With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have shifted to a remote work environment. For the construction industry, classified by the Department of Homeland Security as “Critical Infrastructure” and therefore essential, this has presented unique challenges. Namely, how to maintain operations for thousands of remote users across the country.
Rosendin was prepared for an event such as this and was able to quickly pivot to successfully transition thousands of users to a remote environment. Here’s our advice on what works.
Get your head in the clouds
One of the first steps in successfully deploying a remote workforce is to transition to the cloud. Along with complete transition to the cloud, it is important to have appropriately sized VPN connections in place. In 2019, Rosendin completed the transition to the cloud which allowed for an easy shift of 50% of its workforce to a remote environment practically overnight. Additionally, critical users were transitioned from desktop systems to laptops and were provided with the necessary equipment needed to eliminate any downtime.
This is not a drill (but, actually, you should have a drill)
Performing regular testing to ensure the functionality of critical operational units and conducting drills within a test environment is essential. As COVID-19 was spiking around the world, Rosendin performed a readiness drill with its finance department. The purpose of the exercise was to ensure that finance could continue to function normally and everything needed was in place for essential functions, including payroll processing. From this, the IT team received valuable feedback and data that allowed for a system retool. When the order to shelter in place was announced, Rosendin’s teams were ready to go remote.
You’ve got this. It’s what you’ve been training for
Early investments in learning and collaborative technologies, as well as the training required to use those technologies, can make the difference between a successful remote workforce and one that lacks the skills necessary to be productive.
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There are many online resources and tools available to help employees develop their skills and continue training while in a remote environment. We’ve found LinkedIn Learning to be a crucial partner. Since the beginning of 2019, Rosendin employees have completed over 4,000 courses and viewed over 127,000 videos on the LinkedIn Learning platform. Learners have viewed over 10,000 pieces of custom content.
Traffic to LinkedIn Learning continues to grow, with course completions increasing by almost 300% from February to March of this year as validated through LinkedIn Learning’s Analytical tool. We continue to see dozens of access requests per week from every sector of the workforce.
Now that the readiness tests have been completed and the end-user is outfitted with the proper tools and resources, leadership is more crucial than ever.
As a leader, increase your communication with your teams at all levels in all geographic regions. Provide your employees with tips and tricks for navigating this new remote environment. Make yourself available to answer questions and address concerns. Each person in your organization needs to be reminded of the many resources available to them, including mental health resources. Stay connected and engaged and keep the human element alive utilizing a variety of methods such as video conferencing, conference calls, email communications, instant messaging, and more. Above all else, remain calm and steady.