How should regional businesses effectively navigate their workforce through the Covid-19 pandemic
The outbreak of Covid-19 is a story with an unpredictable ending. What is clear is that the human impact is not favorable, and that companies have an imperative to act proactively to protect their employees, addressing business challenges whilst mitigating risks.
The rapidly evolving Covid-19 pandemic has prompted governments and businesses to take extraordinary steps to help slow the spread of the virus and keep people safe. The situation mandates that most employees work from home for an extended period of time. The uncertainty of this unprecedented situation makes it necessary for businesses to prioritise their people and keep them mentally resilient to help them navigate those difficult times.
What companies need to focus on now is keeping their employees safe, well-informed, and positive. Although this is much harder than it sounds, there are steps that can be followed to ensure they safely sail through this storm:
Managing your employees’ psychological well-being
People are worried, and justifiably so. It is hard to know what news to believe, and being sent to work from home only makes one more isolated and tempted to trawl the internet for more information. As more employees are exposed to the escalating situation, it is hard not to panic.
– Keep your employees well informed
Employees working from home means they are exposed to different sources of information that sometimes can be misleading. The constant influx of information can be overwhelming for people, especially if they are not sure about the validity of the information they read. You can address this by taking initiative and sharing with them reliable sources of information in their countries of residence. Share with them the respective government websites that share timely updates about the situation. Also share with them valuable resources where they can find helpful information on how to protect themselves and their loved ones against the virus.
– Build a constant communication plan
Working from home for long periods of time can cause employees to become detached from their teams, colleagues, and their community. It is important to stay in touch with them regularly to keep that sense of community intact. Share with them helpful tips about working remotely, ways they can enjoy their time with their friends and family without endangering their health as well as ideas for keeping their kids entertained at home. Such initiatives can go a long way in raising employee morale and keeping them connected. Managers should also regularly check-in on their employees’ well-being, either during team meetings or on an individual basis. Now, more than ever, employees need your support and guidance.
Ensuring remote working space safety and security
Many employees, have never worked from home — and even if they have, they haven’t done so for extended periods of time, nor have they had to balance work requirements with potential family duties. A few small changes to an employees’ home work environments can help create a more comfortable, safe, and productive telecommuting experience. Share with your employees tips on the best working from home practices.
We are also seeing new risks emerge with the adoption of social distancing and stay-at-home protocols to reduce Covid-19’s adverse effects such as cyber risk. With employees and children being asked to work from home, IT infrastructure is being pushed to handle more activity therefore organisations must consider how their cyber risk profiles may be affected. Organisations should raise awareness internally and identify and lessen the demands on IT resources, and look at insurance considerations.
Increased remote working is presenting more opportunities for cyber-attacks, and organisations just starting to use remote desktop protocols for work may be more susceptible to a cyber-attack.
For instance, individuals may log in remotely from their home networks that use less secure hardware. Covid-19 is also increasing the occurrence of phishing and “social engineering” events, with information about the virus used as the hook. It is critical that employers raise awareness about the risks that arise with working from home.
Cyber Insurance policies are available and cover for privacy breaches, security incidents, and technology outages. In fact, a typical cyber policy provides various loss prevention and mitigation services that can be accessed both before and after an event.
As the pandemic continues, organisations should make sure their employees are well-informed and prepared to work remotely with maintained productivity and mental resilience. It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure the safety and security of their employees during this unprecedented situation.
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