By now it’s pretty clear that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed the workplace in a number of significant ways. Currently, millions of Americans are doing their jobs from home, working remotely rather than coming into the office each day. And even as some businesses re-open, a lot of employers are giving their team members plenty of flexibility to continue telecommuting.
This flexibility is most welcome by employees, but what about the organization itself? Employers and HR leaders may have some questions about how they can enable secure and efficient remote work arrangements. This is an area where the input of an IT team can be invaluable.
Tips for Enabling Work from Home Employment
As you consider your options for sustainable, long-term work from home employment options, here are some tips and best practices from Salient Networks.
- Make sure your team members have devices that fit their needs. Many employees will be able to do their work with a normal laptop, perhaps even a tablet. Some, like graphic designers or software developers, may need something more robust, able to handle heavier programs. One strategy is to allow employees to choose their own devices but work with your IT team to provide a list of “approved” devices that employees can draw from. If you have the budget to ensure team members have dedicated work devices, separate from personal tablets/computers, that can help with cybersecurity.
- Invest in a mobile device management (MDM) platform. These programs will allow your IT team to manage, configure, and monitor connected devices. For instance, you can ensure employees choose strong passwords, and determine any files/apps that need to be automatically installed on devices. Basically, MDM platforms make it easy to consistently enforce business policies for anyone and everyone who’s working remotely.
- Provide the necessary software. A simple but important point: You’ll need to make sure all your employees have easy access to the programs or apps needed for them to do their job. This includes any communication, collaboration, and file-sharing technologies used in your workplace, e.g., Microsoft Teams, Skype, Dropbox, etc.
- Advise employees on how to work securely. Maintaining cybersecurity is an important consideration, especially when you have so many employees logging into your network from different devices. Be sure you educate team members on how to identify and avoid phishing scams; instruct them on choosing the right passwords; urge them to use password-protected wi-fi networks as opposed to public ones; and be ready to answer any cybersecurity questions that arise.
- Keep devices up to date. One of the most critical steps you can take to maintain performance and security is making sure devices are kept up to date. This is where an IT service management company can come in handy, proactively keeping all company assets current.
- Encourage communication and collaboration. There is an important balance to strike. On the one hand, it’s important for remote employees to regularly connect with each other via Zoom, Skype, or a similar program. At the same time, there’s real “Zoom fatigue” that comes from too many video conferences. Develop a good rhythm for remote communication within your company, one that provides everyone with opportunities to connect, but doesn’t leave everyone feeling depleted.
These are just a few of the strategies we’d recommend for companies as they adapt to the new remote work arrangements.
Contact One of the Best Managed IT Services
If you have any additional questions about preparing your IT infrastructure for this new landscape, give us a call. Salient Networks is one of the best managed IT services, and we’re here to help with ITaaS solutions as needed.