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What Your RTO Should Do About The Coronavirus

March 17, 2020

Coronavirus continues to spread around the world, plunging us into uncertainty. What can your RTO do to protect your business and prevent the coronavirus’s spread? Here are some suggestions.

Work from home

With more countries recommending isolation, working from home is the best thing that your RTO can do to prevent the spread of the virus and help the world recover. Our digital age allows many of us to do our jobs from the safety of our home, with a few key considerations for success.

Effective communication

Every business needs effective communication to succeed. When working from home, this means being available on your mobile phone, over video conferencing apps such as Google Meet, via email, or a messaging app such as Slack. In some instances, you might need to exchange mobile numbers with your colleagues.

It’s also important to catch up regularly to assess your priorities, and whether you're moving forward in the right direction (especially given the circumstances). A new quick 15-minute catch up every morning should be enough.

Keep your regular routine

Maintain your regular working routine where possible. Keep the same hours and structure to your day, to slide back into your habitual groove. Your immune system will struggle if you start working 9pm - 6am, and you need it now more than ever.

Do an equipment check

Do you have the necessary tools to complete your job? Computer, phone, and internet connection? What might you need to take home from the office? Do a full inventory check on what you need to complete your job, and be sure to take it home. 

If you use a modern cloud-based SMS, you should be able to access your RTO’s resource library from home too.

Set up a safe, ergonomic space

Remove those trip hazards, and adjust your workspace so that it’s ergonomically correct (helpful link at the end of this article). Rather than lounging on your cushioned sofa, keep working at that space to create a mental association for it, and a habit of productivity.

If you find it boring working from home, you might consider spending a few hours at the coffee shop, public library, or even the local park. Just make sure you use a secure hotspot connection on your phone, rather than an open, insecure WIFI channel that anyone can connect to.

Watch your procrastination

Some of us struggle to stay motivated when relieved of a superior’s watchful eye, so if this is you, you need to be extra vigilant to remain focused. Consider using an app such as Block Site to prevent you from checking entertaining websites, and maybe cancel your Netflix account until this all blows over.

Just kidding, that would be ridiculous.

Create a reschedule plan

Many classes will need to be cancelled to prevent the spread of the virus, with a lot of rescheduling needed. Creating a strategy around how you’ll manage this is critical: what needs to be done, who will be doing it, and by when.

Consider replacing physical teaching with eLearning

If your RTO already offers eLearning, now is the time to use it. Put a plan in place for temporarily replacing physical teaching with eLearning, where possible. You might need to train some staff on the basics of setting up eLearning modules, and perhaps create a group review process to ensure that the eLearning is effective.

eLearning can be an effective and cheap educational tool, and this is your chance to incorporate it into your processes.

Keep your students updated

Your students will be just as worried as everyone else, and wondering what’s going to happen to their education. Emails are a good way to communicate, but a regularly updated status page is even better, giving them real time updates on what’s happening with their training. You should be able to easily create a new page on your website for this, which doesn’t need any fancy design, but just text updates whenever there’s a new development.

Take stock of the company’s finances

This is a big one for short course providers, who will be hit with cancellations. If you’re in charge of your RTO’s finances, take some time to carefully analyse them; to consider how you’ll survive a sustained loss of income. Then put a contingency plan in place to protect yourself as best as possible.

Keep an eye on your stats

Are more students cancelling courses? Perhaps fewer prospects are signing up to courses, or even visiting your website? Keeping an eye on your stats can offer the early warning signs that you need to plan ahead.

Plan for spare time

If business is affected, everyone is going to have more time on their hands, and it’s critical that this time is used effectively. Regular team meetings might be necessary to plan the best time of use for everyone.

If you’re a trainer with fewer classes to run, this might be the perfect time to work on your professional development.

Don’t hoard toilet roll

We all need to poop, you know.

**

This virus is testing the world like never before, but with the right action, we can dampen its impact and get back on with our lives.

Helpful links

  1. 15 Tips to Work From Home Successfully
  2. Office ergonomics: Your how-to guide
  3. How to Work From Home: 20 Tips From People Who Do It Successfully

For essential CRICOS management features, visit here

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