What does it take to transition the entire staff of a credit union from on-site to completely remote work in just a matter of weeks? Add to this that the credit union does not regularly have employees working remotely or any plans for transitioning them.
This is the situation that Alexandria, Va. based United States Senate Federal Credit Union (USSFCU) found itself in during the month of March, due to the coronavirus. Shifting a company's workforce to remote isn't a matter of having everyone stay home and log in remotely. There are procedures, policies, and compliance that must be in place, secure connections, and an infrastructure that can support the entire remote operation.
During early March, USSFCU began working on its policies and procedures with its management and human resources department. Next, its IT department had to ensure the company's over 115 employees would be able to connect securely and without issues. The IT department had to do several test runs for the viability of the remote operation.
Without the procurement of machines or remote connections, employees had to make use of their own machines and whatever Internet connection they had. This meant that not all connections were the same. Some employees had slow connections, while others had inadequate machines. For many companies, this would mean reducing employee pay or laying some off. USSFCU decided to go a different route and kept all of its employees along with their full pay.
On March 19, USSFCU flipped the switch to full remote work. All of its branches except for one are now shuttered. That one branch keeps its drive-thru open for a few hours each week.
“I am really proud of how our teams were able to pull this off,” president and CEO Timothy L. Anderson told CUTimes.com. “Our call center representatives are set up remotely, so they’re taking calls from their homes. The loan operation folks are receiving applications. ACH, support services and marketing are doing their jobs. You name it, HR and payroll are doing fine, every single department. We have not missed a beat. I never thought I’d see something like this.”