With the outbreak of the Coronavirus COVID-19, it has highlighted the need for companies to have a business continuity plan in place with the ability to work remotely. Working form home is no longer a nice-to-have but rather a must have component for any business.
In recent weeks, with the Coronavirus spreading across the globe, many companies have already asked their employees to work from home in a bid to prevent the virus from spreading and ensuring their business continues to function. However, while the likes of Google and Twitter have the money, resources and infrastructure in place to accommodate this, what about the smaller businesses?
Switching to a remote working business model requires planning as it has 4 main elements – employee equipment, IT Systems capability, company communications and security.
The good news is that setting this up can be done quite quickly and with minimal costs incurred.
First thing to check is what equipment the employee needs to work form home. Most people already have broadband at home and as long as it is a decent connection (Fibre/FTTC) should be able to access email, web, web applications, and remote into the network at work or the Cloud.
Having a work laptop makes the process a lot easier as they already have all the programs they need. If they don’t, do they have a laptop or PC at home they can use or do you need to provide one? If they use their own device, this is fine if everything you do is Cloud based, but if they need access to the company network then you have security issues to take into account. You have no control over their personal device so you would need a BYOD (Bring your own device) policy so that you can ensure they have Anti-Virus/Anti Malware. You also need to confirm how they will handle the data and if they need to store it on their personal device. You also need to make sure you can support your employees devices
IT Systems Capabilities
A secure connection can be made to the company network via VPN through the company firewall. There are alternative ways to grant access to your data through web browsers using File Manager Programs such as HTCOMNET or through a Cloud or hosted solution.
If you want multiple employees to connect to your on-site network you need to ensure that your infrastructure is capable of supporting their needs.
- Is your company broadband connection strong enough?
- Will the firewall support a stable VPN and multiple connections?
- Can you support the employees at home?
Your employees need communication tools so that they can respond as your business is expected too. Remote workers also don’t get the sense of what’s going on when they aren’t working in the office.
With a Unified Communications platform such as 3CX, employees get the right tools to make sure they stay connected and your clients calls get answered. Soft phones, mobile collaboration, chat and web conferencing ensure communication stays flowing. Having a solution where employees can answer the business phone or extension call from anywhere ensures your customers see no drop in service. free web conferencing can be a sustainable solution to the face-to-face meetings that need to take place.
While we do what we need to to make sure we stay in business and that are customers are catered for, you need to remain vigilant and in control of your data. In an access anything from anywhere environment control needs to be maintained to make sure the correct people access the correct data, that data is secured and backed up and at all times you remain in control of your network and your business.
We’re here to help
Setting up mobile working can seem daunting, but with the right tools and the right delivery it can be quick and trouble free ensuring your business keeps running during these troubled times with minimum disruptions. Simply call 0330 0167681 to discuss your requirements to see what you can do to enable your workers can safely work remotely.