Millions of Americans have now been instructed to stay home under state and local shelter in place orders. And though certain essential employees (like those in the health care, transportation, and food supply chain fields) are still working in their normal places of employment, others have quickly transitioned to working from home full-time, often with little to no notice, time to prepare, or training in basic cybersecurity protocols.
I was recently interviewed by Adam Czerwinski of Sidebar Insurance Solutions about some work from home technology solutions that employers can implement to make the transition to remote work a smoother one.
Here are the top three ways you can improve the efficiency, security, and productivity of your remote working experience.
1 – Use VPN to facilitate secure, remote access to your company’s network.
Not every worker will need access to every part of your network or phone system, so managing varied access needs can be a challenge for employers. Further complicating the need to provide different layers of access is the fact that many employees will be using their personal computers and cell phones to perform confidential or sensitive work-related functions, potentially putting your secure data at risk.
Fortunately, several different technological solutions can help you facilitate remote access through secure networks. By using a virtual private network (VPN), you can essentially create a secure tunnel between two devices, allowing employees to use their private devices to access information and data kept on a network computer. Not only does this avoid placing the secure data directly on the employee’s private device, but it ensures that the information is secure while it’s being transmitted from one computer (or the cloud) to another.
It’s crucial for employees planning to use a VPN to have updated antivirus software on their computers. Just as one coronavirus-positive person can serve as a vector to infect hundreds of others, an infected machine is connected to a VPN, it can quickly compromise the entire corporate network.
2 – Replace quick, in-office communication with virtual tools.
One of the major challenges of working remotely involves communication delays and difficulties. If you and team members are accustomed to simply shouting questions across the office and getting immediate answers, working in a separate building from these individuals can close off these lines of communication.
Apps like Microsoft Teams can create a virtual waiting room, allowing you to pose questions, post documents for review, have video or audio conferencing meetings, or engage in sidebar chats with your coworkers just as you would if you were all physically in the office.
Another popular app, Slack, allows you to send instant messages to other team members, helping recreate the quick access to information and collaboration you enjoyed while working in the same building.
3 – Boost team ease and productivity by optimizing “Tech Stack.”
Even after the COVID-19 crisis passes, employers may want to continue these work from home arrangements on a more limited basis. But for many, the speed with which these shelter in place orders were handed down left little time for optimization, leading to the dreaded “tech stack” — layers of technology that can sometimes be duplicative or inefficient.
These unprecedented and unusual times provide a prime opportunity for employers to analyze what’s working, what’s not, and what can be combined in the future to make remote working as efficient as possible. Need to manage “tech stack?” Book a call to get started with a free consultation.