As we continue to battle the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), the Singapore Government moved its disease outbreak response up a level to DORSCON Orange on 7 Feb 2020.
DORSCON Orange means additional precautionary measures to minimise the risk of further transmission of the virus in the community, detailed by Singapore’s Ministry of Health. This includes responsibilities of employers to ensure daily health checks at the workplace, and ensure Business Continuity Plans (“BCP”) are in place. For companies who need help on BCP, here is an Enterprise Singapore Guide.
"Remote Control" In Practice
BCP is important, and requires proper PRIOR planning.
ArcLab works out of the offices of Tinkertanker, our founding investors — who have been prepared for some time, and over the weekend put these drawer plans into action as a precautionary measure to safeguard the health and safety of colleagues. These include:
- Reminding colleagues to take temperatures daily, and seeing a doctor (wearing a mask) if one has a fever.
- Working from home unless absolutely necessary to be in office (either needing access to office equipment or supplies), but only staying as long as needed.
- If in office – practising good personal hygiene and washing hands regularly (asking any office visitors to do the same) etc.
Team members working from different locations requires good communication and collaboration tools.
The office has consistently used Slack as default communication platform, and this continues all through the current coronavirus outbreak.
Now more than ever — cloud is key for collaboration, with files saved and shared using cloud platforms like Google Drive / Dropbox. Our product / project management tools like Trello etc. are also cloud-based, and keep team members on the same page.
In addition, ArcLab is built on Amazon Web Services (We’re an AWS EdStart Startup), which means our platform keeps running for our users, and we continue to be able to serve any queries that might come in through our tawk.to chat channel.
So if your organisation is looking cloud solutions that can help with split teams and remote work, drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org; we’ll be glad to share our experience with you.
Keep Calm and Carry On
In times like this, it’s important for all of us businesses to ensure we keep going, to be responsible to the users and customers who had put their faith in each and every one of our businesses.
(1) Remaining open for business, while dealing with the realities of fielding calls for cancelled meetings, events etc. These are understandable in the current time, yet we remain accessible and helpful to users and customers.
(2) Focusing resources on the longer-term, eg. product development and planning. As tough and stressful as the current situation is, even this shall pass. And if we’d taken this opportunity to maximise what we can achieve in a later BAU time, the business is well-placed.
(3) Upskilling your Workforce. Even when we can’t meet for training. In light of potentially lower customer activity and volumes, take the chance to keep the team sharp and current.
Having the team being able to work remote also requires their familiarity with office procedures and policies, so take advantage of remote learning tools, like what we’ve put in place ourselves, using ArcLab’s mobile learning modules.
This includes a module about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus itself, which you are welcome to use (for free) to educate your team.
The Meaning of Crisis
This coronavirus outbreak situation remains fluid, and we all need to play our part to help fight its spread.
For employers who may be looking for ideas / solutions, do consider what I’ve shared above. Obviously these software are just tools, and require team members (and managers) to have trust in one another.
The Chinese word for “crisis” is 危机 (“wei ji”) — a 2-word combination of “danger” and “opportunity”.
So while the virus outbreak is unfortunate, let’s take this chance to put our BCP into practice, and use this time to sharpen them. And businesses that hunker down and do our best to serve our users and customers (even as we minimise unnecessary contact), do longer-term development and planning — can be well-placed to overcome this crisis, and grow from strength to strength.
(n/b — shoutout to our healthcare professionals who are working hard on the frontline of our battle against this coronavirus, and our public officers, public transport workers too )