|Telecommuting / Virtual Office|
|"Economic and social disruption will be great. High rates of illness and worker absenteeism are expected, and these will contribute to social and economic disruption." --World Health Organization|
|One way to use "social distancing" to reduce the spread of germs is to have employees telecommute or work from home. Routinely used by many companies, this is also sometimes called having a mobile/portable/virtual office.|
How can you separate employees yet keep them working? You may want to rent or buy reconditioned laptop computers and provide employees with USB Flash drives, free application software (e.g., OpenOffice.org) or application readers (e.g., Adobe Acrobat Reader), and expand your networking capacity. Provide prepaid calling cards/services to employees who routinely call remote offices or customers. Use audio conferencing or Web conferencing services for meetings.
|USB Flash Drives - If employees are temporarily forced to relocate offices or work from home during a flu pandemic, give them data portability via USB Flash drives.|
Crucial Technology's USB Hi-Speed Flash drives offer convenience and compatibility. About the size of a lipstick case, their Gizmo! drive easily fits into your pocket or bag. It's a great way to quickly and reliably shuttle data between USB-enabled computers — desktops, notebooks, Macs, PCs. Carry data files from your office computer to your home computer, for example. Various Flash drive capacities are listed at Crucial.com/uk (this UK site also links to Crucial's U.S. and EU sites).
If you're not familiar with USB Flash drives, they simply plug into an empty USB port on your computer and instantly become another "hard drive." You can copy any computer files to the Flash drive, then unplug it and plug it into another computer to transfer the files or work on them at the second computer. The USB Flash drives get their power from whatever computer they're plugged into; no cables or external power supplies are needed.
USB Flash drives are also known as "thumb drives," "pen drives," "USB keys," and various other names. Wikipedia has an in-depth discussion of this extremely handy computer accessory.
|Audio/Web Conferencing - Decrease the chances of spreading germs by increasing your "social distance." Instead of meeting face-to-face, use audio and/or Web conferencing. ConferenceHere.com has simple, reliable, user-friendly conferencing for less than half the cost of the competition (AT&T, MCI). Call anytime – any location – any phone – always toll-free. Get call recording and detailed call reports. Share documents on the Web. Always one flat rate - no sign-up fees - no contracts. (Nice!) They offer a complimentary 100-minute trial for new customers.|
|Cell Phone Charger - Charge2Go Cell Phone Charger ... award-winning product lets you charge your cell phone when the power's out ... pop one AA battery into the cylindrical Charge2Go and hook the cable to your cell phone ... gives up to 3 hours of talk time ... comes with 7 connectors to work on virtually any cell phone model.|