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Businesses must prepare employees to work remotely in response to COVID-19
Written by Charlie Vance, CEO of Erigo Employer Solutions

Major sporting events have restricted fan and media access, music festivals and pop culture conventions have postponed/canceled events, and schools/universities have temporarily eliminated in-person instruction. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is encouraging Commonwealth residents to avoid crowds and large gatherings (including church services), and the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared a pandemic. The general workforce now must face reality: Businesses must immediately prepare to work remotely as part of the effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, also known as novel coronavirus.

With the Center for Disease Control (CDC) updating the number of cases daily, the need to prevent the spread of the virus is high. The CDC has prepared a valuable guide for the public on reducing exposure and what to do if you have family members that you need to care for at home. However, suggestions on how to maintain many day-to-day business operations are largely left to each individual employer/business to decide.

Because of how quickly the situation is evolving, businesses should immediately develop strategies for remote work so that the impact of novel coronavirus on our economy is limited. Here are some immediate steps organizations can take to ensure the economic and physical health of both employees and clients/customers your organization serves:

  • Allow employees to work remotely, when feasible,
  • Cross-train others to perform essential functions to reduce staff on site,
  • Ask employees to share any plans for international travel,
  • Consider changes to operating hours, and
  • Be transparent with staff about all of the policies being considered and why they may be temporarily put into effect to both reduce employee stress and keep all lines of communication open.

At Erigo, we are doing all of this to make sure we are able to service our clients without putting any of our staff at unnecessary risk. Any business that cares for its employees and its clients would be both smart and responsible to consider the same.

America has been fortunate that the number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus have been low compared to other countries worldwide. Anything we can do to reduce the risk of exposure and spread of novel coronavirus is not only the right thing to do but it also makes sense from an economic standpoint. 

Organizations, especially small ones, would struggle mightily without the talented, skilled – and most importantly, healthy – dedicated men and women to staff them. Short term inconveniences incurred by remote working could reduce long-term financial hardships. We at Erigo know this truth and hope other businesses will realize it as well.

Our nation has survived times of crisis by utilizing our strengths and ingenuity. By being smart, businesses will recover and thrive in the wake of this hardship as well.