The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a profound effect globally.
Not only has this virus infected thousands and has led to many deaths throughout the world (our prayers and thoughts go out to the families who have been directly affected by the virus), but the fear of a worldwide pandemic has caused, and has the potential to cause even more, widespread anxiety at the individual level and chaos at the public level.
How the virus may affect your business
The CDC’s approach of quarantining individuals and organizations who have been exposed to the virus can create logistical nightmares on many personal and public fronts. While information has been publicized as to how individuals can reduce their risk of catching or spreading the virus, your business should be aware of some of the recommended actions to reduce the impact in the event an individual employee or your entire work environment needs to be quarantined for a period of time (two weeks minimum in most cases). By setting up a contingency plan now and taking certain precautionary actions will allow your company to be better equipped to handle a sudden quarantine situation later.
Steps your business can take
Below are some actions that we highly recommend that you implement as purely preemptive measures:
- Create a list of essential employees and designate offsite locations from where they can work remotely. In some cases, depending on your company’s size, you may elect to enable all employees to work remotely.
- Set up all remote locations where employees will be stationed with high speed internet access. Make sure the speed is sufficient to handle both voice and data traffic.
- Provide all selected employees with IP phones at their designated location. Alternatively, a softphone app can be installed on their cell phone or computer. These options will allow your employees to communicate seamlessly as if they were located in your office.
- Establish a secure VPN connection from your employee’s remote location to their office desktop to allow them access to work-related programs and documents.
- Evaluate your current incoming call flow and document the changes that will be needed to accommodate multiple remote locations. Pre-record an auto attendant message with an emergency greeting that can be quickly switched on. Organizations that rely on their service provider to assist with such matters will want to begin this process sooner than later to avoid a possible last-minute crunch.
- Designate a company representative who will be responsible to execute the agreed upon plan and make the necessary changes to your existing voice and data needs.
Although it is unknown whether your business will actually have a need to operate remotely, the time to take action is now.
How GTB can help
The GTB team is ready to assist all customers with the design and execution of an emergency/contingency plan. Please call us 1-877-CALL-GTB (225-5482) if you have any questions or concerns as to how we can you assist you in your preparations.