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Corona Virus 2019– Remote Working Considerations For Today’s Worker

 In Business Operations

BACKGROUND

The Corona Virus 2019 problem is real.  Businesses are closed, workers are told to work remotely, social distancing is being enacted– people are genuinely not sure of what is happening today or tomorrow.  However, we have seen these challenges before, however, many are too young to remember.  Members of our “silent generation” recall the Depression, Rationing and the World Wars when things were substantially tougher than what we are experiencing today– at least right now.  working together, we will get through this and return to normal living.  We will survive.

Here are action steps to take, if you have not already done so to help you get through the challenges.

TAKE THESE ACTION STEPS NOW!

Let’s take a look at some factors that you should consider as we begin this period of “remote working.”

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS PLAN DEVELOPMENT

A.  If you don’t have a disaster preparedness and recovery plan, now is the time to begin drafting one.  We address some factors in our blog post here.  This checklist provides a great starting solution for general disaster preparedness, however, this blog post will address some specifics that we are seeing with Corona Virus 2019.

B.  Now is the time to check all electronic connectivity with all databases, servers, computers, printers or other electronic devices to see that you can remotely connect.  If not, this problem needs to be resolved ASAP.  Your Information Technology staff may be overwhelmed– have patience– we have never experienced this challenge at this level before– none of us.  Recall that we are all in this together– your competition is having the same problems that you are– so, if you have challenges, your competitor is having those same challenges.

REMOTE WORKER EXPECTATIONS

C.  Be very clear with the expectations that you expect of the remote worker.  A lawyer can write briefs from home, no problem.  An accountant can analyze balance sheets from home, no problem– however, if you are expected to connect to some company proprietary data base, the challenge may be greater.  If you did not check this out before today, well, check it out and get going– no reason to complain– just assume that nobody is to blame.

DATA AND INTERNET CONNECTIVITY/WORKER DUTY SCHEDULES/SENIOR LEADERSHIP DAILY MEETINGS

D.  Internet connectivity and data challenges are real.  While we have not yet seen where limited data connections preclude everyone from connecting, that is a real possibility.  Give this some thought– especially if you loose connectivity.  We had a connection today where we lost connectivity 3 times in 15 minutes– most folks will not tolerate or support that.  What happened?  Nobody knows.

D1– Use common sense when asking remote workers about work/duty schedules.  No, everyone does note need to check in 3X a day, count hours, etc.  This is one time that you have to have full faith and trust in each of your employees.  Our experience at Solomon Bruce Consulting LLC is that most employees will surprise you with their accomplishments.  The few team members that don’t are the same team members that provide managerial challenges at the office.  However, even those employees, with the right motivation and encouragement will produce outcomes that you did not believe possible.

D2– Media platforms such as Zoom, Go to Meeting, Go to Webinar, MS Teams are all collaborative tools that allow you to connect workers together for collaborative discussions.  These tools should be tested before a crisis, however, if not done, now is the time to get them set up and operational.

D3– Daily senior leadership meetings are encouraged.  Remote working requires a different type of communications process.  Having at least one senior leadership meeting each day allows rapid resolution of problems which may arise.  Instant messaging applications also help rapidly resolve issues that require immediate attention.

CHILDREN AND CHILD CARE MAINTENANCE

E.  If you have children at home, have a lengthy conference with the whole family.  Point out that this time in our world is unprecedented and we will all have to work together to get through it.  Children should be limited to no more than 3 hours of “screen time”a day.  That is the total of computers, television, laptops, smart phones, etc.  Ensure that the children are outside, getting fresh air, walking the dog, helping around the house.

1.  One exception to this rule is that there are many “virtual tours” of museums, zoos and other facilities that are kid friendly and educational.  Time viewing and learning about these sites is NOT counted in the 3 hours of individual screen time that the children should not exceed.

F.  This is a good time to teach the children some basic household skills– cooking, washing clothes, yard maintenance, house cleaning are all skills that are life time skills.  Children as young as 3 can learn this.  Helping sort laundry, matching socks and colors, shapes are all learning activities that children can do– and don’t need an electronic device to do so.  Older children can learn how to balance a checkbook, what is a checkbook, etc.  Cooking and meal preparation at home are great ways to teach STEM skills.  Measuring, counting, dividing are all skills that cooks and bakers use every day.  This is a great time for children to learn this as well.  At the end of the exercise, they get to eat what they help prepare– a great reward!

G.  Reading and enjoying the company of each other is important at this time.  Yes, it might be challenging for all in a house, especially when everyone is used to being gone most of the day.  However, having a home prepared meal, no matter how simple or elegant it is provides family bonding time that may not have been done previously.

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL RESTAURANT– THEY ARE HURTING RIGHT NOW, HELP THEM OUT– AFTER ALL, WE ALL LIKE TO EAT!

At least one time per week, order a take out meal from a local restaurant– not a big chain.  The local restaurant owner is struggling now with the shutdown and restriction on gatherings– help support your local restaurant.  The big chain restaurants may also be struggling, however, the local restaurant is the one who helps in the hometown when things get tough.  Don’t forget them.

LEGAL HELP FROM STEPTOE AND JOHNSON

More information on this Corona 2019 virus is found here.  The lawyers at Steptoe and Johnson have provided research that is valuable to read and understand.

If we here at Solomon Bruce Consulting LLC can be of aid or assistance– give us a call.  817-386-3032– send us an email at [email protected]  We are here for you and can provide the aid and assistance you need to get through this challenge.  Remember, we are all in this together. So is your competitor– don’t worry, we will survive.

 

 

 

 

 

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