First and foremost, we want to extend our sincerest well wishes to the countries, states and cities battling the ravages of the Coronavirus pandemic. The health and safety of our fellow humans is the most important thing right now — so heed the advice/directives from CDC and WHO, let’s start keeping some social distance, and for god’s sake, wash your hand’s religiously!
Coronavirus forces telecommuting to go mainstream everywhere, all at once
CoVid-19, this particular strain of coronavirus, is stress testing the global infrastructure in ways many have never dreamed. From disrupted supply chains, disastrous furloughs for service workers, massive event cancellations like SXSW, hospital systems bracing for an influx of critically sick patients and on and on, the infrastructure undergirding modern life is being stress tested across the board, all at once. For many workers that have to do their job in person, there’s uncertainty, fear and a dwindling roster of bad to awful choices on the proverbial menu. For those workers and firms primarily engaged in white collar pursuits, though, we’re about to undergo one of the largest forced experiments in how we work, again, all at once.
For many startups and firms that cater to a younger, tech-savvy workforce, working from home (aka telecommuting) has been an option for roles that don’t require face-to-face interaction on a regular basis. But, the prevalence of telecommuting was primarily at the discretion of each individual employee’s desire for it and their specific manager’s comfort with working arrangements like that. Now, for any and all companies that could support widespread telecommuting in theory are being forced to turn those theories into realities, and quick.
Forward-looking firms were stress-testing their telecommuting infrastructure last week and the week before in case they had to make the shift suddenly, which has become the reality in many cities or states with large clusters of the disease. VPNs set up to tunnel into corporate intranets went from supporting two or three workers at once to entire workforces. IT support staffs were inundated with update requests, service tickets, etc. to make sure corporate laptops or personal machines could support telecommuting requirements, while not opening up core infrastructure to security vulnerabilities. Video conferencing is the new conference room of choice. Managers are coping with how to trust their employees and treat them with the correct amount of respect, while ensuring productivity doesn’t nosedive. And through it all, volatile markets and uncertainty rock the economy more generally.
How Leverage Technologies can help you weather this storm
This mass experiment in the future of work will show which companies really can support robust telecommuting efforts and which ones are still face-to-face dependent. It will show when a meeting really could have been an email. And, it will test the tools and systems on which companies rely to conduct business. We predict there will be a large migration toward the tools and systems that prove stable and useful during this forced mass telecommute phase. If your messaging app isn’t great? It’ll get replaced. If your VPN can’t handle the throughput? It’ll get updated. If your remote access opens up security vulnerabilities? You’ll want to patch them. Your video conferencing app laggy and unreliable? Replaced. All these systems will be stressed to the max, all at once, and the companies willing and able to meet these challenges head on are the ones who will suffer less, both now and long into the future.
If you were caught flat footed (no judgements whatsoever, tons and tons of firms were), give us a call and we can help sort your telecommuting infrastructure out. We quite literally specialize in digitizing workforces and ensuring maximum up-time for your employees and business no matter what the world throws at you. Whether it’s implementing a VPN solution for remote access, ensuring your BYOD policy is secure, or recommending the tools you ought to be using to enable mass telecommuting, we were made to help our clients through tough times like this. Give us a call, and we’ll show you how we can help you, too.