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How Does Virtualisation Improve Business?
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Why use an IT Support Company?

 

How to avoid the common errors involved with Data Backups

Do you have a business plan in place for COVID-19?

Firstly our thoughts and well wishes are with those affected by the Coronavirus.

It may have seemed highly unlikely that a virus from China would reach Ireland, and affect your business, however as we’re seeing the virus spread across Europe, cases now in Ireland we are seeing Irish Business being affected. Here is a good map that highlights the affected areas. 

The global market has already been affected by the spread of the coronavirus so if your market is international you might already be seeing effects on your business. There have already been offices in Dublin temporarily closed; Indeed, Google and Twitter.

Our Contingency Plan for Coronavirus (Covid-19)

We have made investments in our technology infrastructure and business continuity planning to ensure we can operate all our systems and processes remotely with no interruption to our services.

This ensures we can provide you with seamless service should any of our colleagues need to work remotely due to self-isolation, school closures and so on.

As an ISO 27001 accredited business, we consistently test out Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and we have invoked our BCP to ensure we operate business as usual during these uncertain times and we are indeed operating under the BCP at this time.

As all our Systems, including our Applications our Telephones, are cloud-based which enables us to securely work from anywhere.

In addition, we will also be using Microsoft Teams, Webcams and Mobile Printers to work with our customers for productive collaboration and content sharing.

We would like to invite our clients and vendors to use this technology to collaborate with us.

What Can You Do To Protect Staff 

1. Mitigate The Risk Of Contamination 

Advise staff on hygiene tips
According to the World Health Organisation, they have listed these protective measures;

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Maintain social distance
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Practise respiratory hygiene
  • Any symptoms including – fever, cough and affected breathing. Seek medical care immediately and report it to management.

Suspend all non- essential employee travel
Suspend as much travel as possible if not all travel.

Potential or confirmed case?
If there is an employee or a member of that employee’s family has come into contact with someone with the virus. If an employee is showing symptoms and there is a high concern, then the following mitigation of risk is recommended;

Employees work remotely – Many businesses are in a great position to tackle the outbreak with the ability to allow their employees to work remotely from home.

Send employees home – If your business type cannot allow employees to work remotely then the only alternative is to send them home and close your business for a short time.

2. Deep – Cleaning 

Deep-cleaning and disinfection of stores, offices, warehouses, etc is recommended after suspected or confirmed cases. Requirements and specifications have not yet been released by the CDC.

3. Communication With Employees 

Briefing staff on the Business Continuity plan is essential, this should include information about; hygiene, identification of symptoms and polices of absence from work.  This is vital to help to avoid panic and lets your employees know you are looking out for their health and best interests.

What Can You Do To Protect Business 

There have been some causes for confusion about what the rights are for their business when dealing with;

  • Sick pay policies
  • Staff quarantine
  • Staff who do not want to come to work for fear of contamination

Sick pay policies

It’s important to communicate with your employees the policies in place or any change of policy to sick leave and/or pay policies. This gives your employees confidence in their responsibilities and encourages self-reporting of any symptoms which is a great tool for reducing potential exposure.

If an employee has the coronavirus then normal polices apply; sick leave or short-term disability insurance would apply here.  

Staff quarantine 

Questions arise on the best coarse of action if employees are not sick but are sent home for quarantine. Normal disability cover may not apply and prolonged absence might last longer than sick leave availability. This is where the ability to work remotely really sees the benefits.

According to this Harvard Business Review, more than 90% of employers in China paid their workers in full and maintained full benefits during furloughs. Companies should promulgate clear policies on this now and communicate about these with employees. Most will want to offer protections to their workforce to the extent this is financially feasible.

In an article published today by the Irish Times, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said:

“We recognise that for many workers within our country, taking this decision is one that does have financial consequences and we want to ensure that measures are in place that minimise financial concerns as employees and as employers make decisions in relation to their own health.”

Staff who do not want to come to work for fear of contamination

Have an open honest conversation with the employee and listen to their concerns. Dangerous rumours and worker fears can spread as quickly as a virus. It is imperative for companies to be able to reach all workers, including those not at the worksite, with regular, internally coordinated, factual updates about infection control, symptoms, and company policy regarding remote work and circumstances in which employees might be excluded from or allowed to return to the workplace.

Have you maximised employees’ ability to work remotely? 

Having the ability for your employees to work remotely is a huge benefit for companies to invest into. We can help you set up remote access and provide continued support for your employees to limit any downtime or technical issues, allowing them to maximise workflow for the company. Contact us now for more information.

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