There are two important tools you’ll need to work at home during the coronavirus pandemic — conference calling services and Internet connectivity. Both involve communications which will be the key ingredient in maintaining business operations and continuity.
As the contagion spreads and efforts to contain the coronavirus continue to mount, more and more companies are considering the idea of having employees work at home. It could be the most convenient and practical method to stay out of harm’s way. In fact, the virus has already caused thousands in Europe and Asia to stay home to help combat the virus. Is the United States next?
As best practices, these communication services need to be at the top of your priority list when it comes to transferring any work from traditional offices to homes.
Conference calling services: Companies need to provide employees the ability to communicate with colleagues, associates and customers, instantly and on-demand. The best way to achieve this is for companies to establish a conference call service and obtain a number of separate sub-accounts that will allow for the distribution of conference passcodes for different divisions, departments, offices and even individuals.
For example, let’s say a company has 500 employees divided into 20 different departments. Say about half will be working from home. Your company could easily and quickly obtain 20 sets of conference passcodes to provide the 20 different departments. Each department could alert its members of their unique passcodes that could be used at anytime.
If an employee working from home needs to confer with three other colleagues, the employee can email the date and time of the call to the colleagues, along with the guest passcode. Then, everyone can can at the appointed time and enter the conference to complete the business at hand.
The company can also receive reports on what department is using the service and the duration of the calls, as long as the number of people on each conference call.
Fortunately, there is no cost to set up a conference service, and there is no cost for the service until it is used. Pay-as-you-go conference calling only charges you for the time you spend on the conference calls, no more or less. And your credit card is charged after your call, not before.
From the employees’ point of view, they only need their cell phone to enter the conference call and it enables them to have the best available communication with their fellow workers. It is also the safest way to conduct business without fear or anxiety of contracting the virus.
In general, conference calling continues to remain a staple of business operations and expanding the service to the work-at-home environment keeps everyone in the loop without loss of time or productivity.
If you are interested in setting up a conference call account with multiple sets of passcodes you can distribute to your work-at-home employees, please go to this page.
We are an established decades-old conference call business that has provided high quality service through thick and thin. We are “pre-ramped” to handle any demand on our systems and can accommodate emergency requests. Hopefully, you’ll be prepared enough to avoid last minute emergencies by having your conference call accounts ready to go when you need them.
Internet connectivity: Companies will need to assure employees they will have online access to data and information working from home. Internet connectivity will be the key to a successful transition from office to home, and the more bandwidth employees have, the better. Whether employees are working at home on a desktop, laptop, or pad, there has to be an Internet connection to tie into the same interface employees are used to seeing at work.
Companies need to be very explicit and provide employees, in writing, what the policies are regarding confidentiality, disclosures, privacy and information handling of data at home.
Opportunity in Disguise
While sending employees home to work may come as a bit of a culture shock to your company, the fact remains that over 8 million Americans are already working from home. It’s nothing new and it amounts to over 5% of the work force. The number of workers at home will continue increase dramatically in future years as companies look to reduce costs and expenses associated with providing employees space in high-rent office complexes.
Emergency situations can also be looked upon as opportunities as well. Companies may discover that work-at-home employees are actually more productive and can better focus and concentrate on work at home because they are not sidetracked by the usual interruptions and distractions at the office. Those hour long meetings at work can now be distilled into more useful 15 minute conference calls, especially when you consider the time spent getting to and from meetings and the typical time wasters that are encountered along the way. And these days, work-at-home productivity can be easily measured.