We’ve made it through another week of business not as usual, everyone. Many of you are juggling the demands of business and personal lives as never before, in challenging times.
On March 2, 2020, I began writing about COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. The series began with one of my Weekend Polls, and I asked readers to offer insights on how the virus was impacting business continuity and travel plans. I developed that article and Weekend Poll to offer timely information on the situation as we understood it, and to relay and provide links to information being made available to the public.
That was then; this is now
I published the results of the March 2nd Weekend Poll on the 12th of this month. I also wrote that the sands were continuing to shift. Depending on where you live, your insights and responses could well have been significantly different from one day – or even hour – to the next.
As such, I committed to publishing an almost-identical Weekend Poll this week, in order that we could track how things were changing.
Living and working in times of a pandemic
We now recognise that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic.
Be aware of cyber risks, particularly when WFH
When I present on cybersecurity, I routinely caution that criminals’ tactics are constantly evolving. That’s happening now, with some phishing emails giving the false appearance of being sent by the CDC or other official organisations.
I published a phishing advisory for you on March 15th, and you need to remain vigilant – particularly if you’re working from home (WFH) and on a network without the security of your employer’s firewalls.
The pandemic’s impacts
I provided readers an update on the situation here in Vancouver, Canada, and am aware that readers in other cities and countries will be experiencing the pandemic differently. Situations that may be emergent or only anticipated in one country may already be facts of life for people in other countries.
With this in mind, I reached out in the past few days to a small number of the terrific network and professional association leaders around the world. We’ve heard much about how this virus has impacted Italy, and I shared my interview with Italian friend and leader Vania Valessi.
For insights on what others are experiencing, click here and here for two articles featuring interviews with Vania and other leaders: Christine in Australia, Marcela in Brazil, Katherine in Canada, Nina in Finland, Fiona in Ireland, Vicki in New Zealand, Victoria in the UK, and Juanita in the USA.
We can be social, albeit at a distance. We’re learning from and supporting one another, and you’ll already have experienced this.
It’s early days in New Zealand, yet Vicki Faint’s employer, Victoria University of Wellington, already had a checklist in place for employees who work from home. Vicki is the National President of AAPNZ, the Association of Administrative Professionals New Zealand, and sent me a screen shot of that checklist. Drawing on the University’s checklist and my own experience, I drafted and published a template you may want to review with colleagues to adapt for your organisation’s use. Click here to access this Working from Home checklist.
In England, EPAA member Mary Johnson has shared resources for people who are new to Microsoft Teams – saving assistants, their executives and other colleagues time and frustration associated with learning curves. Mary readily agreed that I could share the Quick Start Guide she and a colleague developed for their workplace, AECOM.
Business continuity and more: let’s hear from you
Now, it’s time to hear from you again. Our living and working environments have evolved so rapidly and significantly since March 2nd. Face to face meetings and air travel are, for now, indicators of simpler times, and so this Weekend Poll contains some tweaked questions to reflect current realities.
How is the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic impacting your world?