18 Mar Working Remotely? A Best Practices Checklist for COVID-19 Preparedness in Puerto Rico
As many of us have been made aware, COVID-19 may increase existing risks to your staffing, office access/availability and IT. The FPV & Galíndez team – including our dedicated IT Consulting staff – are devoted to providing resources, insight and practical solutions to mitigate the impact of the virus in your daily operations.
Mitigating risks among your staff to keep your business running smoothly
Avoid business processes that put an entire team covering a key function at risk. For example, if a few team members become ill or are unable to work for any reason, there should be ample time before there is a risk to the rest of the team that is covering for them.
- Implement policies that allow for ample flexibility and coverage among team members. Develop a contingency plan in case key employees become unavailable.
- Build contingencies that may include extending work hours in other departments and/or splitting shifts among distributed teams.
- Communicate with employees and give them training before the other department is unavailable if possible.
- Consider the impact on working time: illness or other unplanned events (e.g. being a caregiver) may remove some amount of productive work for every employee. Expect other preparations outlined in this guide to generally consume additional time.
- Defer technical goals not aligned with business continuity by a month or quarter, whatever is appropriate. Prioritize carefully.
Managing office closures
As per the recent Executive Order published, your needs are likely to change due to Working from Home (WFH). Make sure to go through this checklist with your team(s).
- Prepare for working hours to change when not subject to commute delays.
- Anticipate that peak service load may move and become more sudden and taller. Have a company-wide WFH day test, asking everyone to practice video conferencing, and other core collaboration tools, as some people may not have used them in the last few months.
- Fix equipment, update software and address any issues in the office after the test to prepare for a WFH requirement when fixes could become much harder.
- During a mandatory evacuation of all commercial buildings in a city or county, computer repairs cannot happen. This could cause a loss of capacity as computers cannot work from home.
- Ensure your Disaster Recovery (DR) sites are working.
- Review your physical data center DR plans; sites should not be too close together.
- Assure that your cloud virtual data center has its DR in a different region.
- After everyone has demonstrated WFH collaboration, ask every team to test their hardest procedures (that typically take place in the office) and capture urgent bugs for problems. Fix those bugs and mitigate VPN or Zero Trust issues before mandatory WFH. If factories and manufacturing plants close or slow production, inventory for a variety of products could be impacted. Reviewing IT tools, resources & capacity.
Data Security during the COVID-19 Situation
While the world is focused on the systemic threat posed by Covid-19, cybercriminals around the world undoubtedly are poised to capitalize on the crisis by launching a different kind of “virus.” More and more employees are working remotely by the day, and companies may eventually face the prospect of functioning with little to no personnel on-site or skeleton crews in IT and other important support functions. To this effect, both employers and employees need to take the utmost care to protect themselves as well as confidential company information.
If you need help navigating any of these procedures and practices, please reach out to your trusted IT experts. We will help keep your operations running smoothly and help your team perform at its best level in spite of the emergency.