October 08, 2009 06:00 ET

Telecommuting: An Essential Component of H1N1 Business Continuity Plan

Telework Can Help Ensure "Business as Usual" During a Widespread H1N1 Outbreak

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - October 8, 2009) - Incorporating telecommuting into a business continuity plan helps ensure "business as usual" during a widespread H1N1 outbreak. By giving employees the tools, policies, and procedures necessary to effectively work at home, companies ensure continuity of operations regardless of the ability of personnel to come into a centralized office location; which results in continued customer service, a continued revenue stream, and an ultimate maintenance of customer and brand loyalty.

"Any natural disaster including a pandemic -- such as an H1N1 outbreak -- has potential to keep workers at home due to illness, quarantine, or a desire to stay at home in a known germ-free environment," said Mary Naylor, CEO of VIPdesk and member of the Advisory Board of the Telework Coalition. "Traditionally, employee absenteeism has resulted in disruption of service and decrease in revenue. However, by providing the infrastructure for employees to work at home, many critical business functions can still be completed in a timely manner, helping ensure 'business as usual.'"

Many business functions that do not require face-to-face customer service or access to classified or otherwise restricted documents are easily accomplished by remote workers. In consideration of the benefit of a distributed workforce to business continuity, telecommuting should be included in all business continuity plans. As is the case with all contingency planning, a telework policy should be implemented before a disaster strikes, and should address topics including technology and telecommunication, security, information access, training, evaluation, and more.

VIPdesk has been working with a predominantly virtual workforce for over 10 years. The company provides virtual customer service and concierge support to over 40 premium clients through use of a vast virtual team of concierge and customer service professionals who all work out of their home offices located throughout the country. In addition, over 70% of VIPdesk's 100+ member corporate team work from their own home offices in the U.S. and Canada. Says Naylor, "Utilizing a remote workforce ensures that if there is a disruption in one part of the country, our entire staff isn't rendered incapable. This means 'business as usual' for both VIPdesk, and our clients who depend on us."

For more information on implementation of a telework policy, contact VIPdesk Public Relations at 703-837-3507 or press@vipdesk.com.

About VIPdesk

VIPdesk is the pioneer of premium home-based call centers and Concierge Services. We offer virtual customer care services to global brand leaders in industries including financial services, travel, retail and automotive services. We serve more than 70 blue-chip clients with over 10 million customers and are continually recognized as a progressive industry leader as evidenced through numerous awards, including the Inc. 500, Inc. 5000, NCBEA Business Ethics Award, Stevie Awards for Women in Business and Smart CEO Future 50. For more information, visit www.vipdesk.com

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