Future of Work News

What it Takes to Ensure Business Continuity Through a Crisis

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Thanks to the massive COVID-19 outbreak, the global business landscape has morphed from an office setting to a decentralized phenomenon.  Even businesses that had 100% of employees in a single office are now distributed across broader geographies, working from their homes.  We’ve never seen anything like it.

Fortunately, the evolution of technology over the past decade has made the transition possible – though not always smooth.  Some companies had made the decision years ago to embrace cloud communications and leverage the flexibility of UCaaS and other cloud services to support mobile and remote workers.  Others, though – for any number of reasons – did not, and now found themselves ill-equipped for a rapid transition to teleworking.

But even those businesses that have a successful cloud strategy in place have struggled during this unprecedented time.  It’s one thing to slowly migrate certain employee populations to teleworking, or to hire new remote staff.  It’s something entirely different to migrate an entire company – large or small – overnight into an unfamiliar work environment.

To start with, there are IT challenges in ensuring the right software and services are deployed, configured and licensed properly to support a mass migration – along with any necessary hardware employees need to work remotely.  There’s also the question of education – employees who have worked in the office for their careers don’t always have an easy time transitioning to work-at-home scenarios and may not even be familiar with the technology that would otherwise enable them to work as effectively as in the office.  Management and HR departments, too, have to have well-developed teleworking strategies in place to account for such an unprecedented situation.  That includes an inherent need to for increased awareness of work-life balance and personal needs at a time when a global pandemic has infected more than three million people globally and governments have implemented strict social distancing guidelines.

It’s crazier than any business continuity scenario we could have imagined, and it’s putting a strain on every business, from executive teams to admin staff and everyone in between.  Yet, many businesses are succeeding, despite the challenges.

On Tuesday, May 12, I’ll be moderating a webinar featuring Billie Hartless, Chief Human Resources Officer at Mitel, and Josh Hortsman, Partner at Sales Benchmark Index.  We’ll be discussing what it takes for businesses to successfully make it through this pandemic and come out strong when things return to some level of normalcy.

While having the right communications solution in place is key to succeeding in this environment, ensuring a successful transition across the company and business continuity for the duration of this crisis – however long that may be – involves a lot more.  In addition to talking about communications platforms – after all, that’s Mitel’s expertise – we’ll be touching on several other key factors in successfully managing a pandemic, including:

  • Business crisis transition from reaction to recovery;
  • Where HR meets technology - people, process, technology and coaching; and
  • Key practices to support business continuity during workforce shift.

The fact is we don’t know how long we’ll be in this situation – it could be weeks, or it could be months.  What we can be certain of, though, the likelihood of some other emergency scenario happening in the future for any company is high.  It may be short-lived or extended, but either way, the need to understand how to ensure business continuity in emergencies extends well beyond this national health crisis.

Register for the webinar, “Powering Connections Through Crisis - Business Continuity in an Uncertain Time,” today, for a practical discussion of business continuity in times of crisis.


Edited by Erik Linask

Future of Work Contributor

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