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CFO Plans In Response To The COVID-19 Pandemic
We don’t know how long the coronavirus pandemic will hang on, despite provinces starting to lift their lockdowns. This is simply designed to stimulate the economy. Although many organizations are getting the go-ahead to open their doors again, a lot of companies still plan to continue with remote work. Why? Because it keeps their employees safe and healthy while keeping costs low. Gartner surveyed 317 CFOs to find out their plans for operating in a post-COVID-19 world:
- 74% of CFOs plan to transition previously on-premises employees to remote work post-coronavirus.
- 81% of CFOs plan to exceed their contractual obligations to hourly workers via remote work to offer flexible schedules.
- 13% of CFOs have already cut real estate expenses, with another 9% planning to do the same.
Naturally, remote work simply makes the most sense right now. For many CFOs, now is the time to start adjusting their cost base to realign with lower revenue projections. This means they’re focused on reviewing any of their short-term financial commitments against their long-term stability to determine which expenditures should be deferred or stopped altogether.
Remote Work Allows Organizations To Minimize Expenditures
The concept of remote work has been around for quite a while. However, many organizations have only started to see the benefits of remote work over the past couple of months due to the coronavirus pandemic:
- Less costs associated with leasing a large office, paying for supplies, etc.
- Greater productivity as a lack of distractions or the need to commute
- Less limitations in terms of finding talent in a specific geographic area
Global Workplace Analytics found that organizations can save, on average, $11,000 per employee if they’re working from home half of the time. Also, employees save money too. They’re able to cut out roughly $2,000 to $7,000 per year as they spend less on gas, lunch, and more.
How do you make sure you’re able to enjoy the benefits of remote work? It all comes down to having the right tools, policies, and guidance. We recommend the following:
Invest In The Right Cloud-Based Tools
Collaboration is key when everyone is working from home. Make sure your remote workforce has the following:
- Microsoft 365
- VoIP business phones
- Cloud-based versions of line of business applications
Prepare To Provide Technical Support As Needed
Your remote workforce will likely need technology support from time-to-time. Fortunately, the majority of issues can be resolved remotely, as long as you have a responsive technology partner ready to help. Make sure your remote workforce knows how to contact them via:
- Web portal
Don’t Overlook The Importance Of Cybersecurity
Typically, remote workers have less security measures to protect their computers than those working in the office. It’s imperative to ensure you’re implementing the right security measures as hackers are ramping up their efforts in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This means all remote workers should have:
- Anti-virus software
- Spam filtering
This is the bare minimum. You should also invest in cybersecurity awareness training to keep your remote workers up-to-date on the latest threats and how to respond to them.
Business Continuity Is Key To Planning For The Future
Lastly, CFOs should start planning now. If there’s one thing the coronavirus pandemic taught us, it’s that business continuity planning needs to go above and beyond planning for a short-term disruption, such as a power outage or storm. A business continuity plan should cover the following:
- Dislocation from the office and moving physical assets to another location
- Restoration of systems, data, and processes and procedures
- Loss or unavailability of key personnel
- Loss or unavailability of information systems
- Disruptions to supply chains and manufacturing availability
- Loss of customer demand
- Emergency contacts