Over the past several weeks, we all have been inundated with the growing concern over COVID-19,
better known as the Coronavirus.
With confirmed cases and deaths in multiple countries around the world, organizations
are beginning to assess any and all tools at their disposal to limit operational disruption
while simultaneously taking steps to ensure the wellbeing of their workforces.
Many of these solutions are technology based and are applicable across industries.
According to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), individuals showing
signs of infection should be separated from healthy populations until symptoms subside.
In light of this, companies such as Google, LinkedIn, and Microsoft have encouraged employees
who can work remotely to do so.
Others, such as Twitter, have directed all staff to work remotely, while Apple, went
as far as to temporarily close all of their China-based retail locations.
Many industries, which do not have the luxury of keeping all their employees at home, still
have options for limiting face to face interaction, and therefore the spread of the virus.
While many organizations already use some sort of virtual conferencing software to hold
meetings and engage with clients, this technology can be applied to other processes as well.
First, from phone screenings to virtual interviews, virtual conference technology can be leveraged
to accomplish the same activity without the risk of transference.
Second, although onboarding has traditionally been done in person, some organizations may
be able to convert parts, or all, of these processes to a virtual platform.
Digital copies of new hire forms and policies can be sent ahead of time to supplement the
Third, rather than having all employees gather in the same room, consider holding your large
meetings virtually to reduce face to face interaction and the spread of any illnesses.
According to the Wall Street Journal, major Hospital Systems and Insurance Carriers are
rolling out their own Digital Health Assistants and Nurse Hotlines to reduce the need for
These technologies can be leveraged by employers and employees to reduce operational disruptions
and contact with co-workers and/or the general public.
Remote workers, especially those who are not accustomed to it, can struggle with some basic
logistical considerations and there are ways an organization’s IT department can help.
Some individuals may not have printers or scanners at home, disrupting their ability
to sign and send documents.
Electronic Signing Software can help alleviate that.
Electronic expense platforms can assist in facilitating the capturing and reimbursement
of expenses, preventing employees from having to physically be at the office.
Keep lines of communication open.
Encourage employees to contact IT with any questions or concerns they may have.
This may cause a strain on your IT team, but will help limit operational disruptions for
your work at home staff.
For more resources, please visit our website at EmployersCouncil.org.
You will find multiple articles as well as a free, virtual training course.
Additionally, for organizations experiencing operational disruptions, shutdowns, or absenteeism,
Employers Council offers remote payroll processing and administrative support services.