When the coronavirus first hit, few businesses were prepared for the economic turmoil that came with it. Fewer organizations had the technological capabilities that working from home demanded. Employers and their workers faced unprecedented challenges, especially when it came to communication and collaboration of projects.
Currently, many businesses are beginning to reopen and welcome employees back to the office. However, there are significant IT challenges and considerations they need to evaluate. As a business, how do you ensure that your reopening is smooth and streamlined?
Here’s the ultimate technology checklist for COVID-19!
1. Come Up with A Reopening Plan
The first item on your checklist should be a reopening plan. Start planning and strategizing on how your most important assets will resume operations in a safe and secure manner. The last thing you want is for the virus to spread at the workplace.
Form a ‘back to work taskforce‘ to come up with guidelines, create a checklist and evaluate the security and administrative controls of your office before opening.
What are the Key Things that the Taskforce Should Focus on?
The CDC came up with guidelines to help small businesses and other organizations reopen. Here are some of the questions that the taskforce should aim to answer:
- What measures will be in place to ensure the employees are free of the virus?
- Will it be possible to enhance social distancing?
- What technologies will you use to ensure your systems are secure and can handle the reopening?
- How will you hold official meetings?
- What protocols will be put in place to ensure employees’ return to work is smooth?
If possible, you should consider having the employees come back to work in phases, starting with the ones that are most critical to your organizational success.
2. Establish Procedures and Policies
This is the best time to review your existing policies and procedures, especially those that had been mandated by working remotely. Will, they still apply, or will you have to create new ones? Will you have to make additional updates?
Top Procedure and Policies Considerations to Make Before Resuming Work
It’s important that you coordinate with your IT team when creating new procedures. Some of the top processes to evaluate are:
- Deletion of sensitive content on employee’s devices
- Reconnecting of all office equipment
- Conducting security reviews of your systems
- Transfer of documents form local devices to company servers
- Management of data backups
You should also consider repurposing work equipment that the business had given to employees to enable them to work from home.
3. Reassess Your Technologies
You need to evaluate the technologies that you used while working remotely to identify if they can be integrated into your work environment. The transition from working remotely to working on-site may be a difficult one, which is why you will need technologies to streamline it.
Key Questions to Answer in You Technological Assessment
Businesses are uncertain about their survival rate during the COVID-19 crisis, which is why you’ll need careful planning and execution of all formulated strategies. The key questions you need to ask yourself before reopening is; can your current technological infrastructure handle the return of employees?
Will you keep paying for the remote working tools, or will you discontinue the services? Will the employees keep their work equipment in case there is a new wave of the pandemic? How will you handle data backups before you sanitize the devices?
It is also important that you run a system security check so that you can patch up any vulnerabilities before employees come back.
4. Readapting to Office Life
At this point, your workers are already used to working from home and using the new technologies. They may be reluctant to give them up. How will you ensure that they readapt to working in the office?
They will also have to reverse some of their efficiency habits and get used to procedures such as signing in and picking up laptops from their desks. You should also bear in mind that coronavirus is a global crisis, and they may be nervous to come back to work.
Your reopening checklist should include a strategy to make sure your employees don’t feel overwhelmed by the new move and that their safety is assured.
5. Plan for the Return of Office Equipment
What plans do you have for the equipment that your employees were using when working from home? If you had to buy new devices for your employees to take home, you could allow them to keep them at home, especially if they will be working from home once in a while.
Items on Your Office Equipment List
- Printers and scanners.
- Laptops or desktops.
- Phones and accessories like network cables, desk phones, headsets, etc.
- Computer accessories like keyboards, mouse, Ethernet cables, etc.
- Any other extra devices.
Be sure to include login information on any software you may have acquired from them during this period.
Bonus Tip: Maintain Open Lines of Communication
The only way reopening your business will work if your whole workforce is on the same page. Ensure that your employees are aware they can voice out their worries.
Find out what your employees think about this move and what their concerns are. This is the only way you can create an effective technology checklist that puts their pain points into consideration.
Make sure you also communicate with them regarding new updates.
Create Effective Reopening Checklists to Enhance Work Safety
Reopening your business after COVID-19 will be a difficult move, but with proper planning and strategizing, you can hack it. You only need to remember one thing: the health and safety of your employees is of the utmost importance.
Every plan you make should put their safety into consideration, and you should put measures in place to ensure recommended health security guidelines are adhered to. While at it, you should start reconfiguring your office s that social distancing is maintained.
Admittedly, running a technology checklist without guidance is no easy task. Are you considering reopening your business? Contact us to schedule a free business IT consultation! We will be more than glad to help you streamline your processes.