While remote work offers many benefits to the average worker, especially those that are self-driven and independent, it can also come with technical caveats which include, but are not limited to, service outages. No matter what kind of environment you are working in, you simply cannot control your provider or the services they provide. Not only should your business come up with a contingency plan when you experience a service outage, you should also figure out methods to help your remote workers complete their tasks.
Diagnose the Problem:
Common apps used in the remote working space are Zoom, WebEx, and Teams. These apps are often subjected to heavy traffic and internal issues. It’s common to assume that if your connection is weak or suffering, it’s your internet to blame, but in these cases, it might be the app itself that’s experiencing issues. By diagnosing the situation, you and your employees can work around a service outage by finding alternative options to use. You can also use conferencing software that has dial-in options to avoid communication failures.
Subsidize Cellular Plans and Equipment:
When an internet outage occurs, remote workers can be left stranded without their primary means of completing their work. However, your employee always has the option to reconnect to the internet via mobile hotspot. Of course, this can be a pricey solution depending on workload and outage length. As a business you can subsidize your employees mobile bill to ensure they are covered for the hours their internet goes down.
If your employee is experiencing recurring issues with their internet, it’s possible that a hardware upgrade is needed to accommodate their workload. Consider subsidizing your employee’s equipment with upgraded hardware to maximize productivity. This is an investment for your business that will pay itself off over time.
Create an IT Help Process
It’s not uncommon to hear that your employee is not tech savvy, especially when it comes to a service outage. The best they can do is try to reset their modem or call their provider to see if there’s anything that can be done. You can help smooth this process over by having a dedicated IT help process that your employees can use to seek help. Dedicated tech support can save you, and your employees time and money by efficiently tackling the problem.
Use the Office
Asking your remote workers to come into the office can be a temporary solution to a service outage. This can be a solution for employees that share the same provider or live in the same affected neighbourhood. Implementing a protocol like this in your contingency plan can be an efficient way to ensure your employees are prepared for a service outage and will be ready to come into the office to work.
Allow Offline Work
If for some reason all else fails and there is a major outage that is affecting both home and office, don’t stress! It’s not the end of the world and it is likely that there is some work that can be done offline. Give your employees the chance to work offline and fill progress reports to keep track of things. Remember to not punish or pressure your employees during an outage because it’s something that is completely out of their control. This can improve your image as a leader and result in improved efficiency when services return.
Internet and Service outage are going to happen if you work from home or not. But it’s important to remember that even though you have no control over when an outage can occur, you are able to help others get through it with patience, generosity, and planning. Not only will your employees appreciate your assistance, but they will also see your leadership as invaluable and assuring.