Corona Isolation and Working from Home? Check out Tiro Associates Ltd’s DIY Guide for COMPANIES MAKING IT UP AS THEY GO ALONG!
The last few days has demonstrated how work objectives can change by the hour. It may be challenging, but within our team we have many years of experience dealing with chaos.
Personally, this current crisis reminds us of the 2008 crash with added sanitizer. We know there will be considerable disruption and self/forced isolation is now a “when” rather than an “if”.
At Tiro Associates we were very much aware of the impact on global industry because of the recruitment we do in Italy, we are now actively working with a “red zone” area right now. The rapid escalation of the lock down in Italy has focused our plans on how to maintain business continuity while safeguarding employees. The different levels of UK government enforcement were muted at Monday’s press conference -but we really we can’t wait for Boris to make a decision.
We also need to ensure we do the right thing for employees to make sure they can earn a wage during a worrying time. Paying bills, rent and mortgages is important to maintaining the welfare of employees. We needed to come up with a fast solution.
It’s starting to get real at Tiro HQ, confirmed outbreaks at one of the team’s child’s schools may require immediate isolation action. Another child’s workplace has just been fully shut down due to an employer infection confirmation with a don’t return to work for 14 days. We have had to have a careful look at managing this at Tiro, with daily meetings over the last two weeks. Our planning has been approaching imminent threat levels normally associated with tracking a hurricane on the weather channel in the states!
The key issues all businesses face:
1. Office behaviour: providing up to date information to staff, safeguarding each other in the workplace
2. Workable technology solutions for working at home including GDPR
3. Managing home working, business objectives and deliverable s, adherence to GDPR
4. The return to work strategy
We have all worked from home at some time or another, but this is a very different situation. Self-isolation could be 14 days of limbo, your staff could be too unwell to work or have to look after unwell children or relatives. Businesses need to find the balance between maintaining a full business service while managing personal home life situations.
At Tiro we are putting the planning in place for a “Shaun of the Dead” beer in the Winchester type ending and have no intention of the “28 Days Later” travelling north scenario to find an army outpost.
THE TIRO ASSOCIATES LTD HQ OFFICE 10 POINT PLAN
Finding the right balance of compassion for work force while maintaining business continuity.
There are some immediate things we have put in place. The irony is that we all sit over 5 meters apart (I did question how close we are as a team!) but this is not such a bad thing as we spend all day together.
1. Work as a team to not infect each other. Wash hands – sanitizer. This is also the only state driven advice we have “stay calm and wash hands”.
2. Situations where we must inform each other are clear: Any close infection must be reported. Any outbreak that may have a connection via home must be reported. Return to work process and “working or sick” policy
3. How do we manage technology? We have remote database access, re-routed telephones and office 360. As long as we have a connection to the ‘net we are fine. I’m sure many businesses working on cloud platforms have a seamless process in place. One issue could be using home equipment to dial straight into your main server. I can’t say I’m a fan and the cost of hardware to control it could prove prohibitive. At Tiro we have opted for an onscreen remote desktop type connection, as we needed keep all data and process located on office server/desktop GDPR. It gives us better flexibility as a business, very little lag and instant deployment. It also gives us a kill switch for administrators. We have been testing systems for the last two weeks, giving staff the opportunity to test and use at home - training people how to use technology and utilize access is easier said than done! You quickly find out how limited employee IT knowledge is, when thinking about a solution this is a priority. Testing and trying is an important part of the process. You also need a doomsday scenario in place if things need “re booting” or “re setting” who will do it and what back up do we have for them. We recognise that the people who support us will be going through exactly the same problems. And can’t rely on others.
4. How we will communicate with each other during this period of time. We have decided to have an 08:00 kick off meeting via video conference to run through the days business and objectives
5. Look at things that could be positive for the business during a time of self or forced isolation. This is very important for a business to be able to face limited access with productive delivery at home.
6. Finance and payroll need a contingency for payments to be maintained during this period. Have a backup plan and a backup back up plan.
7. Tracking client policy to make sure we can deliver an informed and up to date “state of play” update for candidates and clients going through the recruitment process.
8. This is a great time to talk as a team, utilise the time well! Clients working on a strategy to return to work scale up or business risk. One thing working from home can do is take managers away from day to day distraction. Candidates again this is a great time to talk through career and opportunities. It’s times like this you take a cold look at the future and personal circumstances may have changed forcing a move.
9. Time to get that hanging project finished! We all have loose ends to finish in work, this is a fantastic time to clear decks. It’s good to have some key things to achieve as we may face some form of business shut down.
10.Have a reboot plan Corona for the most is a relatively mild symptom virus. Re starting is as important as shutting down. Get a return to work policy in place, I suggest before you start implementing isolation.
Tiro is a dynamic organisation, able to adapt quickly and implement change. We plan for the worse and hope for the best. As always, we are here to help, we are more than happy to take calls from clients who are going through the same problems. We don't have all the answers, but we can share our own business experience.
This is just an overview of our planning, every day we are adding to the list and it’s important we act with clarity and focus to find solutions.
We want to deliver that continuity to the companies and candidates we work with. But we also do not want it to be a punishment for valued members of staff.
As a business we need to be flexible and work to get the right outcome. Employees rather than being a burden at this time are your greatest asset. Do the right thing and you will be paid back double.
I'm booking a seat at the Winchester and hope to ride it out and be back to normal very soon.
We welcome discussion and ideas! Need advice? Get in touch:
Phil Bowers, Managing Consultant at Tiro Associates Ltd
Direct: 0044 1277 35216