ETC Uses Experience and Technology to Ensure Employee Safety through Telework Amid COVID-19

By Austin Moseley

In late February, ETC activated its Business Continuity Plan and began contingency planning in response to the mounting concerns over COVID-19 and its impacts to call center operations, image review, system support, roadside operations, and project delivery. ETC formed cross-functional teams to get ready for the expansion to 100% telework and then presented these plans to each of its customers, while the IT team readied the necessary hardware and network changes in anticipation of customer approvals.

Many teams had already transitioned to a 50% telework in the previous year, with teams working from home 1-4 days a week. As a result, we had productivity and collaboration tools, remote connectivity software, and other upgrades proven to provide our teleworking professional staff with the means to work successfully, no matter their location. ETC was able to leverage this proven model to engage the operations management to support transitioning operations staff to 100% telework too.

When the shelter-in-place orders were issued, ETC was ready to move immediately. First, all professional staff moved to a 100% telework, to allow call center and image review staff to implement the required social distancing. Next, roadside support went into the “road-warrior” mode, where their work vehicles are provisioned with the full complement of spares and tools to minimize facility and warehouse visits. With the final approval from our customers, ETC moved image review and call center teams to a full telework model. In all, ETC transitioned over 600 staff to full telework.

This move to 100% telework was done securely, using two-factor authentication, and in collaboration with security consultants. The impact of the move has been positive so far, with the same or higher productivity, across all business units. So far, since the beginning of the quarantine, ETC was also able to successfully execute a major system go-live using remote teams.