Are you ready for your workforce to be quarantined?

Are you ready for your workforce to be quarantined?

coronavirus - 12/03/2020

Written by WorkPro founder, Tania Evans.

Is the coronavirus about to put your company’s technology setup to the test in order to mobilise a remote workforce, and put business continuity plans in the spotlight?

The reality is that if you don’t have a remote or teleworking program in place, and technology that supports that program, then you may, at very short notice, be forced to.

Business continuity planning is the process of creating systems of prevention and recovery to deal with potential threats to a company. In addition to prevention, the goal is to enable ongoing operations before and during execution of disaster recovery.

If your place of work is impacted by this virus, even to a small number of staff who may self-quarantine or for quarantine to be self-imposed, can individuals be mobilised to work remotely? As a minimum, you’ll need to consider cloud-based productivity tools and employee-facing technologies – devices, telephony, secure internet access, data privacy and security, for communication, document access, sharing and securing, and reporting and possibly client communication record-keeping.

And then there’s safety? Safety needs continuity too. At work, you can somewhat control their safety, having rigorous risk measures in place. But what happens at home or remotely? If you are forced to quarantine individuals, your plan will need to include this key factor, so you don’t risk worker injury.

Here are some basic principles that you may consider:

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Where you turn for advice. Here are some sites and resources that you may find useful to support you:

1.      From Naked Security – how to secure your infrastructure:

2.      From the Recruitment & Consulting Staffing Association:

3.      Safework NSW:

4.      Worksafe VIC:

5.      Harvard Business Review on workforce management:

6.      If you are a retailer; and it is not possible for people to work remotely in these circumstances, consider the following to keep retail workers safe (from our friends at Australian Retailers Association):

And from WorkPro, as your workforce compliance specialist, we are well equipped to help you.

1.      When individuals are working from home, there is an additional level of trust that needs to be built between you: you might need to consider delivering our Working Alone safety module so that all parties are aware of the risks and hazards and how to prevent them.

2.      Is your background checking up to date as it relates to your staff? Is it necessary?

3.      WorkPro’s privacy module may also be appropriate, particularly if the individual has access to private information and live with others who may, by default now have access to that information.

4.      Checklists and Policies: you clearly need to document these arrangements and have available checks that consider the risks and hazards that relate to this type of work. Consider the following:

a.      Equipment Requirements

b.      Ergonomic layout and set up

c.      Communication Plan

d.      Environmental Considerations

e.      Security and Emergency Situations

Take care out there folks and be alert but not alarmed as they say.

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