Don't quarantine your business: Plan effective Business Continuity during COVID.
Investopedia defines business continuity as "the process involved in creating a system of prevention and recovery from potential threats to a company. The plan ensures that personnel and assets are protected and are able to function quickly in the event of a disaster. "
It's March 2020, and the disaster is not a recession or economic breakdown, it's Coronavirus.
Covid19 has turned out to be a global pandemic with no prediction on its end. Individuals are taking every precaution of this threat, but neither the cure is found, nor its termination can be predicted.
There's no question this is an uncertain time. But how we, as businesses and leaders, react to this situation and proactively prepare for the future will set us apart.
In this scenario, companies have have to switch to a remote working model or just suffer losses until the situation normalizes.
Remote working has been gathering speed becoming not a notion, but the need of the hour. Even though digital literacy has been relatively good in the commercial world, but many companies and employees still have to adjust to the challenges of working remotely.
This critical time of Covid outbreak demands that your company should invest their time in developing a robust business continuity plan. You'll have to figure out ways to increase your organization's ability to operate during this difficult time.
The effects on the global economy are still unclear. Still, businesses are bracing for impact as people practice social distancing and avoid public places, and the next few months are critical.
At this stage, for businesses, it's basically:
Productivity. Performance. Revenue. Safety
As per WHO your business continuity plan should entail the following attributes:
• Practical, realistic and feasible
• Simple and easy to perform
• Promotes need-based and efficient use of resources
• Based on strong procedures and easy to operationalize and implement
• Tested and validated
• Monitored and regularly updated as per feedbacks.
Significant aspects of Business continuity plan:
1. Smooth business functioning and team collaboration
Work management, team communication, task delegation, employee learning all come into the picture during remote working, which otherwise in office might be a part of verbal communication.
Covid outbreak is the time when you'll have to implement the modern tech toolkit that could help you run those business errands smoothly.
So, here I'm going to narrow down on the software and extensions that can help your company to organize its daily routine, and make it a hell of easier.
1. During remote working, you'll need a tool that allows you to make urgent announcements quickly, share documents like PDFs, images, and videos, and get the feedback of your teammates. Something like Slack!
2. You just can't work well for long without those face-to-face communications. Chatting seldom brings confusion, so you need to hear the person's tone of voice, their emotions. For that, Zoom could work out best!
3. You'd also need a fun and flexible tool for your project and task management. Now that all your employees would be using it, so be sure that you decide a tool which is smooth and easy to use. With those two words, the best I can think of is Trello!
4. I have here another advanced project management tool for enterprises. Planfix is a cloud platform for the organization of enterprise management. You can create tasks for the team, assign the workers and deadlines, and a lot more!
2. Continuous and connected customer service
At this time, customers might not visit you personally, but they can always reach out to you on virtual mediums.
With remote working, one of the significant business attributes that need to be streamlined is customer communication.
You as a business would be struggling, but your customers shouldn't feel that. Remember that now isn't the time to stop talking to your customers.
The fact that customer service can't be compromised at any cost, it makes sense for businesses to move their customer communication to a more advanced platform. Cloud telephony is what companies require as their modern customer communication system.
The invention of cloud telephony has made it very easy to manage all your business calls on the cloud and empower your staff to attend business calls remotely, from any location. The other prime benefits include:
- Geographically accessible and functional
Flexible remote working means facilitating employees to work from any geographical location across the country. Having the business communication system and data secured in the cloud enhances the process significantly. It allows you to have more precise control and access to both the connected devices and valuable data.
- Independent of fixed hardware setups
The idea of cloud necessarily implies that the solution works on virtual connectivity and doesn't involve the installation of heavy setups. The primary attribute of cloud telephony is that it isn't connected to fixed systems like traditional PBX, PRI lines, or ISDN/PSTN. This advantage itself is a vital cog in the remote working of businesses.
- Cost-efficient for the long term
It won't be wrong to mention that cloud technology substantially reduces the cost incurred by businesses in their communication system, and instead, increases the result. It enables your business to manage communication at an affordable price by removing maintenance costs, SIP Trunks, IT overheads, and so on.
So if you're relying on traditional PBX systems like landlines as your current customer communication mode, then it's high time you switch to a modern cloud telephony solution. Something like, MyOperator!
If not done soon, a lot of sales calls from a successful marketing campaign can go unanswered.
3. Detailed check on employee productivity
Indeed, the COVID threat will be persistent for the long term, and companies must maintain their regular pace if not able to speed up.
After all, we are in an unprecedented moment, facing an unpredictable future. As we practice social distancing and follow updates on an alarming situation, you as a business will have to also concentrate on how your employees are performing.
When working from home, expecting or getting the same productivity from them, keeping them connected, all these efforts proactively doubles on the organization level.
Here's when you need a powerful tool that could help you track the work-time of your employees, which is a necessary thing when you have an eight-hour workday. The application should also be able to aid in effective monitoring of your employees' overall performance as you wouldn't want to have different tools for employe reporting.
The list is certainly extensive. But here are the best recommendations:
1 Yaware: It's a productivity-tracker that will help you know exactly where your time goes, what places have breached, and where you can improve your day-to-day.
2 Toggl: With this tool, you can predict how much time a project is going to take and how much it has taken. It will help you ensure adequate and detailed supervision of the work done by your employees as any hassle or idle behavior will be recorded by this tool.
3 OneTab: With just one click on its icon, it will convert all of your tabs into a list. When your tabs are in the OneTab list, you will save up to 95% of memory because you will have reduced the number of tabs open in Google Chrome.
4 The Great Suspender: If you're used to having many tabs open, this extension will automatically suspend the idle tabs in the background after a certain inactive-time. This will free up the memory and CPU consumed by the tabs.
5 Momentum: This extension makes your New Tab featured with to-dos, weather, exhilarating quotes, and pictures, which is another core drive of productivity. After all, we all are humans, and we need motivation from time to time.
These are some tools that can help tune the remote work of your company, be it of any industry or size. It's a savvy and the most recommended decision for businesses to embrace remote work options in the crucial time of today. It may be challenging on the face of it, but then you'll be rewarded in the long run as well if you learn the art of managing the workflow.
Now is the time for all of us when we need to create short-term solutions and future-oriented strategies for our businesses and our clients.
It won't be wrong to say that before the COVID situation as well, remote working has been successfully executed by many organizations. The primary reasons behind the same are the benefits that remote working brings to an organization, like providing access to a broader pool of applicants, lower administrative cost, better use of technology, increased productivity, and more.
The current disastrous situation of today, if not anything else, is genuinely preparing us for the future of work.