office. This joined-up approach ensures the continuation of a seamless service for your customer base.

3. Reduce non-essential travel and in-person meetings

Many businesses have already limited all but business-critical travel or meetings as a precautionary measure. The use of voice, video and screen-sharing will ensure that meetings continue virtually, reducing non-essential travel and supporting ‘social distancing’. These tools are typically available through your UC solution such as Microsoft Teams. Being able to visually communicate with colleagues this way may also help to protect employee morale during any periods of isolation.

4. Secure your business

Whether your data is on premise or in the cloud, you must ensure it is secure, compliant with regulations and only accessible by approved users. A zero-trust security strategy that encompasses data, identity and device management is essential to protect your reputation and maintain customer confidence.

Be it responding to the coronavirus outbreak or extreme weather conditions – our changing world is prompting business leaders to rethink their Business Continuity (BC) and remote working strategies. But why wait for a disaster? In this digital age, BC should really just be part of everyday business. Companies that adopt a forward-thinking IT strategy have the opportunity to become more agile and remain productive at all times – ensuring longevity and continued business success.

At Bistech, we design IT solutions that have remote working and flexibility built in. For support with homeworking, productivity and collaboration technologies, or an IT security audit which will help you identify the associated risks, call us on 03330 11 22 55.