Remote Work: Accessibility, Security & Communication
3 Easy Steps to Transition to a Virtual Workplace
As companies and employees temporarily move to remote work it’s important to keep your business running efficiently. You need secure access to documents and effective methods of communication.
If you’re a company or an employee who does not work remote on a regular basis, we want to share a few key processes (and additional resources). It’s our hope that you feel confident your business will have minimal interruption.
You can also learn more about virtual workforces from the experts at Salesforce. For managers, they are also hosting a webinar on Thursday, March 19 to talk about remote work strategies to help your employees.
Remote work can have challenges when it comes to accessing documents and files. If your business doesn’t currently operate within the cloud your IT department will need to allow remote access. One option to address this would be through a virtual private network (VPN).
There are also document management services that can provide secure access to your documents from anywhere. Software your company is currently using will likely have features that will make remote work easier on you and your staff. Look into those options before making any drastic changes.
Software such as Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams (which currently has a free version) are great tools to utilize for cloud storage and communication. Microsoft 365 can take care of many of your accessibility and communication needs.
If you find some of your regular business functions slow down, now might be a good time to start looking into cloud services for the future.
Now is the time to review or enact your information security policies involving remote work. If you don’t have a policy in place, take some time to establish basic guidelines for your employees. Items of concern would include:
- VPN access (if needed) rather than using home or public networks
- Refresh employees on how to handle phishing attacks
- Employees should not be using personal devices and cloud services
- Encourage two-factor authentication
- Use Mobile Device Management and Mobile Application Management
With any crisis, we see cybercriminals attempt to capitalize on the situation.
- Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments.
- Pay special attention to the sender of an email, even if it looks like a trusted source. Specifically, look at the part of the email after the ‘@’ symbol in the ‘From’ line to verify their legitimacy.
- Use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites—for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.
- Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
- Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information.
Stay connected and feel connected to your employees and coworkers via email, chat, text, and audio and FaceTime calls. You can also stay connected to your clients this way. In fact, any in-person meeting or appointment you were planning can be done via chat or video conferencing.
Additional Work from Home Tips for Employees
- Create a dedicated work space
- Hold normal office hours if possible
- Schedule breaks and lunch like you would at the office
- Talk to your coworkers
- Change out of your pajamas, you’ll probably be more productive
An article by Proofhub has a full list of useful tools, some are free to use and some are paid services. Obviously, we don’t expect you to go out and get all this setup in a few days. However, we encourage you to trial some different things and figure out what works for your company should this need arise again in the future.
If your business model is not setup to allow remote work, remember the current events are temporary and we will all get through this together. Once things begin to return to normal, it may be worth your time to talk to us and find out how to set up your IT environment to better support remote work in the future.