As more and more coronavirus cases occur in mainland US, it’s more important than ever to consider how you can stay healthy, limit opportunities for transmission, as well as continue your working and personal lives as usual.
Hour by hour, the coronavirus pandemic continues, forcing more and more businesses to tell their employees to stay at home and practice social distancing. While this may be effective for health purposes, it can have serious negative consequences for business continuity.
As a business owner, you can’t just think about your personal safety – you have to think about your staff’s health, and your business’ continuity as well. How will you be able to keep your staff productive, serving clients and completing work, if they can’t come in to the office?
It all comes down to your business’ technology, and whether your staff can stay productive during a quarantine at home. Do you have the right technologies and practices in place to let your staff work from home for weeks at a time?
Your Top 3 Priorities In A Remote Work Model
The more optimized your remote work technologies and processes, the fewer obstacles and interruptions there will be to your staff’s productivity. Make sure to prioritize:
- User Experience: The point of all this is that your staff can do their work, and do it easily. If they’re fighting against unintuitive software, a bad connection, or anything else tech-related, their standard workday won’t be all that productive. It won’t be long before your business’ productivity grinds to a halt.
- Strong Connectivity: You need to find out who has a reliable Internet connection at home. If your staff lives in remote areas with poor connectivity, you may have to consider investing in cellular-data, or have a plan in place to deal with delays on their end.
- Reliable Security: This crisis presents a big opportunity for cybercriminals. When businesses start prioritizing remote access to data over the security of that data, they make an easy target for hackers. That’s why you need to take additional steps to secure remote access.
Which Remote IT Solutions Should You Evaluate?
Both you and your staff need the right tools in order to stay productive. There are a number of consumer and business-class solutions available to you, depending on the size of your organization:
- Communication Platforms (Skype, VoIP, etc.): You and your staff need a way to meet, and make calls – there are a range of solutions available, one of which you may already have in place.
You may also need to monitor your employees’ phone traffic, allowing them to take calls from clients, and make calls on their business lines. You could also benefit from software that allows you to record calls in order to track the customers’ experience.
- Collaboration Platforms (Microsoft SharePoint, OneDrive & Teams): Make sure you have the right solutions in place to allow your team members to collaborate. You should be able to send and receive files, and share desktops in real-time.
Additional Considerations For Remote Work
As you get your IT prepared for a remote wok model, keep the following considerations in mind:
- Determine Which Roles Will Continue: Most jobs can be done from home, but you should take a moment to consider what jobs specifically can be managed while outside of the office and write them down.
- Invest In Updates If Necessary: If you need to upgrade any devices and Internet service packages, start doing so as soon as possible. For internet connections, you may also choose to provide corporate-owned smartphones with data packages that can be tethered to computers.
- Don’t Put Your Data At Risk: Cybersecurity will be extra important as cybercriminals will likely use the pandemic to target unsecured remote connections. It’s best to use a virtual private network (VPN) for all employees to connect remotely in a secure fashion.
You will also want to provide some form of cybersecurity awareness and cloud productivity training to your staff members. Give them some helpful resources to understand how to handle their responsibilities and stay productive.
- Find IT Support For Your Remote Team: A help desk support team should be available to your employees in the event of technology issues, questions or concerns. Typically, most of their work will be done remotely – troubleshooting issues and answering questions.
If your business isn’t already in the cloud, and has no remote work capabilities, then this may sound like a lot of work. But it’s extremely important for you to get started right away. If your staff isn’t already working from home, they will likely need to be soon.
If you’re not sure of where to start, get in touch with the tca SnyderTech team.