What to do if your business is not prepared for a black swan event like the coronavirus

No panic. There are a few very simple things you can and should do.

You have a receptionist or security guard guarding the front door, an alarm system at night, antivirus software protecting your computers, and a firewall protecting your servers. It’s all good except for one thing. You have just sent your employees to work from home. You must not allow your business information, including some data with compliance requirements that must be protected, to be exposed on the Internet. Don’t expose your business, employees or customers to internet pirates and scammers or worse. If you suddenly find yourself in this position, consider giving your employees these basic tools so they can work from home safely.

We live in a time where the risk to our confidential information is increasing every day. The need to protect digital communications places an enormous burden on an organization and requires constant diligence to mitigate these ever-evolving risks. During a black swan event like the spread of COVID-19, where you are forced to make a critical decision, e.g. B. Sending your employees home with just a few days notice, it’s important that you don’t back down. Using a secure encrypted email application is the foremost risk avoidance for your business.

Email encryption is a must

You need an application that your entire team can use securely, easily, and affordably. They don’t have time at home for extensive training or figuring out who has what skills. You need a product that is easy to install, easy to use and highly flexible, including a compatible mobile app. If you send secure e-mail to customers, suppliers or other people outside your company, you need an application that allows you to send encrypted e-mail to recipients, to buy the application and receive a secure e-mail.

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Check out Send_It_Secure from Protected Trust https://envoy.protectedtrust.com/. Your free trial will be extended to 30 days during this crisis with no further financial commitment required. Group rates are available if you decide to continue usage in the future.

team communication

Communicating with your team of employees in the simplest and most transparent way possible will help keep your team focused and motivated, even when working remotely. There are several products on the market that enable text messaging and group chats, video conferencing, scheduling and running online team meetings, and collaborating and sharing files. To keep things as simple as possible for employees just adjusting to remote work, combining these features into a single, easy-to-use application will eliminate many headaches and get your team back to work quickly. The Microsoft Teams application is a good way to achieve this. There are some minimal upfront payments, but they’re small if you’re able to keep your employees productive.

Check out https://www.protectedtrust.com/. They specialize in setting up virtual teams.

culture change

Employees enjoy working from home and see the ability to do so at any time as an advantage. No traffic, no gas and if you want you can work in your pyjamas. Then they finish their first day of remote work, adding that their list may change soon. No quiet office, no escape from the kids, no business lunches, lost contact with co-workers, and delays in getting their work done because they can’t just walk down the hall to ask the boss a question. Let’s be honest, people also have many reasons to enjoy working in an office. Your employees could experience culture shock. Some can handle it and will see it as an advantage, others will not.

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Working with remote workers is a culture shift for managers too. Can you run a business without seeing your employees’ fingers swipe across the keyboard? Many managers are “old school” and have a bigger problem with cultural change than their employees. Much of the change takes place in the mindset of the manager. https://paulemcmahon.wordpress.com/2020/03/15/6-tips-in-10-minutes-for-successful-work-from-home/

I recommend a book called Virtual Project Management by Paul McMahon. It was written for software managers but has wide application in any virtual environment. www.pemsystems.com

There are many indications that the days of working in high office towers are over. What 9/11 didn’t do, the 2020 pandemic could do. Of course, I realize there are jobs that can’t be done remotely…but many of them can. The overheads of running most offices, rent, electricity, cleaning and insurance are eliminated when you lock the doors and let your employees work from home. Reducing overhead is often a good compromise for the perceived lack of control over your employees. Use the current situation to try out remote working with your team of employees. You may be pleasantly surprised.