As the number of new Covid-19 cases continues to rise despite travel restrictions and recommended social distancing pleas, business leaders, managers and CEOs must rush through measures aimed at facilitating remote working.
For most businesses, the shift from the traditional office working environment to working from home has been tough with IT and communications cited as the biggest problems facing a business.
The most critical issue is security and making sure that staff have the right equipment with the correct and most updated programmes to facilitate secure connections in a virus-free environment.
A prudent policy followed by properly organised companies is to buy new notebooks for all members of staff, load them with the most current programmes and applications and establish secure and safe connectivity from remote locations.
This involves training so that staff members are familiarised with the updated equipment, software and applications.
The next issue is communications when staff are working from remote locations for such mundane tasks as invoicing, collection, payments to suppliers, managing stocks, order book and other tasks related to the smooth operation of a business.
Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are likely to be more adaptive to change and new methods to suit their business model, compared to large establishments, which will require time and more resources to make the shift from office to remote working.
But they are likely to struggle to maintain staff productivity considering that they will not have the organisational skills compared to the large companies.
The pandemic is also a good excuse for all businesses to shift to modern solutions that are cloud-based, scalable and are in line with the wider digitalisation applications.
File sharing services are also an effective way to maintain controls and ensure that productivity levels are maintained at high levels.
The transformation process will take time to be implemented, requires resources and is an additional cost that most businesses would prefer not to have.
In reality, though, the forced digitalisation and automation will bring tremendous savings and pave the way to new opportunities.
Shavasb Bohdjalian is Director of Eurivex Trade Finance Limited