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As Coronavirus (COVID-19) Forces People to Avoid Physical Gatherings, Non-Essential Businesses, Daycares, and Schools Have Been Shut Down. Remote Work Has Become the Norm, But How Do You Make the Most of It?

By now, the majority of non-essential businesses, daycares, and schools have been shut down in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus around the world. There are over 400 cases throughout Ontario. For businesses that aren’t considered essential – meaning grocery stores, pharmacies, and other key organizations, it’s time to switch to remote work. But how do you make the most of it? What approaches, tools, and tricks are there to stay productive AND safe against cybercrime?

Tektonic is taking the spread of coronavirus seriously. We’re working hard to keep our clients, loved ones, and local community safe. So far, we’ve helped quite a few of those we serve transition to a remote workforce. Here are our recommendation to make the transition a successful one:

Step 1: Create a Foundation for Remote Access

First and foremost, your employees will need a secure, reliable foundation for remote access. This means it’s crucial to review:

  1. Internet access: Employees will need fast, reliable internet access. For some, you may need to invest in mobile hot-spots or data plans. For others, you may need to upgrade their existing package. Make sure they have the bandwidth necessary for remote work.
  2. Devices: Employees may use their own devices, but this can be risky due to a lack of security settings and/or solutions. You should assess their existing hardware or opt for a virtual desktop setting that allows them to connect to their work computers.
  3. A VPN: A VPN, also known as a virtual private network, will give employees access to the network via a secure, encrypted tunnel that keeps sensitive data safe against unauthorized access.

Remember, aside from having a desktop, laptop, and smartphone, employees may also need the following:

  • A webcam if computers and/or laptops aren’t equipped with one.
  • A high quality headset with a mic.

Step 2: Provide Access to Collaboration Tools and Line of Business Applications

Once you have a secure foundation for remote work, it’s time to sort out how employees will access important information, share files, collaborate on documents, and stay up-to-date with what’s happening. This means they will need access to:

  1. Microsoft Office 365 or a similar productivity suite to give them access to emails, calendars, contacts, and files, alongside the following applications:
    • Word
    • PowerPoint
    • Excel
    • OneDrive
    • SharePoint
    • Teams
  2. Line of Business Applications such as HR systems, ERP systems, CRM systems, document management systems, and accounting systems.
  3. Business Phone Systems such as a VoIP solution that lets employees access their work line from home. They can make and receive calls over the internet and maintain access to enterprise-grade features, such as:
    • Find-me-follow-me
    • Conference calling
    • Voicemail-to-email
    • And much more

Microsoft Teams or a similar cloud-based tool will be essential in enabling remote work as employees can share information via a common space. They’re able to collaborate on documents, chat via video, work together on projects, and more.

Step 3: Encourage a Positive Remote Work Culture

Lastly, it’s time to encourage a positive remote work culture. For many, remote work is a new concept that they’re not familiar with, and unfortunately, it’s fundamentally different from working in the office. There tends to be less socialization and more distractions in the form of family members, housework, and other struggles. Here are a few ways to encourage a positive remote work culture:

  • Enforce a consistent work schedule in terms of hours
  • Require a daily check-in time in the morning or afternoon
  • Offer moral support to employees struggling with concerns
  • Provide positive reinforcement for successes and/or project completions

Get in Touch with Tektonic to Get Started with Remote Work. Call (416) 256-9928 for More Information.

 

Date: April 1st, 2020, Author: Jorge Rojas

Tektonic Managed Services  /  Tektonic Blog  /  Quick Tips  /  Staying Operational During the Pandemic: A Guide to Remote Work