Coronavirus and the dispersed workforce

Covid19 & the dispersed workforce

There are it seems, hundreds of different job categories And I dare say that with all the subcategories an order of magnitude more.

The location at which your work is conducted does vary enormously upon the services you are providing, for example in the retail space with the exception of online services it’s very much a brick-and-mortar location and a face to face engagement, therefore, the work location is defined. However, for large swathes of other workers, the location is completely flexible, especially if all you require to carry out your work is a computing device, and telephone capability, plus of course an internet connection.

But it’s not always about what’s possible, because there are so many other factors to consider.

Working in a suitable environment covers a multitude of possibilities, such as having somewhere to sit (or stand) comfortably for several hours, somewhere to sensibly locate your computer, and of course you’ll need nearby power sockets. Decent lighting is also really helpful, as is natural daylight for many. Your location (home say) could be shared during the working day with others which could present challenges to the other or all parties. Some people struggle to work without having others around them, we are after all social creatures! So it’s far from straightforward for many.

Operationally, we know that the advent of cloud services has played a significant role in enabling remote working, but of course, there’s still hardware involved and hardware does occasionally fail, or when coupled with software, get its knickers in a twist and do weird things, causing you to be unable to fulfil your work commitments. Whilst software can usually be triaged and remotely brought back into service, hardware can prove a little more challenging. There are many moving parts to any business including its people, and dispersing the workforce does pose a whole bunch of new challenges, which are surmountable, but not always easily. If you’re able to travel relatively easily to an office location, then it’s an inconvenience to get problems resolved, but more remote workers could find this rather more disruptive.

Given that this is not an exhaustive look at the issues associated with managing a dispersed workforce, it does give us some ideas of the considerations when planning, especially when putting a business continuity plan in place.

So whilst many people have been remote office workers for some time, rolling out a blanket solution isn’t without considerable challenge.

I’m pretty certain that the current covid19 crisis has caught many businesses completely unprepared and realising that it’s not just a technology play.

If I can be of any assistance in your planning or implementation phases, please just shout