Your office feels like the lifeblood of your business. It makes sense, then, that some organizations are attempting to reopen their physical locations where it’s safe and makes sense to do so. But as they do, the safety of their employees and customers – from both real and perceived risks – have become paramount concerns. Concerns over catching and spreading the coronavirus mean that the roughly 40% of workers able to work from home likely will continue to do so. But for the majority of workers, a physical return looms in at least some capacity, depending on their industry.
Consider this: there’s a coronavirus breakout, or some other element out of your control that will force the office to be closed for yet another extended period of time. How do you replicate the sense of team culture and collaboration that came with being in close proximity to your colleagues and teammates?
What happens when your office closes
The first thing you need to do is respond as quickly as possible. Here are a couple key steps to take:
- Link the team together as soon as possible. If your office has to be closed, don’t be surprised if it happens all at once. You may have minimal time to prepare. That’s why it’s important to get your team linked on an online collaboration tool even if you’re still capable of working in a socially distanced office. You never know when you’ll need to rely on that tool because of everyone working from home.
- Create regular check-ins via video conferencing. Regular meetings are vital, especially in the early stages of socially distancing and working from home. This will help you keep in touch with employees and establish a routine that feels like an office, even if it’s not quite there yet.
Build (or optimize) your remote work infrastructure with GoToRoom
First things first: it’s totally possible to not just “tolerate” a remote working model – your business can actually excel at it! There are already entire companies that are fully remote, such as Zapier and TopTal. So before you count yourself out, remember that it’s possible to keep the company running smoothly, even if it’s fully remote for the time being. What you, your business, and your employees need are the right tools to make remote work a breeze.
An out-of-the-box conferencing kit like GoToRoom means that people can still simulate the conference room environment – something you could only previously achieve at a physical office – while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Even if your office isn’t currently closed, investing in the devices that make remote work possible will give you more flexibility for responding to crises.
With hardware offerings from Poly, Dolby and Logitech, GoToRoom has several features that bridge the gaps of communication between dispersed participants, and even complement current social distancing guidelines:
- High-quality audio and video. Logitech MeetUp and the Poly Studio X30 are ideal for home offices, since the compact hardware can sit on a desk or side table and dramatically enhances your audio and video performance.
- Whiteboard view. GoToRoom with Dolby Voice offers an incredible way to collaborate by capturing notes being written on a whiteboard, with updates that occur in real-time.
- Turnkey installation. Not the type to read directions? We understand. That’s why, from the minute your GoToRoom kit arrives at your home, office, or wherever else – we promise a seamless set-up experience. Unlike other conference room solutions, GoToRoom is delivered with everything you need in one box. No need to worry about multiple shipments or incompatible third-party devices.
- Room Launcher. If you’re in the office and weary of touching shared devices, start a GoToRoom session from your mobile device! Simply download the GoToMeeting mobile app, which leverages your phone’s bluetooth technology to find and book the nearest available huddle space with a single click.
Don’t ignore CDC Guidelines
The CDC also provides a resuming business toolkit for when your company is ready to move back into the office. This includes a “Restarted Readiness Checklist” for each business to fill out before getting on with work in an office, including:
- Employee guidelines. For example, do employees know when they should stay home, and under what circumstances it’s better for them to work remotely? Let them know which supervisor they should contact and let them stay home. It’s a good idea to give each employee a guide to help explain whom to contact.
- Cleaning and disinfecting. An office space isn’t ready to return to until there’s a plan for keeping it clean and disinfected. Make sure that you outline all of the habits that will be necessary to maintain a clean, safe office environment.
- Social distancing. Practicing social distancing helps minimize the spread of COVID and other similar viruses, which in turn gives people confidence that they can come in to work and expect to feel safe.
A remote office isn’t something you have to be afraid of. If you have to be closed down for several months, remember that there are a few solid steps you can take to make sure that business keeps moving.