Is it Time to Bring Back Your Workforce?

Are you considering bringing your team back into the office? What will a post-COVID workplace look like? Take these guidelines into considerations as you plan your return.

 

It’s been over a year since the pandemic began and many businesses have experienced shutdowns or have had employees work remotely. As things begin to ease up and more people are being vaccinated, what does that mean for small business? How will your business look and operate going forward? Will you bring employees back or will you continue to have them work remotely? Will your business model look different in the future? What is your new normal?

While workplaces may look different as we move forward, there are some basics plans and strategies that may help you decide when and how to work in the future, and if you want to attempt to bring back in-person employees, and to determine your timeline.

Employers and employees may have mixed feelings on coming back to full capacity but it most likely will be a slow process. Many may want to continue the remote work arrangements. According to a Gallup poll, nearly two-thirds of employees who have been working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic wish to remain remote, while only 35% say they wish to return to the office.

RELATED: COVID-19 Design Play Book

The health and safety of the workforce should be your top priority and it must include a moral, ethical and legal concern for all employees and customers. New protocols may include deep cleaning and sanitization, rethinking the layout of the workspace, establishing guidelines for the use of personal protective equipment, and establishing rules governing when employees can return to work after recovering from infection should all be considered and evaluated.

There are important considerations that you should be thinking about when making a decision to move forward. The most important aspect, and one that is going to be very helpful to you, is to develop a plan that takes the following into consideration:

  • Put people first and include considerations for risk and what controls you need to keep people safe and healthy while also keeping your business continuity and productivity.
  • Determine who actually needs to return to in-person work and who can continue to work remotely.
  • Focus on customers, workforce, and other factors in order to keep everyone safe.
  • Communicate changes and policies to everyone. Make sure all employees and customers know the rules and procedures going forward.
  • Have a plan to mitigate workplace illness. This may include contract tracing, following state and local guidelines, setting expectations, considering legal and operational risks for employees, vendors and customers.
  • Learn to operate under new conditions that may include rethinking how people work, your real estate footprint, new training, new tools, and more.
  • Plan work schedules with people in mind and make an effort to understand your employees’ needs.
  • Reevaluate your performance measures.

RELATED: Read more by Tim Dimoff.

Think strategically but be smart when determining what works best for your employees, your customers, and your business.

 

President, SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Speaker, Trainer, Corporate Security ExpertTimothy A. Dimoff, CPP, president of SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc., is a speaker, trainer and author and a leading authority in high-risk workplace and human resource security and crime issues. He is a Certified Protection Professional; a certified legal expert in corporate security procedures and training; a member of the Ohio and International Narcotic Associations; the Ohio and National Societies for Human Resource Managers; and the American Society for Industrial Security. He holds a B.S. in Sociology, with an emphasis in criminology, from Dennison University. Contact him at info@sacsconsulting.com.

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  • Next up: The State of Latino Entrepreneurship and the Impact of COVID-19 on Latino Businesses
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  • Next up: Why Small Businesses May be More Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks
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  • Why Small Businesses May be More Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks

    With more products and services being offered online and with the uptick in the amount of people working remotely, cyber security is an even greater concern than ever before. Learn how to keep your company safe.

     

    Since the pandemic, many small businesses are staying afloat utilizing cyber business methods, new technologies, e-commerce or online business sales, as well as using remote workers. While these changes may be good, they have also created new opportunities for cyberattacks. More than half of small business owners say they are more worried about potential cyberattacks since the pandemic began. It is very important that small business owners become proactive in protecting their information systems and in training their staff to detect any attempts at cyber-fraud.

    The vast majority of cyberattacks come through email scams and phishing attempts or malicious software. Businesses with more than 20 employees and those who utilize remote workers seem to be most at risk of a cyber-fraud incident. Additionally, the business sectors involving manufacturing, wholesale trade, and administration management are also at greater risk.

    A cyberattack on a small business can result in both stressful and financial effects. It can negatively impact everything from their banking information to business relationships and more. It is a good idea to invest in cyber insurance if it is available.

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    Additionally, there are a few other steps that a small business can take to help ward off cyberattacks including:

    • Train your employees about cyberattacks, how to detect them and how to avoid them.
    • Establish basic security procedures for employees, including using strong passwords, how to protect customer data and other vital information.
    • Update all devices to the latest security software, web browsers, and operating systems. Use antivirus software and firewalls.
    • Create a mobile device action plan to encrypt data for employees who are working remotely. Each employee should have a separate user account in order to trace any activity if there’s a problem.

    RELATED: Read more by Tim Dimoff.

    • Back up critical business data and store the information in the cloud.
    • Secure Wi-Fi networks with Service Set Identifier (SSID) and password protection.
    • Work with banks or credit card processors to safeguard payment information.
    •  Talk with other business owners and share information on known scams, attacks and best practices.
    • Report any cyberattacks to law enforcement or other authorities. Notifying the Better Business Bureau is also a good idea.

    It is more important now than ever to protect your information. Small businesses are vulnerable to attack but taking some precautionary measures will go a long way toward protection.

    President, SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Speaker, Trainer, Corporate Security ExpertTimothy A. Dimoff, CPP, president of SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc., is a speaker, trainer and author and a leading authority in high-risk workplace and human resource security and crime issues. He is a Certified Protection Professional; a certified legal expert in corporate security procedures and training; a member of the Ohio and International Narcotic Associations; the Ohio and National Societies for Human Resource Managers; and the American Society for Industrial Security. He holds a B.S. in Sociology, with an emphasis in criminology, from Dennison University. Contact him at info@sacsconsulting.com.

     

     

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