Remote Work

Remote Workplace Solutions

Be Prepared for Remote Work

How to Prepare Your Business for Remote Work

Recent events have certainly transformed the day-to-day lives of workers around the globe. Individuals who previously reported into the office every day are now working from home – and there’s a lot of growing pains associated with this transition for employees and managers alike.

In a previous post, we covered how employees should approach working from home – but if you’re a manager, or a member of an IT or leadership team, you have an additional set of responsibilities. To ensure the well-being of the organization, these parties must ensure that employees are able to work as effectively without putting the organization as a whole at risk. However, this isn’t easy given the nature of working from home. Let’s take a look at five tips that will help your employees work effectively and stay secure.

Many companies already had some sort of infrastructure in place that could support a number of remote workers – however, very few companies had the technology and expertise required to help their entire organization work from home at once. It’s important to ensure you have some basic tools in place to enable remote access, such as VPNs, cloud-based services like Microsoft 365, and storage options like SharePoint.

However, don’t build the bare minimum and accept it. Even though the world as we know it will eventually settle into a new normal, the future is full of disruption. These investments will undoubtedly come in handy again if your physical office needs to close for something as small as building repairs, or something as significant as a natural disaster.

Keep an Eye Out for Cyberattacks

While certain cybercriminal groups have promised they would not stage any attacks that would harm others during this crisis, don’t take this as any form of reassurance. As people continue to work from poorly secured home networks, many cybercriminals will see a golden opportunity.

Make sure that your employees know how to respond to common security concerns like phishing attempts. While some can be easy to spot, others can be extremely sophisticated. Remind employees that legitimate organizations won’t ask for your personal details, and ensure they always check links before they click them. To pick out any weak links, create your own phishing emails and track which employees take appropriate action, and which ones fall for it.

In addition to this, make sure that all of your technology is fully patched and up to date, including the machines and networks that your employees are using. Many hackers reverse-engineer software updates to find vulnerabilities, so an unpatched device can pose a risk to your entire organization. It’s important to ask employees to check for updates on a regular basis, and it may be advisable to audit them occasionally to ensure compliance.

Keep Employees on Approved Devices and Networks

When the local café reopens, some of your employees may start itching to work in a new environment. However, employees should be careful when using free public Wi-Fi networks and pay attention to enabling proper VPN. Since these networks typically offer no encryption, they’re popular stakeouts for hackers to watch for sensitive traffic. If your worker cannot use their home internet for a legitimate reason, provide them with a hotspot – although these may cost money, it is far less costly than compromising your entire network.

In addition to this, make sure employees only work on approved company devices. IT teams can ensure that a company device meets minimum security standards and then ensure compliance with the corporate network – but a user’s personal device introduces a new vector for cyberattacks. If you must allow a personal device, have the proper parties in your IT team vet it to ensure it meets your technological and security requirements.

Find New Ways to Connect Workers

Employees should be encouraged to use services like Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Word Online, and similar collaborative programs. Since employees can’t talk through their projects face-to-face, you need to ensure they can still communicate effectively. In addition to this, some of your more extroverted employees may feel rundown since they are no longer having spontaneous day-to-day interactions with coworkers. If you’re a part of a leadership team, encourage them to find ways to have fun and connect during the workday.

For example, you could start a chat in Microsoft Teams where employees can share work-appropriate pictures, memes, or stories about current world events. Sometimes these can spark conversations that will provide a ray of light in your employee’s workday and help them feel more connected to the organization at large.

Ensure Widespread Technology Adoption

Without a doubt, there is a member of your team that just doesn’t like one of the remote work solutions that is approved by your organization. While they are entitled to their opinion, their unwillingness to adopt new technology can hold your entire organization back. For example, an employee that would rather use email than Teams may contribute to a team-wide communication breakdown or end up out-of-the-loop when they neglect to check chat rooms.

Before sending a stern email, think about how you can encourage adoption across your entire organization. Many people avoid using a certain solution simply because they don’t understand it and believe the legacy option is just as effective. With a little bit of education and coaching, you can help these employees understand how certain applications help them on a day-to-day basis, and illustrate what their cooperation means for the team as a whole.

Final Thoughts

More people are working from home than ever before, posing challenges for employees and leadership teams alike. While there are plenty of things employees can do to realize maximum productivity while they work from home, it’s ultimately the responsibility of IT and leadership teams to ensure employees have access to the right technology and are doing everything required to stay secure. By taking these five considerations into mind, you can create a remote work strategy that will leave you prepared for a range of unexpected disruptions.

Help Your Team Collaborate in a Changing World

Whether it’s remote work, managing costs or preparing for what the future may bring, you need to be ready. We have the expertise to support you throughout your technology roadmap in today’s digital world and created a portfolio of solutions to help you through this uncertain time, no matter the business challenges you are currently facing.

  • User Productivity
  • Microsoft 365

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Author

Erik Moll

Sales Executive Go-to-Market Manager

Digital Transformation

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