The environment that your employees work in is almost as important as the software they work with. Therefore, your first priority should be to find the correct space for a home office. Employees should work somewhere that is safe and secure – they should have access to comfortable furniture and proper lighting to avoid physically straining themselves. Then, they need to make sure the space has a limited amount of distraction and disruption. This means that if they have kids, pets, or a busy household, employees should work in a location that’s as tucked away as their space allows, avoiding the center of the home. Of course, in extreme circumstances we are all a bit more forgiving of these “suggestions.”
Once they find the right spot, they should establish this as their work base. If space permits, they should use that location solely for working, and store all physical documents and equipment in that area on an ongoing basis. This will help employees get into the right headspace the moment they sit down to work, and allow others in their home to stay aware of their designated workspace.
Next, employees need to ensure they have quality internet access in their workspace. If they have a weak internet connection from their home office, they may need to try moving closer to their router, removing obstacles between themselves and the router, or running a hardwired ethernet connection to their workspace. If their internet is still unreliable, you should advise they download a few necessary applications on their phone – this way, they can use cellular data in a pinch. Finally, recommended practice is to ask your employees to use a Unified Remote Access (DirectAccess in the Microsoft world), a VPN or a virtual desktop technology. These come at a cost, but they will protect your company’s secure documents and data in the event of a malicious attack. Since home internet connections and home devices aren’t secured as tightly as a corporate network, the threat of a data breach is very real.
Last, make sure your employees know the right position for their webcam. Nobody wants to be forced to look up their coworkers nose, or speak to their foreheads. Make sure your employees know that the top of their head should be in the top third of the camera’s frame. As well, ask them to blur their background or set a static image as their background to protect their privacy.