As the world is coming to a standstill with very little clarity, telecoms represent one of the main pillars holding any form of normal life together as more people work from home.
Inside telecom has come with 4 steps that can help operators during these challenging times.
- Workforce Location and Travel
Your employees are the most valuable asset to any business and without a workforce, companies would not be what they are today. So, with this in mind, their health and safety should a company’s number one priority.
Multiple countries have now imposed travel bans and some are enforcing quarantine or isolation on travelers when they arrive in a country.
As things now stand, it appears to be accepted that only urgent travel is necessary. Consequently, each business needs to decide what actually constitutes as “urgent travel”. In a connected age like the one we are living today, businesses need to realize that the situation is rapidly changing and that most work can be done without the need for travel at the moment. As this problem is an international one, most clients, customers and partners will understand, and it is very likely that they will have implemented the same measures.
As mentioned before, this problem is an international one and not limited to a certain country or region. It is a global threat. Your business should take proactive measures to help ease and slow down the risk of the virus spreading. Now is the time to demonstrate good leadership, compassion and an ability to see the bigger picture, which further down the line, will be appreciated by employees.
If you operate in an area where an outbreak has been confirmed – which by now is highly likely, businesses should consider allowing their staff to work from home. These measures can be introduced by initially allowing those employees who do not feel comfortable leaving the house, to stay at home. Once the authorities have made this a more official arrangement, then everyone will follow suit.
It is also important to make sure that you have given employees the right tools and necessary equipment to work remotely, including access to any critical systems that in other situations, might not have been accessible remotely – and make sure security is not overlooked.
- Traffic Increase
The current pandemic has dramatically affected the world economy and supply chain has been heavily impacted, especially with the outbreak in China. As the virus continues to spread, it is critical the telecoms companies review supply chain arrangements and make a viable plan based on the disruption. Any projects for expansion may also be impacted in the long term.
With millions of people worldwide staying home, millions are now turning to the internet. Data and network traffic spikes have been reported in a number of countries, particularly those with strict quarantine measures such as China and Italy. From pleasure and remote working, the internet is increasingly becoming the real world at the moment.
As an example, DE-CIX (the Deutsche Commercial Internet Exchange) in Frankfurt, Germany has set a new world record for data throughput driven by increased internet usage related to the Coronavirus outbreak. At 9.1 Terabits, it broke its 8 Terabits-per-second record from December 2019.
Operators are the powerhouses of cloud and connectors of the internet and are certainly going to feel this effect. So it is important that operators and service providers take the right steps to prevent any downtime during such critical months.
- Digital Media
Multiple media events and conferences have been cancelled as putting several people in the same room continues to be a potential health-risk. This means that social media is now more necessary than ever.
Altering the narrative to a positive message in times such as this will help grow your brand but also provide a critical and welcome relief of the incessant negative news on the Coronavirus. However it is necessary to keep these messages sensible and not to become complacent with regards to the reality of the situation.
- Communication Channels
In times of crisis, it is vital to keep staff updated, even more so with such a fast-moving pandemic as COVID-19. Currently, as things stand, daily updates are advisable and companies should agree on one communication channel – a page on an intranet portal, an email chain, and so on – to make it easy for staff to access advice.
Reassurance, but also reality needs to be conveyed in the messaging, especially for listed telecoms businesses whose shareholders will be closely monitoring the global market decline.