Alejandro Colino, Assistant Director, COFIDES Information Technology Department.
At COFIDES, remote working was initially a management-supported pilot project designed to assess the company’s readiness to embark on this innovative endeavour and its impact on productivity and teamwork.
With the onset of the pandemic, however, remote working became more a necessity than an option. Thanks to these arrangements the company was able to attend to business normally from the very first day of lockdown and retain full operationality while it lasted.
The new circumstances called for an exceptional effort on the part of the Information Technology Department to ensure the remote working system was up and running, providing remote support for users while meeting everyday maintenance and development needs.
Remote working would not have been such a success, however, without the cooperation and resilience of all company employees. Change is never easy, in particular when sudden, drastic and imposed in a context of widespread concern and uncertainty, but with the staff in general making every effort to adapt, we were able to carry on.
The most pressing technological challenge was to provide the company with a home-officing system that ensured secure access to company resources from personal facilities. When the pandemic first hit not all company employees had laptops whose security was under COFIDES IT team control. Staff-wide cybersecurity training sessions were consequently held to heighten awareness of the risks involved in remote working.
Demo videos on how to use the most common communication and videoconferencing tools were also prepared.
Throughout the year, with all employees home-officing, a measure recommended by health authorities, afforded COFIDES greater operating, geographic and office hour flexibility.
The technological steps to be taken next will be geared to establishing full independence from workstations. The goal is to ensure that, irrespective of staff location, access to information, receipt of incoming calls and general working procedures are exactly the same in and outside company offices and COFIDES services are provided with the optimal quality for which the company is reputed.
*This publication is part of the COFIDES' 2020 Activity and Sustainability Report.