A Kelowna businessman is looking to help out with the coronavirus outbreak by bringing his tech experience to bear.
Luke Pittman, the owner of Codesmith Studio, was working out of the Kelowna Innovation Centre when it occurred to him that not all businesses would have the knowledge to allow their employees to work from home, if needed, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“There are hundreds of businesses that don’t have that knowledge,” he said, explaining that he is self-employed and, working in the tech sector, he has a lot of experience working remotely.
“I usually just set up where the best donuts are that day,” he joked.
The solution he came up with was to set up an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, where people could get advice about how to set up their employees to work remotely.
Pittman stressed he just wants to lend a hand in a time of need, and the help is coming completely free with no intent to promote his business.
“COVID-19 is disrupting and affecting pretty much everything, including the small businesses that make our community great,” he wrote in an email. “I would like to do something to help them, so I am setting up and monitoring an email account specifically to offer free help to local small businesses with basic questions regarding setting up their employees to be able to work remotely.
“At this point, I expect to mostly provide links to available software options, existing tutorials or youtube videos on remote work setup, but I wouldn’t be surprised if more complex questions come through.”
Pittman suspects one side effect of the outbreak is that it will spark interest in remote working, as some businesses discover its flexibility and cost-effectiveness.
There are already many people working remotely in the Kelowna area, and while he can’t say how many, he suspects it’s a high number.
“It’s way more than people think,” said Pittman, who is also looking for volunteers experienced in remote working to lend a hand monitoring the email and answering questions.