Dear All IAT Employees,
The Management Committee and Business Continuity teams continue to meet daily to assess the coronavirus situation and what we need to do in response. Our main concern is the safety of our employees while at the same time identifying the best path to ensure we can continue to support and service our customers effectively. Last week, with the larger outbreaks in some areas of the country, we gave our employees in offices within close proximity the option to work from home on an interim basis. We understand with school closings and other containment efforts expanding across the country, we will need to accommodate more remote work and schedule flexibility.
A top priority is to make sure we are taking all the actions necessary to protect our at-risk population. If you consider yourself to be at-risk or if you're living with and caring for someone who falls into that category, please let your manager know so we can develop a remote work plan as soon as possible. Also, anyone who thinks they may have had exposure to the virus, we ask that you please notify your manager immediately. In the meantime, it is business as usual for those of us not in the at-risk category.
From a business continuity standpoint, we are quickly preparing for the possibility of having more employees working from home. As indicated in our communication last week, we began stress testing our systems last week and we've asked several employees to work from home as part of the testing.
Also, we are prioritizing our most critical functions that need to have access to our VPN in order to respond to our customers. This includes Underwriting, Operations, Claims, Finance and IT. Concurrently, we're developing a remote work process and operational plan focused on ensuring our core functions will have priority access to VPN. This approach may include shift schedules, both in the office and for those working remotely, to reduce the stress on the system. There are also several functions that can't be handled remotely and we're in the process of implementing cross-training to ensure business continuity for handling these tasks.
We will be providing a tutorial for employees on working from home and VPN access. Many employees do not need to use the VPN for their daily work tasks. Staying off VPN for non-essential network applications helps us keep the access open and accessible for critical VPN-only applications like Acrosoft and ImageRight. Again, more details will be shared about this soon so we can be smart and efficient about how we work remotely. The IFIC Surety team remains on separate VPN access and will receive guidance soon as well.
Our daily meetings include looking at the best way for us to leverage our resources and reduce strain on certain departments. To this end, we will temporarily suspend recruiting and hiring to redirect those resources to other critical functions – specifically, the IT staff will not be distracted with new employee tech set-up so they can focus on support for remote workers, and the recruiting staff can help support increased demand on HR services from our current workforce.
Thank you in advance for your flexibility and adaptability over the next few weeks. I am confident we have the right teams in place to help us navigate through this from both a safety as well as a business standpoint.
We will continue to share frequent updates.
*At-risk individuals include older adults, people with pre-existing conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, pregnant women and people who are immuno-compromised.