Companies Working Remotely During COVID-19
The government’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19 ) in the US and worldwide has affected many companies who are now (or will be) required to have their employees work from home. If this hasn’t spread to your company, it is just a matter of time at this point. Whether we call it social-distancing or shelter in place, it is a major change for many employers. The main difference now is the scale of the process.
Here is a checklist of some of the factors to be considered as you ramp up your staff to work from home. It is not a complete list since every business differs. Contact us at 10X Consulting Group for help during this transitioning period 704-931-1056.
- Verify that you have sufficient bandwidth coming into your company to handle all of the new remote traffic.
- Inventory your current hardware and develop a plan to acquire what is needed to expand the remote staff.
- Survey employees to determine internet accessibility from workers’ homes.
- Confirm that staff can reach your cloud-based applications and services directly.
- Make sure any desktop-based programs will be available to remote users, even if it means physically moving hardware.
- Ensure there are backups of all your services so that staff can continue to function if extra network traffic makes your primary services slow or go down.
- Confirm that all devices that will be used remotely have updated versions of its licensed operating software, security software, and critical applications.
- Have a clear record available of all Software Keys in the event of a hardware or software fault.
- Develop and implement a security policy that applies to all remote employees, including actions such as locking computers when they’re not being used.
- Ensure that all remote employees have access to and can use a business-grade VPN for all the employees working remotely.
- Remind staff members of newly emerging threats related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. This could include phishing attacks and attempts to steal VPN credentials.
- Increase the use of two-factor authentication using smart cards or security keys.
- Never leave the device unattended or on public display.
- Set-up full-disk encryption to ensure that even if the device falls into the wrong hands, the company’s data is not accessible.
- Log out when not in use – both at home and in public places.
- Enforce passwords on boot, set inactivity timeouts.
- Communicate a phone number and email address where staff members working remotely can discuss their concerns about the company’s future, their job security or even the status of the virus.
- Adopt an “open line” policy with your staff and communicate frequently.
- Chat with your staff, often if possible, to confirm and make them comfortable working remotely.
- Respond quickly to any problems they’re having.
- Make sure each staff member has reliable voice communications, even if that means adding a business-level Vo-IP service.
- Don’t try to micro-manage. Your staff will be nervous about the job as well as the virus. Conditions at home will include numerous distractions and developing new work habit which may differ greatly from the office will not come naturally. There will be an adjustment period.
- Meet with your team leaders to determine what functions are critical for your business to function, including applications such as email.
- Create new company guidelines for remote employees, including proper use of company assets and security guidelines.
- Train employees on how remote access works, what to do if access is slow or limited and where to go for answers.
- Choose a video-conferencing platform and a backup platform for services such as Zoom procure the required licenses and train team leaders in its use.
- Create a communications plan to include remote employees in the daily events of the company and the virus–caused changes. This could be as simple as an all-hands Zoom conference at the end of each day.
RingCentral COVID-19 Offer
During this difficult time, it's crucial for your organization to connect and get your important work done easily and securely, from anywhere.
Keep your organization connected during the Coronavirus outbreak with RingCentral Office for FREE if you're an educator (K-12 or community college), health-care provider, non-profit, public sector, or news and media organization. Contact us so we can help set up the RingCentral service for you.
With RingCentral Office, you get everything you need in one desktop or mobile app, including:
- Video meetings: HD quality audio and video conferencing, screen sharing and more.
- Messaging: Team messaging that’s perfect for collaboration with file sharing and more.
- Phone: A robust and reliable business phone system, including business SMS and call management.
All healthcare providers, schools (K-12), community colleges, news and media, public sector, and non-profit organizations who are new customers and impacted by COVID-19 get free access to RingCentral Office. This includes 100 participants per video meeting.
Hopefully, the pandemic will pass soon and we can all get back to a normal work environment including office antics, coffee machines, and co-workers. That is unless employees find that they like working from home and their productivity makes it a benefit to them and your bottom line.
For help in setting up remote access for your staff, or to take advantage of the RingCentral offer, contact one of our team members at 10X Consulting Group 704-931-1056 or e-mail Sales@10xcg.com.