Telstra was one of the first to send most of its staff home amid the coronavirus scare.
The Aussie telco's chief risk officer, Joanna Knox, spoke to the Herald about what's worked, and what's required some tweaking.
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"We made the decision last Friday to ask everyone who can work from home to work from home, including all of our senior leadership team," Knox says.
Here are the Kiwi expat's top tips.
Make a big-bang move
When Telstra started accessing alternatives during the early days of Covid-19, there was a focus on issues such as the cost of evacuating in the event of an infected staff member at one of its offices, and complex calculations around the cost of special leave for any forced to self-isolated.
But Knox says it eventually emerged that it would be more simple and efficient to simply send everybody home bar field force and some network staff. Her message: don't mess around with piecemeal measures.
Increase the frequency of meetings
Knox introduced daily stand-up meetings for its senior management team when the Covid-19 hit. Now those all the senior team meets twice daily - even if now it's virtual.
"We didn't want to pull the trigger too early, because we know it's hugely isolating working from home," Knox says.
Her company made sure it first setup a system where team leaders would have at least daily check-ins with their staff.
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"We've also increased the frequency of our 'all-hands' meetings and we've started what's going to be a daily live-broadcast to all the company for 10 to 15 minutes to let them know what's going on."
Find a lean video solution
Knox concedes that on Telstra's first en masse work-from-home day, staff were cycling through different videoconferencing solutions for virtual meetings.
Telstra's inhouse solution, Virtual Meeting Room, while great for splashing footage on huge, high-resolution screens during normal times, was just built for the new normal. Staff have also been using the less bandwidth-intensive Cisco Jabber and Microsoft Teams. The latter has proved the most popular effective, Knox says.
"Right now I'm at home with a display where I can easily see 40 people on-screen."
Become a master of workflow transfer
Telstra has staff across Australia and Asia. Like Spark here, it was hit by the lockdown ordered by the Philippines government, which saw call centre workers home from Manila.
"We've become masters of workflow transfer," Knox says.
"This has really challenged how we do business continuity. Our traditional approach was if Site A is down, move to Site B. This is a lot more complex."
Now, Telstra is looking for people with the same skills across the company, in different locations, and treating them as a single pool as it prioritises work.
That notwithstanding, the Manila call centre closure has been Australians' gain. Telstra said today it is hiring 1000 locally-based temporary contractors to help manage call centre call volumes."
The company has also put its "T22" restructure on hold, pledging no layoffs for at least six months, and moved forward A$500m in capital spending on fixed-broadband and 5G.
Vodafone NZ goes 50/50
Here, Vodafone NZ, held what was perhaps one of the largest local remote working drills on March 12, with some 1500 of its 2000 staff logging onto its virtual private network (VPN) at the height of the exercise, which saw around 1200 working from home.
There were a few teething problems with videoconferencing and document-saving early on, illustrating that if a tech company can suffer the odd glitch, all need to test their remote-working systems pronto.
Today, spokeswoman Nicky Preston updates, "We're now on a 50/50 remote-working team split, in a bid to respond to the ever-changing situation with Covid-19.
"From Wednesday this week, half of our teams have been working from home in a week on/week off rotation running Wednesday to Tuesday, designed so people can be in the office for a few days each week but we can also practice social distancing.
"We've been asking our staff to shift physical meetings to digital collaboration tools, such as video conferencing on Skype, and making phone calls instead of emailing for urgent decisions. This has been going well so far."
Spark has adopted a number of different ways of working due to the Covid-19 situation, a spokeswoman says, "Including splitting many teams within the business, so that some of our team are working from home, some are working from different locations and some are working from the office."
2degrees: alternate days
"Like most companies we're doing our bit to maintain social distances," a 2degrees spokeswoman said.
"At the moment, some of the team are choosing to work from home, others are rostering alternate days in and out of the office.
"There's lots of check-ins and virtual lunches and coffee catch-ups."
"As this starts to become the new norm, we'll be upping wellbeing and mental health support around this as it's a big change to what we're used to in terms of interaction.
"We'll be doing a few extra things for our people and team leaders too, in terms of workshops - albeit mainly virtual -and toolkits. Our systems and tech is working really well with the increased numbers of people working from home.
Meanwhile, home-grown IT services giant Datacom, which has its biggest concentration of staff in Auckland, has made what could be the largest move to work-from-home.
"We've been running rolling tests of remote working and where successful keeping those teams remote. All of our technical teams including the key operational support capabilities have adapted really well to this change," a spokesman says.
"By Monday we anticipate having more than 90% of our New Zealand workforce working from home or about 3500 staff."
"We are also seeing a massive increase in customer demand for the equipment and support to increase work from home which we are helping them through. We are also looking at ways of supporting government initiatives in various countries to help the whole community through this crisis."
Numerous smaller techs have made the same remote-working move, including Vend and Timely.