We first contacted our clients 3 weeks ago to ask them to start preparing for what we felt would be a wholesale move to homeworking in response to the Coronavirus. Most of our clients are based in London and our aim was to try and get as many of our clients ready in advance, so we could test new setups such as VPN access, remote server access and setting people up for BYOD (bring your own device – using home computers for work).
A huge amount of work has gone into the preparation work and I’m pleased to say, much of this has gone to plan. However, we’re working in an unprecedented situation and there have been some inevitable teething problems. We’re starting to resolve those.
It’s our second week of home working (we moved early on this in order to reduce the risk to the team) and we’re sharing updates and best practice across the team as we solve issues across different clients. The team remains in good spirits, but these are testing times and this is a big change for all of us. We’re working hard to maintain morale and to support the team, so we’re able to keep to the levels of service our clients expect from Dr Logic.
As this situation looks set to continue for the foreseeable future, we are continuing to investigate additional solutions which will help clients manage longer-term home working. The team have also gathered together some of the issues they’re encountering, which may well be relevant to your business.
If your teams are experiencing slower home connections, the first port of call should be a conversation with their home broadband provider. They may be an option to upgrade their existing service or switch to a business connection. The latter would mean fewer people sharing the bandwidth at the local exchange and better support in the event of an issue.
If that’s not an option, we are currently investigating the cost to supply clients with 4G dongles. This may provide a backup solution which you may want to consider for business-critical staff.
We’ve been made aware of some issues with Cloud services, which are experiencing significant increases in demand. This mainly seems to be speed issues. We’re receiving regular updates from Microsoft and Google.
There is often the ability to cache cloud-based documents locally so that they are available offline, which may provide a short-term solution if connections are slow.
Many business insurance policies have restrictions on the number of consecutive days that you can leave your office empty for. You may wish to check your own policy in this regard.
Additional Government support
There are a number of measures emerging from Government to support SMEs including Small Business rate relief, support with SSP and lending guarantees. There’s more information here and we’re expecting further information this evening.
We’re making good use of Slack, Discord and Zoom to facilitate communication across the team and with clients. One of our biggest clients has created a virtual map of their office and created “always-on” video/teleconferences, where people can drop into their desk area to chat with their team. On Friday, we’re trialling a virtual team lunch using the app “House Party”, just to allow everyone to chat together informally, as they would normally. Everyone is ordering their own delivery pizza.
In terms of our own business continuity planning, we are appointing deputies for ourselves and delegating the appropriate authority to our management team. We have spoken to our key suppliers to reassure ourselves, as much as we can, that there will be core equipment available to order.
Above all, Dr Logic will be here for our clients at the time when you may need us the most. As business owners ourselves, we are facing unprecedented challenges and in this period of uncertainty, we feel that having others to call upon to talk through our concerns can make all the difference. Even if you’re not currently one of our clients, we’d be very happy to talk to you about any challenges you might be facing in these uncertain times.
Stay safe. We will get through this time together.
Roman and Jennie