Can You Maintain Business Continuity While Your Staff Is Quarantined At Home?

Hour by hour, the coronavirus pandemic continues, forcing more and more businesses to tell their employees to stay at home and practice social distancing. While this may be effective for health purposes, it can have serious negative consequences for business continuity.

As a business owner, you can’t just think about your personal safety – you have to think about your staff’s health, and your business’ continuity as well. How will you be able to keep your staff productive, serving clients and completing work, if they can’t come in to the office?

It all comes down to your business’ technology, and whether your staff can stay productive during a quarantine at home. Do you have the right technologies and practices in place to let your staff work from home for weeks at a time?

Your Coronavirus Business Continuity Plan Needs To Answer These Questions

If you’re going to keep your staff working through a coronavirus quarantine, it’ll come down to how you answer these questions:

  1. How Will Your Staff Access Their Work?

    The first step is to make sure you have software in place to allow remote data access, that your staff has devices through which they can use the software, and a viable Internet connection to prevent lag and downtime.

    • Will they need to connect to their office machines to use software?
    • Can they work from their home machines?
    • Are a majority of your documents in the cloud (Microsoft Office 365) and your applications web-based or do they need access to applications installed on their office desktop machines?
    • Do they have a laptop that they could be taking home to work from?
  2. How Will They Be Able To Access Their Office Phone?

    Ideally, you won’t have to have your staff use their personal cell phones to make and receive business calls. It will be complicated to circulate everyone’s private numbers, and to determine to what extent you’ll need to reimburse their phone bills.

    • How will you deal with incoming calls?
    • Will they use their own phones for outgoing calls?
  3. How Will They Attend Meetings?

    You don’t want to have to rely on reply-all emails, and you’d rather not have to call each and every employee separately, right? Make sure you have a plan for how your team will meet while quarantined.

    • Do you need a web-based meeting setup? (e.g. Microsoft Teams)
    • If you will be holding video meetings, do they have cameras on their home machines?
  4. How Will You Maintain Security?

    This pandemic will be like open season for cybercriminals. When businesses start prioritizing remote access to data over the security of that data, they make an easy target for hackers. That’s why you need to take additional steps to secure remote access.

    • Do you have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) solution that allows staff members to access business data securely?
    • Have you disabled split-tunneling on your VPN to limit risk when employees are connected to business data?
    • Have you deployed defensive software on employee home devices?
    • Have you checked Wi-Fi to make sure it is password protected?
    • Have you made sure that security systems are up to date?

The bottom line is that you don’t want anyone to risk their health or others’ health because they think they need to come into work that day. The safest option is to have your staff work remotely. At the same time, you don’t want to have to put your business on hold.

What you need to determine now is whether you have the knowledge and tools to keep your business running. If not, you can reach out to the Acapella Technologies team for help.