With the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and the implementation of quarantine and social distancing measures, most office workers are finding themselves operating from home. While many modern offices have some degree of work from home policies in place, the idea of everyone working from home day after day is a much different situation.
Everyone is having to rapidly adjust.
Working from home every day sounds great in theory, but it also poses a number of problems. For workers, many struggle with productivity and focus at home, especially with schools being closed and children being home.
For business owners and office managers, there are more unique concerns. It’s very important to maintain proper IT practices and security measures while everyone is working from home. Though we don’t know how long this time of quarantine will last, it’s best to prepare for the long-haul.
Here are a few things to be mindful of...
Employees Being Ill-Equipped
Most office workers have a laptop, tablet, or at-home computer to utilize. If you have a bring your own device policy in place, they may even use it for work already. Even if they do, the rest of their at–home setup likely pales in comparison to their work setup. If your employees have multiple monitors, standing desks, comfortable chairs, and/or new computers at the office, sitting at a dinner table with a laptop is going to be a challenge for them.
If possible, let employees take monitors, work computers, and even desk chairs home during this time. Give tips for creating their setup. You can even have employees share their own setups.
Home networks are often much less secure than business networks. While you can’t overhaul the broadband and Wi-Fi systems that your employees have at home, you can implement protocols on the devices they’re connecting to it.
This includes making sure their device’s network settings are configured correctly, that firewalls and anti-virus software are turned on, etc. A further measure would be to implement a VPN (Virtual Private Network). This encrypts the data coming and going from a device, making it undecipherable to anyone who isn’t authorized to view it.
This is a highly effective measure that can be implemented with simple, affordable software.
If further security measures are needed, you could issue hardware firewalls to employees to be used at home. It’s an added expense, not to mention some additional configuration would be needed, but for employees who are handling especially valuable data, it may be necessary.
Implementing Communication Tools and Software
With everyone working from home, there’s a greater need for implementing communication and sharing tools. While you certainly had a number of software programs and online tools you used in office, some applications might be needed. Thankfully, there are more ways than ever to connect, share, and work collaboratively without being in the same building.
The main hurdle here is getting your employees setup and trained on the tools.
A Dedicated IT Team Makes Remote Work Much Smoother
With so much already going on, trying to micromanage the individual IT needs of each remote employee can be impossible. However, it’s very important that these needs are met and that they’re handled appropriately.
This is an especially terrible time to lose productivity, experience miscommunication, or suffer from a security breach.
Having a dedicated IT team on hand can make a massive difference. A quality IT company is well-versed in operating remotely, and they’ll be able to assist in setting employees up with new hardware and software and making sure your systems are secure.
At DataYard, we provide a wide range of IT services perfectly suited to help businesses adapt to the rapidly changing work atmosphere. Our IT consultants in Dayton, Ohio can help you maximize security, connectivity, and productivity while your employees operate remotely. We have the knowledge and experience to spot shortcomings, create IT strategies, and implement changes so that everyone is on the same page, regardless of where they’re working from.