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Any good business contingency plan tries to think about the unthinkable and make plans for how the organization should react.
These contingency plans are being tested with the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In this issue of TechTips, I am providing a list of information resources you might find helpful as you make plans for transitioning to a virtual and work at home environment, at least for the next few weeks.
Some of these resources you have most likely encountered by other organizations. I include them here to make sure you have access to the information. This list is not comprehensive. Use it as a starting point and add to other information you’re gathering.
Work from Home Resources
The Agents Council for Technology has created a website page with information and resources about the Coronavirus.
[Updated] – Ron Berg, Executive Director at ACT, let me know that they have added an updated version (in cooperation with Sharon Emek and WAHVE) of the Remote Work Best Practices Guide. This guide is comprehensive and provides solid guidance for those being compelled to move to a remote workforce.
Many software vendors are providing free or enhanced access to their platforms to better support work at home and remote worker options. TechSmith, creators of Snagit, is one example.
As a reminder, my TechTips from last week provided some suggestions on how to protect yourself from Coronavirus Scams.
A couple of other TechTips you might find helpful include:
Some other resources that might help:
Wall Street Journal – Working From Home Because of Coronavirus? There Are Your Tech Fixes
If you have people working remotely, you will want to work hard to stay in touch. Utilizing video conferencing is a great way to do that. There are many meeting and video sharing platforms available to you. A well-known platform includes GoToMeeting.
I use Zoom as my video conference platform. A free version of the Zoom meeting platform is available. This free version is limited to 40 minutes for group meetings. It allows unlimited one-to-one meetings. Plans with additional time and participants start at $15 per month per host.
[Updated] Regulatory Compliance
If you are contemplating moving service staff to remote access, double-check to make sure your state allows staff to work from home. For example, in Florida, a person with a 4-40 license (service staff) cannot “transact insurance” outside of the office. The Florida Association of Insurance Agents (FAIA) has detailed information on this limitation. I do not know how other states might handle a similar situation. Check with your state association to make sure.
Stay Calm and Carry On
I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next few months. I do know that as an industry and as a country, we have faced many challenges in the past. And, we have successfully navigated those challenges. So stay calm and carry on. Your clients need you.
What tools are you using to support remote employees and engage with your clients?