Essentials for Empowering Remote Work

COVID-19 is forcing many businesses to embrace remote work. The
technology needed to enable people to work from home has existed for years, but
working from home may be new for you and your employees. Here are some
essentials you need to address to empower your remote workers.

What technology do you have or need? Your people may have business
laptops and phones, or perhaps you already allowed employees to bring their own
devices (BYOD) to work. So, remote work isn’t going to be as much of a change.
Your people already have the tools they need.

However, a business that wasn’t doing any of this before might need new
hardware. You can’t expect your employees to lug heavy desktop computers home.

You may need to ask employees to use their own personal computers and
phones. That’s going to require some ground rules. For one, no Windows 7: that
operating system is out of date and no longer supported by Microsoft, which
means employees could be putting corporate data at risk of cyberattack.

You can also take the following precautions to secure off-site online

  • Establish
    strict policies for securing devices accessing business networks.
  • Communicate
    reporting procedures for the loss/theft of a device.
  • Enable
    mobile monitoring management of all devices that give IT access.
  • Encourage
    regular backup of mobile devices.
  • Educate
    employees to regularly update firewall and anti-virus software.
  • Prohibit
    third-party apps.
  • Set
    devices to make users aware that they may be connecting to unsafe networks.

Challenges of the Remote Work Environment

In the office environment, there is business technology consistency.
Now, you’re supporting various hardware and networking solutions of different
quality. This can be a headache to get up and running, yet you need to support
your remote employees. What kind of IT desk help will you offer? People are now
working wherever they are, whenever they want.

The “wherever they are” part can raise some issues. Employees could log
in from public parks, coffee shops (if any are open), or while at home with the
kids. This means fresh threats. Laptops can get stolen. People out in the world
could look over your employee’s shoulder and read what’s on the screen. Kids
can spill juice in a split second! Install remote management software to enable
a complete wipe of lost or stolen laptops. Also, implement encryption, data
backup, and screen-locking features to help keep data secure.

Saying people can work “whenever they want” also has its challenges.
With everyone stuck at home, a 9–5 schedule for office productivity may be
impossible. Toddlers don’t really understand that “Mommy’s working,” do they?

It’s a good idea to establish clear expectations from the outset:

  • How will
    progress be demonstrated?
  • How can
    employees check-in with managers?
  • What are
    the expectations for team collaboration?
  • What
    software will be used for group chat, video, or conference calling?
  • What is
    acceptable business-hour flexibility?

If you’re going to allow people to set their own hours, IT support
needs to be flexible, too.

Supporting Remote Work

The good news is that remote work can be productive, too. In fact, a Stanford University study found remote employees did an extra day’s work per person per week. We can help you set up your technology to support your remote staff. We’ll make sure your hardware is up to scratch, secure those mobile devices, and be your remote IT help desk at odd hours. Contact us today at 01297 306 356!

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