Coronavirus is here and it looks like it is ready to stay for a while. Whether you think it will blow over or not, the general public and businesses are panicking. We’ve seen the effect already with four of our clients slowing down, or stopping work altogether. I can only see this becoming the norm as the situation escalates.

The supply chain is messed up. A coffee machine client can’t get new machines right now or even parts for the machines. A hotel chain is losing more business each day so they’ve stopped any marketing efforts. A dentist practice won’t be looking for more leads if everyone needs to go into isolation. The knock-on effect will continue.

A time spent indoors and at home is inevitable according to the government and BoJo’s conference on the matter so let’s get prepared.

The massive advantage for our business here is we’ve been working remotely for the best part of 10 years and we know what it takes to be a successful business whilst having a team of nine people working from home, coffee houses, and in different parts of the world.

We know some businesses need to be customer-facing but we can all use the extra time at home catching up with admin work, marketing strategies, and all the other tasks we put off because we’re busy doing work.

Working from home comes down to three main things. Internet. Communication. Shared Folder.

Internet.

Most businesses, if not all, use the internet at some point to run their business. Sometimes more than others. If we’re sending staff home and we need them to work from home, you need to understand their internet options.

Do they have a good connection? What package are they on? Can they tether from their phone as a hotspot?

The answers should tell you if you need to ask them to upgrade for a month or two. You may need to offer to pay for this or buy a 4G router. Or help pay for their mobile data plan.

When the time comes and you need to send everyone home, your internet access plan is already in place.

Communication.

We understand that every business and client is different. But communication is key to run a successful business. Even more important when you have a team working from multiple places.

We use Slack. It’s the number one tool we use and we try and get every client on there too.

What I love about it as a business owner is there’s no hiding away from the work. When the work has been added to Slack or a request has been made, that person needs to respond and do what is asked of them. If they don’t, it’s obvious they haven’t followed your instructions.

It’s great for video calls, screen share, team calls, and much more.

You can create multiple channels for different tasks or areas of the business and you can message one to one or to the whole team.

I would get Slack even if we never worked remotely because it’s great for team communication or going over ideas or setting out tasks. Just get slack. Enough said.

Shared Folder.

Our business is purely online. I don’t like printing stuff. The only paper we have is a desk pad we created to keep us on track for the week but we also use Trello to manage our workload.

But if your business is paper or everything is on a computer server in the office, start to think what file access you would need throughout a time of isolation. Get them online now. We use Google Drive as it connects with our G Suite emails. But you can use Dropbox and many other options.

What next?

Lastly, it doesn’t matter if you’re an online or offline business, we all need to get our house in order. Maybe you can operate but your clients might not, and that then affects you. Less money coming in means you need to make some decisions to help your business survive throughout this period.

The government have stated there is help on hand and we could also get some funding in place for business lenders like Iwoca or Got Capital.

The most important thing is not to panic. Easier said than done, but I do believe in our resilience, and there’s oftentimes in business, virus or no virus, where things get really tough, so why should this be any different?

Do you need help or advice regarding remote working? Need help setting up the tools? Let me know by getting in touch.