by Tony Schillaci and Don Church
Employers in Southeastern CT are being offered an opportunity to “be prepared” for employee absenteeism due to the predicted fall swine-flu pandemic. They are strongly urged to take advantage of a free contingency plan offered by the State of CT’s Telecommute CT (www.telecommuteCT.com).
Telecommute CT will work with qualified employers and employees to set up ‘at home’ telecommuting offices. A representative who is an information technologies (IT) specialist will go to the qualified employee’s home to set up an efficient and time-managed home office. They will recommend specific software and hardware applications based on each business’ exact needs, reconfigure office footprints, and allow employees to remotely continue their daily activities in the safety of their own homes.
By preparing now, employers would be able continue or restart this telecommute program in the event of severe weather, transportation disruption, or other health emergencies; key personnel could stay-at-home to work, keeping the business continuity going.
Currently, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is meeting to consider taking a public stand in favor of telecommuting, based partly on the evidence presented by the World Health Organization that the H1-N1 swine flu virus will cause major outbreaks this fall.
In only one week in July, Britain reported 100,000 new cases. A sign of what could be coming as new cases are reported daily throughout the US.
Jean Stimolo, Program Manager, Telecommute CT, recommends, “Connecticut employers would benefit greatly by planning ahead so that they are ready with a telecommuting option and are not caught off-guard when an employee’s access to the office is blocked or limited.”
Helene Kelly, Marketing Consultant, CT Economic Resource Center, Inc., advises that the key to successful integration of telecommuting into any continuity planning effort is preparation. The recent recession, combined with escalating gas prices dictated that many employees could work at home a few days a week, saving both time on the road, and money for the employer. Once gas prices reduced, many employers and employees chose to continue their company’s newly initiated telecommuting programs.
For assistance in developing a telecommuting option into your business, contact Telecommute CT at 1.800.255.7433, or tct@telecommuteCT.com.