Emergency preparedness is one of the most important things a company can do. We can’t control a hurricane or pandemic. We can have a plan in place to minimize fallout so that business can continue as usual (or as close as we can get). Without a shared company plan, an emergency can snowball into a business crisis with people who don’t know what to do or how to get their work done.
Some disasters strike with little to no warning, like wildfires or hurricanes altering their path halfway up the coast. Some, like COVID-19, hover on the horizon long enough for us to tailor our emergency plan to the circumstances. Even non-emergency situations like sick days or car trouble play out more smoothly when you’re already prepared to work from home.
Disaster Preparedness at OnSIP
Here at OnSIP, we’re no strangers to disaster preparedness. When Hurricane Sandy plunged Manhattan into darkness and our downtown office flooded, our service never faltered. A hurricane in the Northeast shouldn’t affect our customers in other regions, so we took steps to ensure it didn’t.
Our friends in the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC) are ready to seek out disaster areas at the drop of a hat. If they weren’t properly prepared, they wouldn’t be much help to the people who need communications restored ASAP.
On the business side, OnSIP is fully prepared for any disaster—coronavirus, Mother Nature, zombie apocalypse—and you won’t experience any service disruption even if our offices are vacant. On the people side, we’re highly communicative across channels and dispersed offices to make sure everyone is on the same page, so we can keep you all connected. VoIP is one of the best tools for remote teams, so it’d be pretty silly if we couldn’t practice what we preach.
How to Prep for Coronavirus at Work
Make sure you have the necessary tools available to perform your job at home. On the phone all day? Larry, our resident disaster expert and senior support guru, says that a proper headset and mic will carry you through any storm. For conference calls, Bluetooth speakers make a great substitute for the office phone.
Chargers and Converters
It’s easy to forget the plug when your mind thinks only of your laptop. Make sure you have all necessary chargers, cords, and converters packed up to keep you running from a home office. Double-check your personal tech to see if you have any backups, or even make a list of which types of cords/ports are available at home versus the office, so you always know which ones to grab on your way out.
If you don’t need to bring your work computer with you, make sure your password manager is updated. It’s no help to access all your docs in Google Drive if you can’t log in to other software!
Hand Sanitizer and Wipes
Wash your hands frequently, especially when coming back inside or just off of public transit. Keep hand sanitizer at your desk and stock up on disinfecting wipes so everyone’s desk and hardware are clean as can be.
The OnSIP App
Last and certainly not least, log in to the OnSIP app on any (every!) piece of tech you might use to communicate with your team. The browser app, the desktop app, and the mobile app (for both iPhone and Android) will keep you connected no matter where you are. In the name of preparedness, download and log in to the app of your choice so that you can familiarize yourself with its interface and capabilities before you need to use them.
Specific OnSIP app features that will come in handy during your voluntary work-from-home quarantine include video conferencing, conference bridges, and drag-and-drop transfers. And because OnSIP is a big believer in flexibility—we don’t have contracts—you can add features like conference bridges for a short time and then get rid of them whenever you’d like.
The key point: Don’t be caught off-guard. Set up contingency plans and brief employees now, when everything is normal. That way there will barely be a hiccup when it’s in everyone’s best interest to work from home for a while. If you have any questions, talk to your IT staff, consultant, or OnSIP support.