Working from home is not always a luxury. Presently for some, it is a global mandate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has suggested staying home or working remotely to avoid the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
“Schools could be closed, mass public gatherings suspended, and businesses forced to have employees work remotely,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
COVID-19 poses a significant threat to employees around the world, and currently there is an unprecedented rise in remote working. Businesses need to take a critical look at their emergency remote working plans and consider virtual events in lieu of in-person conferences or meetings.
While many companies have telework in place, this isn’t the case for all global companies. In fact, according to a recent study by OWL Labs, 38% of employees work on-site with no remote working opportunities. For businesses where this is the case, having an emergency remote working plan is critical to keep employees safe and keep your business operating with minimal disruptions during this difficult time.
At PGi, our mission is simple: to help people connect. While we have focused on empowering organizations with collaboration technology for the past 29 years, regrettably, the impact of the COVID-19 has increased this need for global organizations. We’ve seen this rise in need firsthand with GlobalMeet:
- Sign-ups for our free video conferencing offering are up 19X in impacted countries, including China, Hong Kong, Japan and Italy.
- In the last week of February alone, we have seen a double-digit increase in usage with our GlobalMeet Collaboration platform around the world.
- The number of webcasts delivered has increased 73% since companies around the world started to respond to the coronavirus. We expect that number to jump even more in March.
With the recent increase in GlobalMeet usage and sign-ups, it is PGi’s priority to deliver technology that helps quell concerns and enables companies to empower their employees to reduce travel and work remotely, anytime, anywhere, resulting in greater safety, peace of mind and productivity.
Now more than ever, as businesses manage through the coronavirus outbreak, new requirements are emerging. As more teams are scaling work from home efforts and hosting virtual events we are here to support you. Businesses around the world can take advantage of GlobalMeet Collaboration for free – no strings attached. This includes unlimited meetings for up to 125 participants, HD video, mobile apps and online meeting support. If you are looking to move a physical conference or meeting to a live virtual event please contact us.
Are You Ready?
The global spread of the virus will reveal whether companies are equipped to respond rapidly to sudden workplace changes. Businesses must face the possibility that your employees may need to work remotely for the foreseeable future. If your business doesn’t have a plan in place for remote working, then act now and create one.
Many companies are already getting out in front of the impending pandemic by promoting remote work and canceling all business travel. The Washington Post reports that “IBM, which nearly three years ago ended remote work for some U.S. employees, said it had asked workers in coronavirus-affected areas to work from home ‘wherever possible.’”
Even with an ongoing major health issue affecting the world, there are options for businesses to protect their employees while maintaining productivity. We want to help make sure you are prepared and can act quickly when the time comes.
#WeArePGi in Hong Kong
Our own team is using GlobalMeet Collaboration to facilitate meaningful discussions while working from home. Video conferencing has helped bring the team together and support work efforts. Jessie Cheng, PGi’s Head of Marketing and Product APAC, said, “thankfully we can stay connected and still be productive using GlobalMeet.”
While #WorkWherever is an initiative I have championed at PGi, the COVID-19 outbreak has expedited the remote work movement. This is not how we want remote working to spread however, it has become the new reality for many companies.
PGi’s webcast and video conferencing technology helps people, enterprises and teams connect around the world. Our focus is to reduce the impact coronavirus has on our employees, customers, partners and communities across the globe.
We have added the necessary resources and the PGi team is here to help. We are working around the clock to actively monitor traffic trends and ensure our users can connect and collaborate from the safest place available. Our sincerest thoughts go out to those impacted, and we remain committed to lessening the impact.