Is Your Business Ready for Telecommunicating in the Wake of the Coronavirus – Three things to consider when employees move from the office to their homes.
Coronavirus – Creating a Need for Telecommuting
As of the first Friday in March, there were a total of seventy confirmed cases of coronavirus here in Washington state, fifty-nine of which were confirmed sometime last week. With every confirmed case there are two numbers to consider. The first, the number of people who have contracted the infection, and two the number of people who need to be quarantined because of potential exposure to prevent further spread. The detainment time for people who are asked to enter this quarantine period is a lengthy fourteen days.
The dramatic rise in this number is causing concern for many citizens and business owners all over the area. Whether you are a school, a local department, or a private business you are not immune to this outbreak and should be considering how you will keep your business running in the event of employees opting to avoid the office in favor of working from home. Luckily, for those of you concerned there is a twenty-first-century solution: telecommuting.
One large assumption that telecommuting makes is that employees have the necessary tools available to them at home to get through a workday. Depending on what your business or your employees do, these needs may vary, but at the least, they probably need a laptop and a phone. Okay, now let’s assume they have these things. Are they using a company laptop? Are they using their personal laptop? If so, are they able to communicate with the rest of the team from their laptop? Is there a back-up system on it to ensure you don’t lose any data from the two weeks they are working from home? Do they have the proper security settings to protect your data? All these questions are ones you should be asking yourself in the wake of something as serious as the Coronavirus, but don’t worry we are here to help you answer them.
Collaboration Platforms - Can your team communicate with one another?
Collaboration platforms are essential for allowing quick and easy communications between employees and teams. These tools are becoming increasingly common in the workplace. There are several pros of having a platform like this including a chat-style record of a conversation, the ability to communicate one on one or in a team/group format, and the ability to quickly share files. Many platforms have more capabilities such as video conferencing, team calendar views, and activity alerts. So, would your team be able to effectively communicate and collaborate or are they stuck using classic email systems? These are not bad by any means but having a dedicated system to talk to other employees can lead to more productivity in the workplace – or while working from home. Learn more about how collaboration platforms can help SMBs be more productive.
Data Back-Up Tools - Is their work guaranteed to be saved?
Working from home for two weeks can (hopefully) lead to a lot of completed work, but how can you ensure that this work is stored in a safe place, safeguarded from accidents or loss? The answer to this is to put in place a cloud storage system or a web-based shared document manager. Introducing or using a cloud-based system allows you and your employees to work collaboratively on documents and files from any internet-enabled device. These systems also allow you to store those documents in an accessible place. In the event of a disaster (coffee spills on the laptop, laptop theft, or a general device breakdown) is your employee’s work stored in a place they can recover it from? Learn more about how to implement that back-up today.
Encompassing Security Measures – Is your data protected?
Security is increasingly important to businesses everywhere. With data ransoms and malware becoming increasingly sneaky, protecting your devices and data is more important than ever. Now, I assume your office computers are stacked with different security measures but are your laptops? If your employees must work using their personal laptops, are they also protected? These are important questions to ask yourself when facing the possibility of large numbers of employees working from home. There are many security measures you can take to ensure no one can get into your data and the simplest of these are to enable multi-factor authentication. This requires people to confirm on a separate device that they are who they say they are, eliminating hackers from entering your data with just a login and password. If you are interested in learning more about other security measures you can implement or how they can protect your business, visit our security solutions page.
With the coronavirus entering the United States and beginning to spread, businesses must be prepared for an event that may require people to work from home. If you are not fully equipped and ready to facilitate company collaboration and data security, or if you are interested in learning about what you need to be fully prepared for this, please reach out to our team. We are happy to evaluate where you stand and help you get to where you need to be.