The coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic has wrought all sorts of changes around the world. A major one? Many businesses, of all shapes and sizes, are switching to operating on a remote basis. This is logical. It can significantly reduce transmission rates and can help to keep staff safe and healthy. Not only does this help the fight against the pandemic in general, but it can also maximise productivity within your own workforce, as fewer staff are likely to take time off or struggle with the virus themselves. Of course, this is a major change. So, here are a few suggestions that will help you to make the switch as seamlessly as possible!
Providing Necessary Equipment
When your staff work in an office, they work in a space where they are provided with absolutely everything that they could possibly need to do their jobs. This should still apply when they work from home. Make sure that you supply your staff with:
- The technology they require – ensure that computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones or any other devices that your staff need to do their jobs are available to them in their own homes. If you don’t have the cash flow available to buy these items outright immediately, or if some items are only necessary for temporary use, use a service like computer and technology rental.
- Ergonomic furniture – this type of furniture is specially designed to prevent your staff from experiencing health problems while working for you. It can ensure good posture and prevent long term, chronic conditions, such as repetitive strain injury.
- Communications software – your staff still need to be able to communicate as they would in the office. Consider investing in secure communications software like Microsoft Teams, which will allow them to chat amongst one another, hold meetings and otherwise communicate as they need to in order to complete their jobs.
Protecting Your Business from Cyberattack
Something that businesses often forget when going remote is that they become more prone to cybercriminal attack. Why? Well, cyber criminals are well aware that right now, due to the pandemic, many small businesses are switching to a remote workforce that their staff aren’t really used to yet. They are also aware that this makes the business vulnerable, as staff are much more likely to fall for cyber attack techniques, due to unfamiliarity and a lack of awareness. Plus, when operating outside of the office, devices might not be as well protected. Of course, there are a number of things that you can do to protect your business against this. Here are a few to take into serious consideration.
First and foremost, you should fully train your staff to be aware of what cyber attacks can look like and how to avoid them. This will ensure that staff are less likely to fall into cyber criminals’ traps. Phishing tends to be a good place to start out – helping staff to identify spam and scam emails. Train staff regularly to keep them up to date with the most common and current cybercriminal trends.
Your business should also have some sort of VoIP telecommunication services. VoIP stands for “voice over internet protocol” and is a communications technology that will let your staff communicate through a secure internet connection. A good VOIP system will keep all of your staff members’ calls and communications completely private and secure, preventing data breaches and protecting your business’ reputation. An extra bonus is that VOIP also tends to be a lot more cost effective than other forms of audio communication.
Another system to implement into your operations right now is a VPN. VPN stands for “virtual private network” and is a network that your staff can connect to securely. This prevents them from using a public internet connection (which often proves to be much less secure) while working for you and accessing your files, data and documents.
Clear BYOD / WFH Policies
When switching staff to working on a remote basis, you should also prepare a very strict “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)” or “Work from Home (WFH)” policy. If you supply them with a device, this will ensure that it is used rather than their personal devices, which may not have the same protective software as yours provide.
Of course, there are a significant number of other areas you’re going to need to focus on when it comes to making your switch to a remote business entirely successful. But hopefully, some of the above suggestions will help you to get this journey started out on the right foot!