Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, issued a joint statement on the B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus yesterday.
Included in that update was a call for workplaces “to think about ways to create space for people, to accommodate social distancing and develop solutions to allow staff to work from home.”
Thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, working from home is no longer a privilege, it’s a necessity. Many tech titans including Google and Shopify announced earlier this week that they are asking employees to work from home in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Techcouver polled our readers on Twitter yesterday and ninety percent of respondents said that they’ll be working from home starting next week. Social distancing FTW!
Vancouver’s Later and Traction on Demand are two companies leading the way on the move towards work from home programs.
Traction has initiated a formal alerting process for their team including a daily all company huddle team and are moving all employees into a full remote-working model of operating.
Traction is allowing employees to come to the office if they cannot work from home, but if they do, they are asking that people practice extreme hygiene including no shared food or use of shared dishes in the office and a strong recommendation to prepare food rather than ordering in.
“Tractionites and their families, our clients and our community are the core of our business. To keep them all safe, we’ve asked our employees around the world to work from home for the time being. We want to make sure our people don’t become nodes for this virus. We’re using a boutique of connected, SaaS-based applications, such as Salesforce and Spotify, to put our virtual workplace experience on par with what we enjoy in the office,” Greg Malpass, Founder and CEO of Traction on Demand, told Techcouver.
This move isn’t entirely new for Traction. They have had “work remote” days in place for over 10 years. Their delivery model was designed to be distributed/remote, their technology is accessible from anywhere, through any device, and their security is ubiquitous regardless of access point.
Similar to Traction, Vancouver’s Later has had a long-term policy allowing employees to work remotely once a week. But that changed at the end of January when the company removed any restrictions on remote working.
“Later is a digital-first company, and this is evident in our product and service offerings, through to the way we operate internally,” said Matt Smith, COO and Co-Founder of Later. “Innovation in technology – and a greater awareness and affinity for digital tools – has made widespread connectivity feasible. Especially in our line of work, as long as you have a laptop or mobile device and a solid Wi-Fi signal, then working remotely isn’t a problem.”
In January of this year, Later made the decision to make working remotely an option for our employees that wanted that for themselves.
“Having this company policy already in place has made the adjustment to everything that’s going on with COVID-19 more manageable, as our employees are already familiar with the company and communication expectations that come with working from home,” continued Smith.
With so many of us working from home while the world’s health organizations tackle the coronavirus, people having the flexibility to work remotely from home with teammates all around the world will likely become the new normal.