Over the past few decades, the world has experienced several viral outbreaks that come and go but always leave us with lessons that serve as reminders to adapt to new situations. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), has swiftly spread panic around the world, hampering global production and forcing businesses to take adaptive action.
As an infection reaches the population at large and becomes more commonplace, employees may come into contact with the causative agent and will need to take extra measures to care for themselves and others. Employees might opt to take sick and unpaid leave because of possible exposure. Employers need to understand the situation and take measures to be able to continue operations under these circumstances. Having flexible working arrangements that accommodate both workers and management alleviates stress and provides team members with options. Employees get work done and, most importantly, still keep their jobs. Some of the ways businesses implement flexible working arrangements are by personalizing hours of work, locations of work, and patterns of work.
During the peak of the Coronavirus outbreak in China, companies had to shut down. People were held under quarantine, and others were forced to stay home. Now is the time for employers to start reconsidering remote work. For an employee to work remotely, the company must have already established an SOP to access work-related software, documents, and platforms safely. The viral outbreak has pushed companies to look for alternatives to enable remote work in a collaborative manner. For example, in early February Welink, a cloud service supplier affiliated with Huawei, had an increase of 50% in new enterprise users. Investing in the right collaboration tools that enable quick and intuitive video conferencing like the Google Jamboard or the CP8601K IFP can easily fill the void created by employees working from different locations and keep business flowing.
Paul Holcroft, an associate director at HR consultancy Croner, told Personnel Today that employers' duty of care for their staff could extend to canceling any trips to somewhere that poses a health risk. "Employers who had intended to send any staff to affected areas may want to consider postponing the trip or assessing whether any meetings could be done via electronic means."
Businesses that planned conferences and seminars, unfortunately, will have to postpone them. The downside of workshops, seminars, and conferences is that they require the displacement of employees, and companies should avoid the risk of exposing their employees to infection. Companies need to consider hosting webinars and online seminars, as these can be easily set up and have a broader reach.
With the rise of miscommunication employers need to inform employees with credible and verified sources relating to the viral infection. Information gathered should only be from reliable and verified sources that have established credibility.
Platforms that allow teams to collaborate and communicate effectively can be used during work-from-home days. Meetings can be done over real time collaborative platforms. Companies with a collaboration-focused culture are less prone to experiencing an interruption in their day to day operations even during viral outbreaks. To enable collaboration, employers can invest in technologies for their traditional spaces. First and foremost, collaboration is all about improved communication between employees, making sure they feel included and able to deliver ideas easily. Digital displays help businesses improve meetings by showcasing pertinent information during presentations, including documents, images, and videos. BenQ has a variety of digital display solutions such as high brightness business projectors and interactive flat panels, all of which have been created for ease of use, increased efficiency, and greater participation at office environments.
Not only does work-from-home require attention, it is also important to take a critical look at meeting equipment currently installed in the office. Studies show that employees spend an average of 37% of their time in a meeting room, emphasizing the need of providing proper equipment to warrant their well-being. If employees are making use of touchscreens, be sure to check the coating used as these can become a breeding ground for germs quickly. This is why BenQ IFP comes equipped with a germ-resistant screen that kills most germs accumulating on screen surfaces and prevents cross-infection. Is interactivity not a requirement for your business? Why not opt for a short-throw projector together with a wireless presentation solution, like BenQ InstaShow, to minimize the amount of touches while maximizing meeting efficiency.
During an epidemic of worldwide proportions, companies that already invested in collaborative technology have an advantage and are more likely to run their operations smoothly. Employers should take this opportunity to re-examine their workplace technology and consider investing in more advanced collaborative platforms and tools. If you would like to find out what BenQ can do for you, please visit our page or email us directly.