Tips for Working at Home During the Coronavirus
Prepare to send your employees home. Learn how to support a remote team of workers. Get tips on helping employees stay productive when they can’t work in the office.
As of Tuesday, March 24th, Fort Worth and the surrounding area is on a shelter-in-place order. This nearly unprecedented government mandates exempt critical businesses from shutting down and allow people to leave their homes for essential supplies such as groceries.
Whether your business has been forced to close or you simply want to take steps to safeguard the health of your employees, you may be shifting from an in-house to a remote team.
How do you help your employees work from home during the coronavirus? What does your team need to work from home? Is your IT environment ready to support this change? Here are some of the essentials you need to consider.
Consider Your Timeline
As you set up and manage your remote team, consider how long you anticipate this change to last. While the current shelter-in-place orders may only be for a couple of weeks, lawmakers are likely to extend these orders, and you may end up dealing with a remote team for several weeks for even months.
In some cases, the coronavirus may prompt you to make a permanent shift to a remote team. Your projected timeline can help you decide how much time and resources you want to devote to supporting your remote team.
Decide Who Is Going to Provide Equipment
Do you want to provide hardware to your employees or do you want to require them to use their own devices? Ultimately, this is a personal choice, and the right approach varies. If you do not want to risk sending hardware home with employees, you may want to require them to use their own devices.
On the other hand, some employees may not have reliable computers or their laptops may not be powerful enough to run your core applications, and to stay productive, you may need to provide them with hardware.
Set Up Work Accounts on Personal Devices
If employees are using their own devices, you may want to require them to set up new user accounts on these devices that are just for work. Most computers can host multiple users, helping to separate your employee’s personal and business computing.
Explore Cybersecurity Solutions
When your team is working from home, you face a new set of cyber concerns, and you need to look into solutions that can help protect you. A lot of cloud-based applications encrypt data in motion and at rest, providing you with built-in security.
In other cases, you may want to require your employees to access sensitive data through a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Additionally, you may want to look into tools such as YubiKey that help you set up two-factor authentication.
Choose Collaboration and Communication Applications
Facilitating group projects between people in multiple locations is easier now than ever. There is a wide range of collaboration and communication apps that can help to keep everyone on the same page. With products such as Microsoft Teams, GSuite, and countless others, you can create to-do lists, assign tasks to workers, and track their progress.
Multiple team members can also work together on spreadsheets, notes, documents, slides, and more. They can make changes in real time that all other collaborators can see instantly, and they can even hold conversations or leave comments directly in these programs without switching to another communication app.
With the right apps, meetings also become a breeze. High quality conferencing apps move intuitively between speakers and listeners, making everyone feel almost as if they’re in the same conference room. Take some time to choose collaboration apps and make sure your employees know how to utilize these solutions.
Give Employees Productivity Tips and Tools
Working from home ushers in new productivity challenges. Your employees are not used to juggling the distractions of home with their work life, and at the same time, they may also have kids out of school or maybe distracted by worries related to the coronavirus.
Give them tips or ideas on how to stay productive. Keep in mind that they also save time by not chatting with other employees, commuting to work, or dealing with in-office distractions, and ultimately, that can work in your favor. They may be able to tackle the same amount of work that they do in the office, in a shorter amount of time.
At Corptek, we realize that the coronavirus is bringing all kinds of new challenges to the table, and if you are moving your employees home, we can help. We offer managed IT and cybersecurity services to companies in Fort Worth, TX and the surrounding area, and we want to help you. To learn more, contact us today.