Home or remote working
We have seen some excellent articles and advice with information on what to consider if you are looking to work away from the office. So, we have aimed to compile some of the best tips below. The current COVID-19, Coronavirus situation looks like it could be going on for some time, so more and more of us are going to be working from our homes.
Let’s start with some things to consider:
- Do you have a full staff list? If not, create one.
- Who in the business could benefit from working at home?
- What IT equipment will they need in order to achieve this?
- Do you have the correct, or enough, licences for remote working?
- Do you have all the equipment you will need? (Laptops, mobile phones, tablets etc.)
- Can you test the possibility of home working with a few members of your staff?
As you can imagine, once people were instructed to work from home where they could, our suppliers saw a huge spike in sales for portable equipment. This means things like laptops and small form factor computers are currently very difficult to get hold of. The situation will improve, but it may take a few weeks for items to be easier to get hold of. In the meantime, could staff use their own equipment? Obviously, there may be issues with GDPR compliance and data security concerns, but it may be worth investigating to see what is and isn’t possible.
Access to your systems
A lot of companies have the ability to access their own servers from outside the business- via secure VPN access or the cloud for example. Is your business set-up to achieve this? If so, do you have the requisite number of licences needed for every member of staff that will need to connect to your systems?
Speaking (writing) of cloud access, Microsoft’s Office 365 has lots of ways to collaborate and share information, no matter where you are working. Although relatively new to some, Microsoft Teams is an excellent way to keep in touch with colleagues, customers and suppliers alike. You can have multiple people on calls and share screens, documents and files easily. You can also use Sharepoint and OneDrive to access documents across a multitude of devices.
Have you spoken to your telecoms provider regarding what options are available for your telephony? For example, our system allows us to access our regular desk phones, as if we were in the office, from anywhere. Meaning we can quickly and easily make and take calls as if we were sat at our usual desks. It might also be worth considering getting hold of some cheap mobile phones for your staff to use? You can find some inexpensive pay-as-you-go models, along with some attractively priced sim-only monthly contracts. A good place to look is Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert website: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/phones/best-pay-as-you-go-sim-cards/
We have already begun to see news of an increase in new phishing attacks and fake websites popping up purporting to have information around Covid-19 Coronavirus. Hackers like nothing more than to prey on people’s anxieties in a bid to extort money or valuable data. Ensure your anti-virus software, as well as other software on your devices is all up-to-date; and think before clicking on links you see in emails or text messages etc.
Hopefully the above will give you some things to consider. Obviously, in normal circumstances you may have been graced with more time to get things into place before having to put them into action, but unfortunately with the ever-changing situation, some businesses will have been forced to try and deal with this in a live situation. For further information and advice on how we could help, please feel free to call us on 01905 758900 or email us via firstname.lastname@example.org.