In the last few weeks businesses have been working hard to adapt to remote working, invoking business continuity plans. Businesses are having to deal with a situation that no one had ever envisaged.
While writing Business Continuity Plans several clients used to question the pandemic plan, but this is a plan of the unknown and all eventualities. The one thing that I had overlooked was the impact on employees. Yes, the business has asked you to stay at home, log on and carry on as normal, however, as I sat watching the news bulletin telling us the schools will be closing on Friday 20th March 2020, reality sunk in, ‘I have to work from home while having to home school 3 children’. I don’t have a plan for that!
The world was going crazy, you couldn’t find toilet paper or pasta anywhere, but I needed a plan to make this work for both my family and my clients. So, I set about designing my Home Continuity Plan which included:
|Critical Threat: ||Pandemic Covid-19|
- Inability for staff deliver services efficiently
- No childcare (grandparents in isolation)
- Reduced morale / motivation
- Inability to get supplies
|Impact on Information Security: ||Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability|
Resources to get through this:
- Workspace – turn the conservatory into an office and classroom (reading corner and art area)
- Supplies – arts and crafts, books, paper, additional board games and white board.
- Additional technology – laptop, printer and Wi-Fi booster (it’s an expensive month!)
- Information – keeping kids entertained and active
Identify trained deputies / replacement staff for key positions – List all teacher friends that can assist .
After spending the weekend invoking the Home Continuity Plan we were all set for Monday. The first two weeks have been a juggling act, helping the children with schoolwork and carrying on working, making lunch in between client calls, and trying to complete the normal 9-5 job. This is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining and impossible to maintain. Therefore, back to the drawing plan to tweak the plan for a smoother week next week.
While companies have managed to switch seamlessly over to remote working, using tools such as Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, and other tools to stay in touch and carry on as business as usual, there is a mindset that working from home means you are available from 9-5, five days a week. Unfortunately, this is not the case and tackling these issues will require a cultural shift.