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How to Create a Work-From-Home Team Quickly As Your Business Deals With the Coronavirus
Stay productive and secure your tech network as you deal with the coronavirus. Get support for at-home employees. Learn how to switch from an in-office to a remote team.
In the midst of the coronavirus, business owners are facing a host of new challenges. To slow the spread of the virus, you may have been asked to suspend services or allow your employees to work from home. At the same time, however, you also need to continue to bring in revenue, stay productive, and focus on growth as much as possible.
Making the shift from an in-office to a remote team quickly, especially at a time when everyone is dealing with untold stresses, can be difficult, and the right approach is essential. Check out these tips.
1. Decide What You Need to Stay Productive
Creating a remote team isn’t as easy as handing your workers a laptop and telling them to check in once in a while. If you don’t have a current work-at-home policy, you need to create one from scratch, and you may need to adjust workflows, find new tools, and create new security policies. As you try to facilitate this shift, keep these types of questions in mind:
- What can my employees accomplish from home?
- Can they handle core business activities from home?
- Even if my business is deemed essential, can I send some employees home?
- What types of projects do I want to prioritize during this time?
- What applications do I need to facilitate workflows and keep everyone connected?
- How can my employees work from home without compromising the security of our network?
- What can I do to make this new arrangement as productive and comfortable as possible for myself and my team?
2. Consider Providing Employee With Devices
Don’t necessarily encourage your employees to use their own devices when working from home. Their home computers and tablets have all kinds of music, videos, images, and other downloads that may be infected with malware, and their devices are usually not equipped with the same level of antivirus or malware software you use in your office.
To reduce the threat of cyberattacks, consider providing your team with company-approved and secured devices. However, if you already have a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy for your office, you may want to continue having employees use their own devices because in this situation, you’ve already taken steps to secure those devices.
3. Help Your Workers Secure Their WiFi Access Points
As a general rule of thumb, your employees home WiFi networks are probably less secure than the WiFi you use in your office. To secure these access points, instruct your team to do the following:
- Use stronger encryption
- Create more complex passwords
- Hide your network names
- Use firewalls
To help your employees with these steps, you may want to create detailed tutorials or contact an IT managed services provider to help you.
4. Route Traffic Through a Two-Factor Authentication VPN
To secure your tech environment as much as possible, consider having your employees access your network through a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN encrypts all the information passing from your employees’ computers to your network. Even if a hacker gets onto your employee’s WiFi network, they cannot see keystrokes or any of the data being transmitted.
If you don’t already have a VPN, look into services such as GoToMyPC or Zoho. Also, try to choose a VPN that supports dual-factor authentication. Then, your employees have to enter a username and a password, but they also have to use a second authenticator such as a code texted to their phone number or email address. This layer of security provides extra defense against cyber criminals.
5. Consult With an IT Managed Services Provider
Returning to business as normal may not be possible for a while, and a managed IT services provider can help identify the tools and processes you need to support your new working environment, while also taking steps to ensure your network is as secure as possible.
In difficult times, you want your business to survive, but if possible, you should try to thrive. Our managed IT services can help you adapt to this quickly changing environment. We can help you choose the tools, the processes, and the resources you need to stay as productive as possible.