PREPARING FOR CORONAVIRUS
COVID-19 (also known as the coronavirus) continues to impact and disrupt operations at businesses, schools, and events. Travel advisories, work from home policies and additional precautions are being put into place around the world to help contain the spread of the disease, but with more than 100,000 cases so far, many organizations are no longer wondering if COVID-19 will impact them, but when.
According to SHRM(link is external), under OSHA, the coronavirus, common cold, flu, and other highly communicable diseases are considered known hazards. That means workplaces have a duty of care to help protect their workforce. Sharing information within an office or campus about good hygiene habits, like washing hands and avoiding touching your face, can help mitigate the spread in your organization. However, if you encourage people feeling unwell to stay at home, or you have an outbreak that forces your main facilities to close, you need to have a plan in place to manage and communicate with people if they are remote. In this blog post, we’ll outline how mass notification can help minimize disruptions that the coronavirus might cause and help keep your people informed with updates on how you’re handling the situation.
LEVERAGING MASS NOTIFICATION FOR REMOTE WORKERS
If people in your organizations are working remotely, you still need to be able to share information with them. Whether it’s critical safety and health information, or simply operational updates of how workflows will be managed until normal routines resume, being able to share messages with large groups helps ensure everyone is on the same page. Mass notification can help you reach remote workers via a variety of methods. Mass SMS text messaging can reach people on their mobile devices. Asking for a confirmation response can help managers know that their intended audience has received and read the information that has been sent to them. Desktop notification sent to work laptops can also help capture people’s attention with pop-up alerts that utilize text, images, and audio. This can interrupt whatever someone is working on and force them to focus on an important communication. Regardless of where an employee or organization member is, you’ll still be able to communicate with them directly.
UTILIZING COLLABORATION TOOLS
Of course, when your employees are forced to work remotely, it’s not just about communicating information out to people. You need to manage the ongoing situation and collaborate on how your organization will respond to any further changes that need to be addressed, whether that’s extending the time people need to work remotely or letting them know they are allowed back into your facilities. Mass notification can make this process easier with automatically launched conference call invitations and integrations with collaboration tools.
When a mass notification is triggered, it can invite specific people to join a conference call. This can be a much quicker and easier way to gather people and provide updates on the health crisis your organization may be experiencing. Similarly, mass notification integrations with tools like Microsoft Teams or Cisco Webex Teams can launch collaboration channels or spaces with key team members who can assess how the situation is being handled and decide on appropriate next steps.
MICROSOFT FREE TRIAL
As a Microsoft partner, we’re excited to share that Microsoft will be offering a free six-month trial of Office 365(link is external), which includes Microsoft Teams, to organizations impacted by the coronavirus. For organizations looking to prioritize the wellbeing of their workers by having them work from home, this is a good opportunity to leverage a collaboration tool like Microsoft Teams.