As coronavirus cases continue to increase in the US, the need for you and your staff to be able to work from home becomes more pressing. Do you know how to keep your employees productive when they can’t come into the office?
Not too long ago, you may have thought it would be impossible for your business to operate with an empty office. Maybe you still do – but with each day that passes, you have less of a choice in the matter.
The continuation of the coronavirus pandemic has caused countless businesses to send their employees home to keep them healthy and prevent further transmission of the virus. These businesses are finding out how easy it can be to launch a remote working model – that is, if they have the right technologies in place.
Can you keep your staff productive while they work from home?
How To Develop Remote Work Capability
The most direct way to maintain business continuity is to deploy remote access. When needed (i.e., during a quarantine), users can access corporate data and applications by VPN. Once logged in, the user can make use of the software, access and modify data, and more, all without having to be at the office.
There are a number of primary considerations that must be kept in mind prior to embracing a remote workforce, including:
- Connection: All employees will need a strong internet connection within their homes. If they don’t have a strong internet connection, they won’t be able to connect to the office, regardless of what solution is in place.
- Hardware: All employees will need an up-to-date computer, whether it’s a laptop or desktop, to work from while they’re at home. If they have an older computer, they will likely not be as productive as you need them to be. It’s important to review each employee’s devices, and if needed, issue them devices that are safe and reliable.
- Communication: It’s best to have a cloud-based phone system, such as VoIP business phones, in place to make sure they’re able to access their usual workline, voicemail, and various features while they’re at home. A VoIP system lets them make and receive calls over the internet and keep in communication from their desk or smartphone.
5 Items To Discuss With Staff Members Right Now
Once you have your business’ remote work capabilities in place, then you need to think about your staff. Make sure to meet with them and answer the following 5 questions:
- Will employees use their own devices or will the company issue devices to be used?
- Do employees have adequate Internet connectivity to keep up with their workload?
- Will employees have access to cloud-based collaboration tools to stay connected?
- What employees can handle responsibilities home and what employees can’t?
- What are your expectations in terms of check-ins, hours, and other factors?
Last But Not Least: Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity will be a primary concern as your staff works from home in the coming weeks.
Consider that, at the office, everything is protected by the same set of cybersecurity solutions – firewalls, antivirus software, etc. These are defenses that you’ve invested in and can trust. Is the same true of your employees’ home networks and personal devices? Probably not.
The bottom line is that the easier it is for your staff to access business data, the easier it becomes for cybercriminals to do so as well. The more people you have accessing your data remotely, the more variables there are in your cybersecurity defense.
That’s why you need to take additional steps to secure remote access:
- Deploy a Virtual Private Network (VPN) solution that allows staff members to access business data securely
- Make sure to disable split-tunneling on your VPN so that when employees are connected to business data, they don’t also have an Internet connection open that could compromise security
- Deploy defensive software on employees’ home devices
- Check home Wi-Fi network settings to make sure they are password protected
- Make sure that security systems are up to date
If you recognize the need for remote work capabilities at this time, then you need to learn more and take action. Talk to a qualified IT company like Integris to find out how the cloud can help you do what you do, no matter where your staff is working from.