CORONAVIRUS

Shifting to working from home a matter of being 'out in front'

Circle Computer Resources started planning early on

#x201c;We started to engage our continuity plan pretty early on,#x201d; Jeff Lord, Circle Computer Resources general man
“We started to engage our continuity plan pretty early on,” Jeff Lord, Circle Computer Resources general manager, says. Lord is seen working from home. (Photo courtesy Jeff Lord)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — As a number of for-profit and not-for-profits have made the shift to moving its employees to working from home in recent weeks, some of have made the adjustment for all their workers at once. Others, however, have proceeded more strategically.

As the scope of the coronavirus pandemic became apparent, executives of Circle Computer Resources in Cedar Rapids began planning to switch the company’s employees to working remotely, said Jeff Lord, CCR general manager.

“For us, as a service providers with hundreds of clients locally, nationally and internationally, we needed to be ready to service them and be out in front of it,” Lord said.

Here’s how they did it.

“We started to engage our continuity plan pretty early on, making sure all systems were working as they should. We had a little runway open to troubleshoot anything,” he recalled.

The IT services company started with six employees working remotely the first day.

“With good success on that, we phased in another group and went to a different function,” Lord said. “We started with accounting and moved over to our shared service groups.

“From there, we moved service delivery into working remotely.”

Over five days, he said, “we were able to have about 100 employees working remotely from their homes.”

With a corporate culture that espouses change and flexibility, Lord said the transition was fairly smooth with few hiccups.

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“For us as technologists, that is key to what we do,” he said. “It’s also key to what we try to bring to other businesses.”

Lord said employees used to sitting in close proximity in an office needed to make the personal transition to working in a different environment.

How well transitioning to working remotely would function for any organization, he said, depends on the corporate culture as well as the type and complexity of an organization.

Lord noted many businesses have taken steps to move access to critical systems off site.

“A lot of businesses have some systems that are in the cloud and accessible by remote devices,” Lord said. “Their own information technology group should be migrating as many of their critical systems to a distributed environment as quickly as they can.”

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Our most important Coronavirus coverage is free to the public.

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All donations are tax-deductible.