The post-COVID-19 pandemic ‘new normal’ is now before us. Most large cities in Indonesia have started easing the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) they had imposed. Organizations and business people have already started preparing to return to their normal operations. However, organizations must remain alert during this transition period after having implemented work from home procedures.
The focus must be on implementing the appropriate technology in order for plans to start operations to proceed as expected. Another goal is for employees to work productively with these new normal initiatives.
The following are a number of technological approaches to consider.
- Policies and Procedures
In the context of anticipating issues, especially for employees following the COVID-19 crisis and in practicing the new normal, companies need to review the protocols that must be implemented, including:
- What are the policies and
procedures for employees who use personal devices (BYOD) to access company
documents and data? Will the use of such devices be stopped or continued? What
about in terms of security for technology?
- What are the organization’s policies and procedures to ensure that documents on personal devices are stored securely on company resources?
- What actions will be taken to delete sensitive and confidential data from personal technology used during the work-from-home (WFH) phase?
In order to address the challenges and questions above, organizations should prepare a phased transition plan to reduce BYOD or put an end to it if necessary. This includes instructions and procedures for moving company documents back to resources that conform to company standards, such as SharePoint or secure file sharing portals. Don’t forget to check whether documents have been synchronized correctly before deleting them. Additional steps must also be taken to identify and ensure the deletion of sensitive and confidential data from unwanted devices or locations.
According to the Canadian Center for Cyber Security, cyber security is a particular concern during the working from home (WFH) phase. Employees’ use of work devices during the WFH phase, especially virtual private networks (VPN), often has an impact on cyber security issues. Therefore, in the transition to return to the work from office phase, it is important to implement cyber security protection updates as soon as possible to reduce security vulnerabilities through a security vulnerability assessment.
2. Planning for Technology
When preparing for the new normal work phase, it is important to reassess whether the technology used during the WFH phase can be permanently integrated in the current work environment. Key questions include:
- What changes in infrastructure
and technology are required to support the transition back to normalcy?
- Will the organization continue to support and prepare the tools and licenses needed for all employees to work remotely such as VPNs, remote work collaboration solutions, or mobile applications?
- Restarting a successful operation in this transition requires careful planning and flexibility in adapting technology to changing circumstances.
3. Adoption of Flexible Work Technology
Although there are various rules and restrictions, employee safety must be the main focus during the pandemic. This is because the high mobility of workers significantly exacerbates the transmission of COVID-19.
Not all businesses have office space that can comply with the 1-2 meter social distancing rule. In addition to this, there is government regulation stating that only half of the total number of employees are allowed to be in the office in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Therefore, the organization must seek the best ways of adopting technology solutions that are able to maximize flexible working conditions once the social restrictions have been lifted. Throughout the social restrictions phase, a number of organizations adopted cloud collaboration products, file sharing solutions, video conferencing tools, and other technologies to support remote work. Given the availability of these technological solutions for employees — and many executives see how productive their employees are working from home — organizations can make remote work an important part of their operations. By activating the appropriate solutions, such as Office 365, organizations can transform the COVID-19 crisis into opportunities for raising the productivity of employees and increasing collaboration between employees in the long run.(*)