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March 22, 2020
The country’s coronavirus numbers are up. California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut have all put in place similar restrictions ordering residents to stay home and shuttering non-life-sustaining businesses. For those of you living and working in states that aren’t there yet, or for those of you who are and need to quickly adapt, here are some tips for getting your business remote-ready and keeping your employees engaged:
1. Test out your phone forwarding skills and decide who will handle the mail.
2. Circulate contact information for all employees.
3. Distribute work-from-home kits – like paper, envelopes, letterhead, overnight carrier supplies, and postage – and ensure that employees have access to the hardware they need to work effectively at home.
4. Set up electronic signature and electronic payment capabilities with your clients and vendors.
5. Let your clients know that you’ll remain available to them, even if you have to move to a fully-remote environment.
6. Remain responsive. Your employees and your customers are worried, and being responsive with accurate, timely information helps.
7. Keep enforcing company policies – remind non-exempt employees of the importance of tracking the hours they work; remind all employees about client- and company-data security, like shredding documents.
8. Stay flexible. Not all employees will be as productive in a remote environment, because of the work they perform or other “pulls” on their time – like caring for children at home or caring for someone at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus.
9. Don’t forget to use the phone. Email and instant messaging are great, but a telephone discussion often results in clearer messages and greater efficiencies.
10. Give your employees a virtual hug. Check-in via conference calls: ask how things are going, what’s working, what’s not, what they need, or just lead a cheer.