Surviving the pandemic: Here’s a 3-step COVID-19 response plan for small businesses

covid-19, coronavirus

With the Coronavirus officially gaining pandemic status, many businesses are forced to close their doors. If you’re not there yet, it is a great idea to create a COVID-19 response plan to keep your business productive should you have to shut down for a period of time.

Is your team prepared to work from home? They may say they have a home computer, but can it perform as well as the device at the office, or are you creating false expectations for clients around deadlines? You can only manage expectations if you have the assurance that your employees are equipped to deliver results from their homes. Alongside this, is your organisation’s personal data safe?

Step 1: Have a trial run

Have your team utilise their home setup on a chosen day to have a test run. This will give you insight into the potential pitfalls you might face when you have to resort to this plan. Preparation is key! The trial run will reveal how capable your employees’ devices are at home, how stable the internet connection is (especially in homes with families where children might also access the internet line), and how capable your teams are of working quietly and undistracted.

Step 2: Make use of free software

Compare the specs and evaluate the capabilities of your employees’ home devices in comparison with the devices used at work by using a free diagnostic tool. Try the handy software – it will give you a complete insight into the capabilities of both devices, giving you a realistic idea of which tasks can and which tasks can not be completed at home. Equipped with this insight, you can plan ahead which will reduce the stress and the pressure later on.

Step 3: Understand the true risks around data security (and take precautions)

Data security goes beyond spyware and firewalls. The truth is that while you may trust your employee, you don’t know what kind of environment they’re working from. You can’t control what kind of people might peer over their shoulder or access their device while they’re using the bathroom. The integrity of your privacy is completely out of your control. Use software like timedoctor to monitor the progress and privacy of your work. It comes with a camera, it can track screenshots, and it tracks time spent on a task for productivity analysis. Use as an alternative to Skype when you need to host meetings. Shut down might be out of your hands, but keeping your business up and running is possible.

Equipping your employees to work remotely, however, requires preparation. If you are not able to prepare adequately, offshore outsourcing can keep your operations running even if your doors are “officially” closed. Contact a professional outsourcing team to learn more.

Fiona Kresby is the co-founder and CEO of Go-VA, a specialist firm based in the Philipines. They place dedicated virtual teams with companies across the globe.