Remote Work Best Practices During The Coronavirus/COVID19 Pandemic

Nexus IT Consultants recently appeared on Mountain Connections to talk about business productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Do you know how to keep your business running while your employees are stuck at home?

The coronavirus pandemic has forced a majority of businesses to send employees home in an effort to practice social distancing. While remote work isn’t anything new, it’s a business model that has never been adopted to this degree before.

Managers around the world are trying to figure out how to do their job when they’re not in the same building as their team members. Do you know how to manage your team effectively?

“We’re finding right now that a lot of businesses in this new dynamic were not prepared,” says Earl Foote, CEO, Nexus IT Consultants. “Most of us never really expected to have a situation like this where we would have to send all or most of our workforce home and try to continue operating business as usual.”

What Role Does Technology Play In Remote Work?

Effective remote working comes down to the implementation of a comprehensive strategy for cloud services delivery. Remote workers need to be able to do their work, securely and easily.

Key considerations include:

  1. Think About The User: Your staff members need to be able to do their work, and easily. If they’re fighting against unintuitive software, a bad connection, or anything else tech-related, their standard workday won’t be all that productive. It won’t be long before your business’ productivity grinds to a halt.
  2. Confirm Reliable Connectivity: You need to poll your staff and find out who has a reliable Internet connection at home. If your staff lives in remote areas with poor connectivity, you may have to consider investing in cellular-data, or have a plan in place to deal with delays on their end.So long as they have a strong Internet connection, the rest of the work is on the IT services provider to deliver a responsive and user-friendly cloud platform with which the worker can access their business data.
  3. Support Business Communications: Can you monitor your employees’ phone traffic, allowing them to take calls from clients, and make calls on their business lines? You also need software that allows you to record calls in order to track the customers’ experience.
  4. Manage Your Staff’s Productivity: You’ll also want to be able to track remote access and logins, allowing you to see when users are actively working.
  5. Enhance Staff Collaboration: Do you have the right solutions in place to allow your team members to collaborate? You should be able to send and receive files, and share desktops in real-time.

“From a technology perspective, this is one of the keys to staying connected every day,” says Travis Gunn, VP of Business Relations, Nexus IT Consultants. “Having the tools and resources and security in place.”

While coronavirus (COVID-19) is the current source of the demand for remote working capabilities, bad weather events, exhausting rush hours travel times and more flexibility in work are some other reasons businesses are considering a remote workforce.

But in doing so, businesses can’t overlooked cybersecurity…

Don’t Forget About Your Remote Cybersecurity

With so many employees operating remotely, how can you be sure that your data is completely secure? Are you taking the necessary steps to maintain security while your staff works from home?

Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Implement Multi-Factor Authentication: Multi-factor authentication is a great way to add an extra layer of protection to the existing system and account logins. By requiring a second piece of information like a randomly-generated numerical code sent by text message, you’re able to make sure that the person using the login credentials is actually who they say they are. Biometrics like fingerprints, voice, or even iris scans are also options, as are physical objects like keycards.
  • Use A VPN: When you use a virtual private network (VPN), your data is encrypted, or hidden, as it moves from your device to the VPN and then continues onto the Internet. That makes it harder for an attacker to identify you as the source of the data – no matter whether you’re on your mobile device’s data connection, or using an unsecured retail Wi-Fi network while you’re in line for coffee.
  • Stay Up To Date: Did you know that one of the most common ways that cybercriminals get into a network is through loopholes in popular software? Much of the software you rely on to get work done every day could have flaws — or “exploits” — that leave you vulnerable to security breaches.  To address this, developers regularly release software patches and updates to fix those flaws and protect users. This is why it’s imperative that you keep your applications and systems up to date.

Do You Have A Culture That Promotes Productivity And Autonomy?

“We’re seeing a lot of companies bump up against challenges because there wasn’t planning or forethought put into the situation,” says Earl. “Those challenges are not only technical, but there’s also a lot of operational and cultural types of challenges.”

The fact is that your staff may be dependent on the office setting to actually get work done. Without their manager in earshot, without conversation in the breakroom, and factoring in all the distractions at home, it can be quite difficult for them to get work done remotely.

“One of the biggest things we’ve seen businesses deal with at this point is if they don’t have a culture of autonomy that would allow their teams to work from anywhere in the world and be productive without being micromanaged,” says Earl.

That’s why a remote work plan needs to consider both technology and culture. Your staff needs the right tools and the right management to stay productive at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Like this article? Check out the following blogs to learn more:

Do You Have An Emergency Remote Work Plan?

Solve More Problems, Deliver More Value with Evolving Digital Technology

Why Cyber Incidents Are the Number One Threat to Businesses