A Comprehensive Guide to Embracing Remote Work

As Society Embraces the Concept of Social Distancing to Minimize the Spread of Coronavirus, Businesses Are Left with Two Options: Shut Down or Work Remotely.

Coronavirus was labeled as a pandemic on March 11, 2020 when the World Health Organization (WHO) made the announcement. Since then, we’ve seen the majority of non-essential businesses, daycares, schools, and other areas where people get together close down. This is essential for the safety and well-being of individuals all over the world, but it’s important for organizations to remain operational – even if they can’t physically stay open. So what are your options? Well, some businesses may choose to shut down temporarily while others choose to opt for remote work.

HRCT has helped many of our clients transition to a remote workforce that operates as efficiently from home as they do in the office. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to embracing remote work to help other businesses around the world do the same.

Step 1: Start with a Roadmap

If you didn’t have a business contingency plan in place prior to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s time to create a roadmap that outlines exactly what your next steps are. This means you need to evaluate the following:

  • Which employees are able to complete part or all of their workload from home?
  • Do those employees have the right technology foundation in place?
  • Will you need to purchase any additional hardware for employees?

A roadmap should detail where you’re currently at and what needs to be done to give you a foundation for remote work.

Step 2: Create a Technology Foundation for Remote Workers

Once you’ve created a roadmap to get started, it’s time to actually put that roadmap into action. Start with ensuring each and every remote worker has the right technology foundation in place:

  • A desktop or laptop
  • A mobile device
  • A high-quality headset
  • A webcam (if not built into their computer)
  • A high speed internet package

Many of your employees may already have the technology foundation necessary in place, but for those that don’t, consider ordering equipment and/or upgrading their internet package for them.

Step 3: Invest in Enterprise-Grade Cybersecurity Measures

Be aware that cybercriminals are exploiting the current situation with increased phishing attacks and other modes of malicious activity. For instance, we’re seeing an influx of phishing emails wherein the attacker claims to be from WHO, CDC or another government agency offering information about the coronavirus. If employees are using personal devices, it’s best to invest in enterprise-grade cybersecurity measures for those devices:

  • Anti-virus software
  • Firewalls
  • Encryption
  • A virtual private network (VPN)
  • Multi-factor authentication wherever possible
  • Automatic patches and/or updates

This will ensure their personal devices stay safe against unauthorized access as they’re working with sensitive data from home.

Step 4: Don’t Forget About Collaboration and Line of Business Applications

Microsoft Office 365, which includes Microsoft Teams, is a great choice for businesses that are working remotely. Employees are able to:

  • Share, access, and edit documents in real-time.
  • Video conference or group chap with one another.
  • Feel confident with advanced security controls in place.
  • Communicate via chat, instant messaging, and more.

Microsoft Teams is available via any Microsoft Office 365 plan, which means it’s integrated with tools many businesses already rely on:

  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • OneDrive
  • Word
  • And more

Once you have a collaboration suite in place, don’t forget to invest in any cloud-based line of business applications necessary. This may include:

  • Project management software
  • CRM systems
  • ERP systems
  • Accounting programs
  • And more

Step 5: Consider Adding a Hosted Phone System to Your Arsenal

Lastly, a hosted phone system will be crucial for businesses that rely heavily on communication throughout the workday. HRCT offers hosted phone systems (VoIP) that leverage the cloud to enable anytime, anywhere communications over the internet. Our hosted phone systems save you from the expense of purchasing hardware and on-premise maintenance. Instead, you pay a flat-rate monthly fee for all of the updates, features, and maintenance necessary. The features are extensive:

  • Click-to-call
  • Call forwarding
  • Smartphone integration
  • Caller ID
  • Voicemail to email
  • Music on hold
  • Find-me-follow-me
  • And much more

Need Help Getting Setup to Work Remotely? HRCT is Here to Assist. Call (757) 399-3350 Now.

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