Business Continuity in Times of Crisis

Best Practices from SHEA Global

Recently, the SHEA Global team hosted a webinar, Business Continuity in Times of Crisis, where they gave their best practices to minimize operational disruptions and limit the impact of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, on staff when moving to remote work.

As a virtual, global organization, SHEA has learned its own lessons in operating effectively while working remotely and hosted the webinar to help other businesses do the same.

Bill Bruton, Account Executive at SHEA Global, moderated the webinar and was joined by three others from SHEA:

  • Tracey Crane, Chief Operations Officer, who spoke about employee collaboration and engagement.
  • Josh Fraser, Digital Transformation Officer, who spoke about the technical side of enabling remote teams — including protecting and accessing on-premise systems.
  • Grantley Smith, Senior Solutions Architect, who spoke about maintaining business transaction flow.

If you missed the webinar, read on for a high-level overview of best practices shared.


  1. Employee Collaboration and Engagement

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have shifted to working remotely. While some challenges of remote work are unique to industries, others are common to us all.

Tracey Crane, Chief Operations Officer at SHEA, spoke to these common challenges.

Some of Crane’s tips for maintaining collaboration and engagement include:

  • At SHEA, we have implemented daily coffee breaks of 15 minutes where employees can stop in remotely and chat about whatever is going on in their lives or at work. This helps keep up feelings of connection and engagement.
  • Whenever possible, use video conferencing.
  • You can’t overcommunicate when working remotely. Crane also advised to not be afraid of sharing the tough messages either. “Be honest about the situation,” she said.
  • Record and share meetings for watching later — this can also provide training to new hires during the onboarding process, especially if that is happening remotely.


  1. Enabling Remote Teams — The Technical Side

Josh Fraser, Digital Transformation Manager at SHEA, addressed the technical aspects of enabling remote work, including collaboration technology, protecting your on-premise systems, and accessing on-premise resources remotely and securely.

A. Getting Started with Microsoft Teams.

Fraser spoke to the business communication tool that SHEA uses, Microsoft Teams, and how that has become an integral part of the remote work culture — including handy features such as a do-not-disturb mode for off-work hours and a background blur for at-home video calls (eliminating the chance of being the person with kids running around behind you!).

B. Protecting Your On-Premise Systems

If your team is working remotely, there may be considerations to make for on-premise servers. Fraser spoke to the need to review the environment and identify key business systems for backup, including:

  • Determining the recovery point objective — the amount of data you are comfortable losing. How often do you want backups to run?
  • Determining the recovery time objective – how much time can your systems be down for?
  • Reviewing retention policies — is there a regulatory compliance for your backups?
C. Accessing On-Premise Resources Remotely and Securely

Fraser also spoke to how to access on-premise resources from home — the challenges, ensuring security, and the feasibility of using third-party systems, such as GoToMyPC.

Two options Fraser gave for ensuring secure access were either establishing a VPN configuration or setting up a remote desktop web gateway.

He said that while third-party solutions serve a purpose, they are also more vulnerable to security breaches. If you do use them, be cautious.


  1. Maintaining Business Transaction Flow

Grantley Smith, Senior Solutions Architect at SHEA, spoke to how to keep business transactions flowing, specifically regarding:

  • External business documents, such as customer invoices, documents leaving the building from your ERP system, purchase orders, and transaction-based communication with customers and vendors.
  • Banking matters, such as alternatives to in-person cheque signings.
  • Approval mechanisms, such as converting to electronic approvals that meet audit trail requirements.

While this may be a transition, Smith emphasized that most challenges are not insurmountable. With the right tools and mindsets, many businesses can shift these processes to become electronic and continue business transactions as needed.


  1. Audience Questions

Finally, at the end of the webinar, the SHEA panel answered audience questions, including:

  • What’s the biggest question you faced when first transitioning to a remote culture?
  • How do you set the right expectations for a remote work environment?
  • Are you able to set up an electronic approval process?
  • Have you found that team members can become disconnected when working remotely?
  • Does productivity suffer when working remotely?
  • What are some challenges faced with Microsoft Teams adoption and how do you overcome them?
  • And more.

If you missed the Business Continuity in Times of Crisis webinar, watch a replay. Click here for access.

Want more expertise from SHEA Global? We’ve introduced a new weekly live web series — Quiz the Wiz!

We’ve assembled a panel of experts, otherwise known as the Wiz Panel, to answer all of your questions. You can ask them anything and they will attempt to answer in the most informative (and entertaining) way possible.

Our first session is happening on Tuesday, April 7 at 11:30 a.m. (GMT-4). See details and register:

If you need help with the transition, SHEA Global can also support you there. We offer quick response solutions for businesses transitioning to remote work — be it surrounding the people and culture, the technical aspects, transitioning business processes, and beyond.

Reach out to us for personalized support and assistance. Visit