Usually, at this time of year, we would be talking about holiday season and how to prepare for it. This is still relevant, but now even more planning is required. We need to expect the unexpected, as well as the expected.
Obviously, things are very different since the Covid-19 pandemic hit and we’ve all had to learn to adapt to changing situations at pace. We’ve come to realise that it’s virtually impossible to plan for everything, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.
Just because we’re in the middle (or possibly nearing the end of) a pandemic, and travel restrictions are in place, holidays are still being booked. Staff have their leave allocations to use and chances are a good percentage will be itching to leave home as soon as they’re allowed to get a break from the realities of Covid-19. Even if departing the home is an impossibility, team members will still be using leave to have a break from work.
So, what can you do to prepare your business for the holiday season?
In ordinary times we would be recommending that you use holiday periods to upgrade and update PCs, software and servers. As an example, if a member of staff needs a new PC, plan to take receipt of it while they’re away; install all the software they use and have it on their desk when they return. We still recommend that this is carried out. But now, you may also want to think about improving their IT with homeworking in mind. Is it time to replace their PC with a laptop? Or would it be useful for them to have both?
Is it an opportunity to review telecoms? Could you operate more efficiently with a modernised phone system that integrates within the business premises and in the home. Get phone systems replaced and set up while staff are away.
And is your broadband connectivity up to scratch? Whilst looking at your premises you may also consider how you can help your team improve their home resources. Would they, for example, benefit from a better router, increasing their efficiency and productivity.
The more you can carry out while staff are on holiday, the less downtime the business will experience. And coming back after a holiday to find a new laptop/phone/internet connection will show your staff they’re valued.
If your team members can also return to IT provision that is more suitable for homeworking it will make their lives easier and you’ll reap the rewards.
Finally, we must add that we fully appreciate how many businesses are operating in a much more reactive way than is the norm. Staff are coming and going owing to furloughing, childcare duties, self-isolating and sickness. It’s extremely difficult to plan for these types of eventualities. But if you take control of the situations that ARE planned, you’ll be in a far better position to cope with those that aren’t.