You didn’t have one before, but now you’ve got a virtual workforce.
Even though a significant part of Businessolver’s team was remote before COVID-19, we still learned a few things as we transitioned to a completely virtual work reality.
Our goal was to make people effective and efficient as they are working from home. To do this, we determined what people need and then made it accessible. (Because we already had remote workers, we had a head start on this.) For us that meant a computer, high-speed internet and access to internal systems. Sounds simple but getting it right meant thinking creatively.
We made a few strategic purchases. Not everyone had high-speed internet at home so we bought some mobile cellular hotspots to address the need. We can deploy these across the business as necessary. Our advice: Figure out what tools or technology you need and if you don’t already have it, you’ll need to get it to enable people’s productivity.
We made some adjustments to our policies. This wasn’t something we did before, but we quickly made the decision to allow people to take equipment home. This includes not only laptops but monitors and other tools people need to work effectively. We have carefully catalogued who has what and we’re confident everything will come back to the offices when things get back to normal. You may need to think outside the box also and relax some of your policies around remote work.
We deal with a lot of sensitive data, so security is paramount. We have stringent security protocols in our physical locations but needed to make sure nothing was compromised when staff started working outside our offices. Unfortunately, bad people are out there waiting to take advantage of an untried remote workforce. Don’t let them.
Don’t sacrifice the long term for short-term fixes. It might be tempting to relax some security standards to keep productivity up. Our suggestion is to resist temptation and maintain a strong security posture right now. Don’t skimp, stay vigilant.
Use strong security controls. We use multi-factor authentication (MFA) to secure access to resources available over the internet and a VPN that verifies the person and device before allowing them to connect to internal resources. It may take people a few more seconds to log on but the added layer of security is worth it.
Communicate with employees. When people are working from home they are exposed to more potential threats, like phishing or bogus websites. Make sure your employees understand your security procedures and how to maintain vigilance and safeguard the organization in these unusual times. It’s not a bad idea to send a weekly security communication as a reminder and to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Culture can be hard to maintain without physical proximity and the ability to interact in person. Technology not only enables safe remote work, it can also help you maintain your culture.
Get creative. We’re using tools like Facebook Live, Youtube, Microsoft Teams, and others to help people connect to each other. There are virtual dance parties, tele-lunches and even some remote happy hours happening here at Businessolver. We are encouraging our team to use the technology resources available to them to keep in touch. While these are challenging times, we continue to try and have fun to keep morale and emotional well-being as high as possible.
Want more advice about managing in the age of COVID-19? We’re all in this together. Visit our growing resource center below.