returning to work safe

Gaining Momentum before the Recovery: Preparing for a Safe Return to Work

The last few months have been, for lack of a better term, a wild ride. This isn’t to discount the challenges that you, your family, your employees, and your business have faced, but when you look at things like the stock market, retail spending, and confidence reports, there is optimism for the post-lockdown world. But you didn’t get this far in your career through blind faith in macroeconomic trends or surveys. You know that success is built on pragmatism, planning, and performance.

Your Journey Back to Business as “Usual”

Understandably, the same goes for your business’s recovery plan. There are many steps you’ll need to take to combine planning with action, optimism with caution, and the safety of your workers with the sustainability of your business.

Rather than thinking about the speed with which you get back to full capacity, you need to think about the steps involved and explore how to efficiently take such steps. Can you afford to take the step today or will you have to wait another month? Can you readjust your office to fit ten more people, or will that put them at risk? Should you go so far as to change your business model, pricing strategy, or vendor relationships? All valuable questions you need to ask.

That said, there’s not exactly a lot of time to ask them. Lockdowns could have lasted for months longer than they did, which would have put you in a different position than you are today. But with even slow-to-recover states jumping on board with the recovery, it’s safe to assume that you can start opening your doors to a few more employees, customers, and dollars.

So, as phases go from two to three or three to four, how can you build up your momentum while keeping a wary eye on your business to avoid any backsliding? Today, we explore a few tips for making that a reality.

Technical Challenges That May Emerge During Phased Reentry

The last thing anyone needs right now is a second lockdown. With articles coming out predicting that to be the case, your number one priority should be to avoid letting your workplace become ground zero for a new outbreak. From cleaning to distancing, you will need to take steps to prevent this.

This starts with the adoption of new practices focused on a combination of cleaning (removes dirt and germs), disinfecting (kills the germs), and sanitizing (lowers the number of germs). Develop a regimen that involves each. Learn more about some of the practices from the CDC.

Whether it’s a change in work schedule, a new floor plan, or temporary closure of common areas, communicate with your staff how their lives will change. No more water cooler (literally or figuratively), no more coffeepot, and maybe even a reimagined break process.

Technical Challenge: Hybrid Work-From-Home and a Single Source of Truth

The most likely scenario will be a phased recovery plan that allows for some employees to work from the office and others to work from home. In turn, for those companies using desktop software or who relied on limited access to software over the last few months may face challenges when half the office is back at the office. This may result in delayed decisions or slower processing—as those at the office have the instantaneous processing and those still at home might be minutes (or more) behind.

Technical Challenge: Easier to Call in Sick—But What About the Hardware?

When the first symptom is a dry cough, it’s better to be cautious. Luckily, we’ve gotten accustomed to working from home, so for most businesses, it’s okay to be overly cautious and allow sick days. Ensure you’ve communicated explicitly about how employees should report to human resources if they become sick or start experiencing any symptoms.

Unfortunately, for those legacy companies who had to buy new laptops or take hardware home to access on-premises software, this makes for a challenging time. Employees probably had to bring back the devices they used—and now those whose cough might have simply been the result of cold are left out of the loop. Luckily, for those companies in the cloud, it’s simply log in and go.

Learn More: Five Companies Who Kept Their Business Running Smoothly

Despite the move from lockdown to reality looking less like flipping the switch and more like accelerating, resilient businesses who turned to the cloud either before or during the lockdown have been reaping the rewards. A recent Acumatica blog discussed how some of the companies who did embrace the cloud made it work.

For example, C&O Nursery improved customer relationships without missing a beat.

“Before, if we were out in the field and a grower said, ‘By the way, do we have XYZ variety?’, we would call into the office. Now that we’re cloud based, we can actually log in, look at our inventory, and answer that person within about three minutes with an accurate answer,” says CEO and President Todd Snyder in the company’s customer success story.

Ready to learn more about empowering your employees no matter where they stand? Read How 5 Acumatica Customers Keep Business Running Smoothly from Anywhere, download the free IDC report discussing how the cloud enables business resiliency, and contact us for more information.

Additional Acumatica Resources

What is the Total Economic Impact of Your ERP?

ERP Evaluation Checklist: 5 Important Things to Consider

Why Every IT Executive Needs Cloud ERP Software