As coronavirus continues to spread across the US, more and more companies are instructing employees to work from home. Do you have the right IT in place to do so?
The World Health Organization has officially declared coronavirus a worldwide pandemic. As countries begin to take drastic action to limit the spread of the virus, and citizens stock up on essentials for quarantine, businesses have been implementing precautionary measures as well.
“Social distancing” will be a key measure in preventing the spread of coronavirus. Canceling large gatherings, and limiting your staff’s exposure at the office will be more and more important as time goes on.
Do you have the right technologies and practices in place to let your staff work from home for weeks at a time?
How Can You Develop Remote Working Capabilities For Your Staff?
Effective remote working comes down to the implementation of a comprehensive strategy for cloud services delivery. Remote workers need to be able to do their work, and 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.
That’s why, so long as the remote worker has a strong Internet connection, the rest of the work is on the IT support team to deliver a responsive and user-friendly cloud platform with which the worker can access their business data.
With those two benchmarks in mind, there’s really only one way to achieve it: migrating all necessary work data to a reliable cloud platform. The more data that’s hosted in the cloud, the better it is for the entire business.
What Solutions Are Available To You?
There are a number of consumer and business-class solutions available to users depending on the size of the organization, including Microsoft Sharepoint, OneDrive & Teams, as well VPN software to keep connections secure.
How Should You Develop Your Remote Work Plan?
You need to discuss the following considerations with your team:
The first step is to make sure you have software in place to allow remote data access, that your staff has devices through which they can use the software, and a viable Internet connection to prevent lag and downtime.Your plan should answer these questions in concern to data access:
- Will they need to connect to their office machines to use business software?
- Can they work from their home machines?
- Are a majority of your documents in the cloud (Microsoft Office 365) and your applications web-based or do they need access to applications installed on their office desktop machines?
- Do they have a laptop that they could be taking home to work from?
Ideally, you won’t have to have your staff use their personal cell phones to make and receive business calls. It will be complicated to circulate everyone’s private numbers, and determine to what extent you’ll need to reimburse their phone bills.The better course of action is to implement a cloud phone solution. Make sure you can answer the following questions:
- How will you deal with incoming calls?
- Will they use their own phones for outgoing calls?
You don’t want to have to rely on reply-all emails, and you’d rather not have to call each and every employee separately, right?
Make sure you can answer these questions about virtual meetings:
- Do you have a web-based meeting setup? (e.g. Microsoft Teams)
- If you will be holding video meetings, do your staff members have cameras on their home machines?
Cybersecurity will be extra important, as cybercriminals will likely use the pandemic as an opportunity to entice unknowing victims into clicking on links or downloading information.Don’t put your data at risk – make sure to answer these questions when developing your remote work plan:
- Do you have a virtual private network in place?
- Does your staff know how to spot a phishing email?
- Do you have remote wipe capability for mobile devices that will access business data?
What Should You Do Right Now?
Start working on your remote plan immediately. If your staff isn’t already working from home, then you’re falling behind.
You could handle this on your own – if you have the time and expertise, then it’s likely a project you could take care of. But if not, then you need to partner with an IT support provider that can deliver a responsive and reliable cloud solution for your staff – allow Globalquest to help.
We know that you’d like to keep your business operating no matter what crisis the nation faces. If remote work capabilities can keep your staff productive and healthy, then you should start planning for it now.
If at all possible, make sure to test your capabilities now so you can troubleshoot any unforeseen issues. Waiting until you have no choice but to quarantine your staff will undoubtedly lead to complications and obstacles in your business’ continuity.