Prepare Your Business for Long-Term Remote Work With Technology Solutions
As the pandemic remains a part of our working reality, companies are finding that the transition to remote work is becoming the new norm.
For businesses, the seismic shift in how employees work has meant significant changes in how to support remotely based employees.
In the early months of the pandemic, many managed technology companies saw a massive surge in transitional work that allowed them to redeploy office workers to home locations.
That business model is likely to endure.
“A lot of people will find that if they have the right tools in place and they are able to get all the communication in place, have access to their programs and security, that hey could be very productive (from home), said Ian Hansen, client success manager at Philantech3 in a recent interview.
Preparing for Long-Term Remote Work
In the early days of the crisis, Hansen noted that the company faced a massive wave of requests from companies seeking to work remotely.
Those rapid shifts have now become the norm for thousands of businesses throughout the Spokane area.
Now is the time to ensure employees have all that they need to be effective and productive for the foreseeable future.
“Working remotely from home or a remote location can be a productive and successful experience, but you have to have a few basic pieces in place,” he noted.
Starting with the Technology Basics
The initial goal of moving to remote work is to ensure that employees have the tools they need to be successful. That starts with the hardware (laptops or desktop computers) and peripherals, such as webcams and printers.
The next consideration is access to electronic files that may be stored in the office. If your company has not switched to cloud solutions for data storage and filing, employees may find themselves without the information they need to be productive.
Solutions include using virtual private network (VPN) software that connects remote computers to files still located at business locations. These tools allow access to files and machines from home.
Focusing on Security
Robust security measures are essential to keep business assets protected.
During the pandemic, hackers have upped their game, using health fears and economic insecurity to prey on vulnerable employees. Using phishing email schemes that purport to come from official agencies or health organizations, hackers can launch malware attacks that steal information or ransomware assaults that hold systems and websites hostage.
Comprehensive security solutions include automated anti-spam and anti-malware tools, network perimeter monitoring and intrusion detection systems.
“It’s tempting maybe just to hurry up and skip this step,” Hansen said. “(But) if you’re going to allow remote access to potentially sensitive data in your office, you really have to have the proper controls in place. You have to make sure that you’re not letting something into your business that shouldn’t be in there.”
The Importance of Communication
Employees who have been working from home may feel isolated and disconnected from colleagues.
Several tools have seen remarkable growth in 2020 due to the pandemic. Virtual meetings, webinars, instant messaging and collaboration platforms are in high demand.
Hansen recommends working with Microsoft Teams, which is included as part of Microsoft 365, the cloud-based version of the popular Office applications.
With Teams, employees can create shared spaces, work on files together, send messages and hold meetings while integrating with Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel and other Office products.
Business phones are another vital component of communication during the pandemic. Fortunately, there are software programs that can duplicate many of the in-office phone features via a computer. These features are important for companies that want phones answered live or need to use dispatching features.
Preparing for new ways of doing business means having a technology partner that can provide solutions your to company’s IT challenges. To learn more about Philantech3’s IT services and innovative business solutions, contact us today.