It’s More Important Than Ever Before to Have a Mobile Workforce That’s Able to Work from Home. But How Do You Setup Remote Workers in a Secure Manner?
On December 31, 2019, China alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) to dozens of cases of unusual pneumonia in Wuhan. The virus remained unknown at the time.
On January 7, 2020, officials announced they had identified a new virus – now known as COVID-19 – belonging to the coronavirus family, which includes SARS.
On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus a global emergency as over 7,711 cases were reported throughout 31 provinces in China.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) labeled coronavirus as a pandemic as the number of cases around the world continued to rise.
Many business owners are left thinking “what’s next?” as organizations, schools, and daycares close in a majority of areas.
Coronavirus is affecting countries all over the world, and in particular, there are many new cases daily in Ohio. Governor DeWine has taken many steps, including banning gatherings of 100 people or more, closing restaurants and bars, and shutting down movie theaters, bowling alleys, and other places that tend to have large, frequent visitors. Residents are urged to stay home and maintain social distance from one another as much as possible.
For most businesses, this means working remotely is the only valid option at this point in time. Social distancing plays an important role in slowing the spread of the virus, so how do you achieve a mobile workforce that’s able to work as efficiently at home as they are in the office? And how do you keep sensitive information safe during this difficult time?
3 Considerations to Keep in Mind When Switching to Remote Work to Keep Your Team and Community Safe.
There are four important considerations to keep in mind when switching to remote work, including the following:
- Do your staff members have an adequate internet connection at home?
Before asking employees to work from home, make sure you’ve discussed their current internet connection to ensure that it’s capable of handling the workload. They may need to use various cloud-based services and spend eight or more hours a day using the internet. If it’s not a strong, fast enough connection, opt to issue corporate-owed smartphones that can be tethered to their desktop or laptop.
- Do your staff members have up-to-date, secure devices at home?
If they don’t have corporate-owned smartphones and laptops or desktop computers, make sure they have up-to-date, secure devices of their own to use. In some cases, you may have to acquire these devices for your staff members. Alternatively, you may opt to invest in a few technologies that make it possible to keep them secure with leading devices through:
- VoIP business phones that enable anytime, anywhere access to your phone lines with softphone capabilities that let them make and receive calls from the office line using their own smartphone.
- Virtual desktop infrastructure that gives them the ability to connect to their work computers, including the operating system and all personal data, via a computer at home.
- Do your staff members have access to the productivity tools necessary?
The right cloud-based productivity tools will be essential to ensure your team is able to share files, communicate with one another, collaborate on projects, and continue to meet with one another via video conferencing tools. A few great options include:
- Microsoft Office 365
- Google G Suite
A Checklist for Getting Started with Remote Work
As you take the above considerations into account, it’s time to start switching your employees to remote work. Here’s a checklist:
- Write a list of jobs and/or tasks that can take place outside of the office so you can start alerting employees of your plans.
- Audit the technology resources available to your employees at home, as well as any purchases or upgrades necessary.
- Make updates and/or purchases soon including upgraded internet packages, cloud-based productivity suites, and more.
- Talk to employees about cybersecurity as you’re getting prepared to have them access sensitive data from home.
- Provide any necessary training immediately in terms of how to stay safe, what features are available via the tools provided, and more.
- Get in touch with a technology partner if you don’t already have one to make sure you have remote help desk support services available for staff members.
- Set a schedule for communication so your employees know how often they’re expected to communicate with your management team.