Remote Working for small to medium to large businesses, even in ordinary times, overseeing a remote workforce can be a challenge for multiple reasons – ensuring availability of all necessary tools, managing remote endpoints and having a fail-safe contingency plan. However, the current global health crisis has made things that much more complicated.

In a matter of weeks, COVID-19 has drastically changed life as we know it, forcing us to change the way we live and work. Your business is no exception to this change as you transition to survive with a primarily (or fully) remote workforce. However, the right technology, when used correctly, can ensure the transition is smooth and your business continues to operate efficiently without interruption. To help you do that, here is a list of tips to follow.

 

Home Working

Step One

VPN Connections for Remote Working

There are a few different types of VPNs, but a couple of them are prevalent here.

  • Client to site VPNs, where your remote workers dial into the office to access files and systems.
  • VPN to protect the traffic out to the Internet in general

Whilst your staff are working remotely, it goes without saying that they will access your sensitive and business applications from a host of different home networks. You need to be sure that the connection from the remote machine is as secure as it can be, and not subject to any local connections or other such like incidents as  Zoom bombings, A centrally managed, business VPN, with a Firewall will secure the connections with Encryption.

 

Step Two

The Intensive Use of Video Conferencing and Voice Services for Remote Working

Although nothing can replace in-person meetings, video conferencing is certainly the best alternative, especially now. It not only helps your employees stay connected with each other, but also helps you conduct business with your clients. This is a good time to sign up for a reliable conferencing platform and to ensure your team has all the necessary gadgets (headsets/cams) or any other tools they would need.  Zoom is a good all rounder, but not without its issues and vulnerabilities. Most businesses have an Office365 subscription and these days to integrate a telephone or VoIP service is relatively straight forward.

 

Working from Home

 

Step Three

Ensure Secure Cloud Application Connections are in place

Working remotely should not present hurdles for a business if you are already using Cloud applications such as Office365, Zoom, Teams etc. However, if you do not, it is the right time to consider these types of services.

Check the Cloud applications and ensure that they are ready to accept connections from remote workers and locations, to save the VPN bandwidth to your central office. Then make sure your team has the correct hardware, software and connectivity to make the best use of, and to get the best performance of, these applications.

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Step Four

Remote Communications Plan

Ensure you have a consistent communication plan for your staff or for your teams in general. A lot of businesses would have worked as part of a team or department, now they are working in silos. Some businesses we deal with go from having weekly or daily team meetings to keep everyone in the loop through to an all day Video Conference where staff work together or drop in and out throughout the day.

Work out a thorough remote communications plan. Make use of the tools available, such as Microsoft Teams or Slack for team communications, “away” messages, project-specific chat channels and even team collaboration tools to ensure every employee is on the same page.

 

Step Five

Explore Remote Working IT Services

Your business has gone from potentially one office to 5, or from three locations to over 500, taking into account all the remote working connections. Its going to be tough to make sure all the remote computers are being managed correctly, updating properly and patched effectively against vulnerabilities.

Remote IT support could save you from the hassle of managing endpoints. Using an encrypted remote connection and appropriate authentication, a technician can access a device and resolve issues while you get to keep a close eye on it. While the technician is at it, he or she can also discuss the problem and the solution, eliminating any communication gaps.

The list of issues that can be addressed by remote IT support include software-related issues and queries, software updates, temporary files cleanup, startup optimisation, virus scan and cleanup, and slow computers.

 

Summary

As you steer your business through this hopefully temporary storm, we believe it is clear that these working practices are here for the longer term. You can be sure that we will support you with all the necessary resources and enablement that we have at our disposal.

 

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