A majority of the US workforce is now moving into isolation as the country becomes the most affected by the COVID19 pandemic. The Guardian Reports:
“Donald Trump has extended America’s national shutdown for a month, bowing to public health experts, and scientific reality, and warning that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is yet to come.”
The US government is therefore encouraging “social distancing” and “self quarantine” as the ideal measures for minimizing the effects of the outbreak. In their very interesting article about remote work trends after COVID19, Global Workplace Analytics write that:
“We estimate that 56% of the U.S. workforce holds a job that is compatible (at least partially) with remote work. We know that currently, only 3.6% of the employee workforce works at home half-time or more. Gallup data from 2016 shows that 43% of the workforce works at home at least some of the time. Our prediction is that the longer people are required to work at home, the greater the adoption we will see when the dust settles.
We believe, based on historical trends, that those who were working remotely before the pandemic, will increase their frequency after they are allowed to return to their offices. For those who were new to remote work until the pandemic, we believe there will be a significant upswing in their adoption. My best estimate is that we will see 25-30% of the workforce working at home on a multiple-days-a-week basis within the next two years.”
5 Essential Requirements to Support Remote Workers Amid the COVID19 Shutdown
Larger hotel chains such as Marriott & Hilton Groups are ensuring hotel management & staff to adopt a work-from-home policy where necessary. Yes, for hotel staff still working on premises there will be completely different and more stringent requirements including clothing, equipment, updated cleaning regulations etc. but that is a different discussion.
Most large scale hotels have the necessary I.T. infrastructures and policies needed to migrate workers to remote connectivity service. A majority of staff also use these tools on a daily basis and are already laptop & mobile device users.
For small and medium sized hotels, however, the case is likely to be very different. For most hotel staff remote work is usually sending/receiving an email or taking an online meeting. It is essential for hotel owners to have a professional checklist of the five essentials to support remote workers.
Business Continuity Plan
The COVID19 pandemic is an ideal event for hotel owners & managers to understand the significance of business continuity services.
So, what exactly is business continuity?
“Business continuity is the advance planning and preparation undertaken to ensure that an organization will have the capability to operate its critical business functions during emergency events. Events can include natural disasters, a business crisis, pandemic, workplace violence, or any event that results in a disruption of your business operation.”
- Richard Long, MHA Consulting
When talking in terms of hotel technology systems, the business continuity strategy will address everything from the Hotel PMS, Revenue Management Systems, Back Office Systems, Communication Tools & Systems, Security & Perimeter Monitoring, Tech Compliance, Databases & Warehouses, POS Systems and Privacy Guidelines etc.
Capacity, Scalability & Performance
Hotels are required to gauge the capacity of their technology infrastructures to deliver high performance remote access and collaboration. The hotel technology stack will be tested, with conferencing tools, remote access services, and online Team Management tools will define the performance of remote workers.
Scalability will play a great role in allocating more resources for remote access. For hotels that have already invested in more scalable technology stacks will be the first to benefit. Hotels should ideally begin formulating their business continuity plans to identify the required essentials for remote work management.
As everything goes into shutdown, procuring and moving hardware will be difficult. A hotel technology management provider will be of great value here. Not only will HTM companies have vast knowledge of handling an emergency situation, they will also provide invaluable insight into the required capacity to manage tasks from home.
Staff & Network Security
Remote connectivity and access are a completely new world for hoteliers. There are countless applications and processes to perform remote work today. The security of these tools is however highly debated, hence it is always recommended to seek assistance from a technology consultant or your hotel technology management provider.
For instance, AHT’s remote connectivity service combines high performance with credible security. Using a mix of basic remote access tools and advanced security best practices, we have developed a simplified high speed remote access solution for multiple remote workers.
Another important part of a technology managers job will be to ensure that all staff devices connecting to the hotel network are properly secured. At this point it will be ideal to train staff about their responsibility when accessing hotel networks from personal devices.
Technology Management & Maintenance
Technology managers and hotel management companies will be in high demand. This crucial role has been massively overlooked in the past decade, however, it’s about time to embrace this strategic position.
Most hotels choose to outsource technology management & maintenance to professionals. These technology management professionals are highly skilled with optimizing technology services for better hotel guest experiences.
Similarly, managing remote network activity, remote access & authorizations, tracking compliance, and performance of technologies will all require professional oversight. When all remote workers have to do is access a portal page and continue their work as if at the office wouldn’t sound too bad for most hotel owners.
While remote workers are in lockdown, it will be essential to keep all technology systems maintained both at the hotel and employee locations. A hotel technology professional will be able to run remote maintenance and ensure highest performance from remote workers.
Support & Assistance
As work processes move to digital platforms and services, support will become an essential element for remote workers. Although most remote access tools are straightforward and easy to use, their security and synchronization with other tools can cause problems that require professional help.
This is another critical aspect of having a technology management provider by your side. Remote support is one of the most basic, yet crucial services that most hotel technology companies offer to maintain constant oversight of issues in real time.
As we close we would like to send out our greatest gratitude to all the medical professionals fighting against the COVID19 pandemic.
Wishing all our readers the best of health and remember to stay safe. Until next time, see you again soon.