7 Things You Need Before Sending Your Workforce Remote
Due to a recent outbreak of a new and deadly coronavirus known as COVID-19, many companies are being forced to consider work from home options to practice social-distancing while keeping their workforce healthy. However, it’s not just as easy as sending your employees home, firing up personal laptops and getting back to work. Here are seven things you need to have lined up in order to successfully deploy your remote workforce.
- Secure Remote Access: Employees should not have open access to everything on their work systems from their personal computers. This will keep company data protected. In order to maximize productivity during this pandemic, however, employers will need to provide a secure connection utilizing VPN or remote access software. These solutions will mirror the employee’s work desktop without housing everything on the individual’s personal system, allowing them to efficiently continue work.
- File Sharing Capabilities: Even while isolated, it is important that employees be able to collaborate. File sharing and group editing software will be critical to moving forward creative or documentation projects through real-time editing, commenting, and versioning. Software like Dropbox for Business, Microsoft Teams/Sharepoint or Google Docs fill this need securely.
- Enterprise Level Antivirus: Basic home-level antivirus is not sufficient, particularly in secured industries. Extending your enterprise-level antivirus to home systems that will be accessing your network will create an added layer of protection. You should also consider deploying firewalls on top of individual’s home networks to create the same secure connection that employees experience in your office.
- Video Conferencing: Meetings must continue while people are working remotely; however, voice calls leave much to be desired in terms of tone and context. We highly recommend putting in place video conferencing options. You can implement something as simple as Google Duo/FaceTime, or even something more feature intensive, like Zoom or GoTo Meeting.
- Messaging Software: You can’t just spin your chair around and talk to your co-worker when you’re working remotely, yet it’s not efficient to always pick up the phone. We recommend implementing a messaging software like Microsoft Teams or Slack to open communication channels and allow employees to continue to interact with each other quickly and accurately. Utilizing these tools, you can set up one-on-one conversations or set up channels to facilitate team communication.
- Phone: A strong VoIP solution will allow employees to take their phone numbers remote to their cellphones without giving out their cellphone numbers. Office calls will transfer seamlessly to the employee’s cellphones, voice mails will be sent via email, and the employee can dial-out using a phone application to maintain office functionality.
- Remote Access Policy: Prior to providing access to your employees, put in place a clear access policy that acknowledges that your company monitors whatever they do while connected. Employees should be encouraged to act as if they are on site even while working remote and reminded that punishments for doing something illegal/against company policy will still apply.
The COVID-19 situation is always changing and developing. Schools across the nation have been closed and major events have been cancelled. While you may think it makes sense to keep your employees on-site for now, we believe it’s important to have a plan should you need to close your physical offices. Getting these seven pieces of the puzzle in line will prepare you to take your workforce remote. For assistance implementing these things, contact us.