March 22, 2020
Practical tech tips for employers facing an entirely new population of employees working from home.
Tips for Employers
In part two of our work from home series, we discuss some items for employers to consider as their workforce shifts to remote work mode. If you already have a remote work policy and you were able to put it into action successfully, you are ahead of the pack. If not, or if your current policy is older, peruse these tips for some thought provoking ideas.
Looking for employee-focused tips? Visit Part 1 - our employee article: Tips for Employees During COVID-19.
Use every available resource.
In an emergency, you need every hand on deck to fight the emergency. The team at Covene understands the nuances and difficulties of standing up a remote workforce overnight. As experts in collaboration technology, we can help!
We design, sell, and integrate technology to improve your work from home experience and can provide training for your new remote workforce. Use our resources to enable working from home, and take this activity off your plate. During this crisis, we are offering free resources as well as traditional engagements depending on your business needs.
Keep in mind that security guidelines should not be confusing or too restrictive. They may need to be adjusted, loosened even, for employees to effectively work from home.
Expect that some employees may vent, especially at the IT team, more than usual. While IT often gets a few apples thrown at them during stressful times, this is a uniquely stressing situation. Employees are feeling pressure from home, work, and perhaps customers. Couple these stress factors with your own stress levels, and you have strong catalysts for conflict.
Try and remember to be patient and that we're all in this together!
Working from home means it’s even more important to collaborate with bosses and co-workers to keep the business moving forward and to ensure employees are not feeling like they are stranded on an island. Web meeting platforms such as Webex, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams are great ways to get face-to-face with co-workers.
Using one of these platforms, think about starting a video meeting with team members at least once per day and to just “hang-out” and bounce ideas off each other. The keyword there being “video”. Now is the perfect time to enable video on all your remote meetings and give a more personal feel to remote work.
Need a video solution? Contact us to get free access to enterprise Webex licenses through July 2020.
Educate your employees.
Provide your employees with basic security advice. If you already do this, it’s a perfect time for a refresher. Below are some popular topics that can never be discussed too often:
- How to safely use public Wi Fi
- How to beware of phishing email attempts
- How to ensure home routers are secured
We covered several of these items in our employee-focused article: Tips for Employees During COVID-19.
Communication is key.
Provide instruction to staff on a regular basis for how to react in case of remote work problems. This means information on who to call, hours of service, and emergency procedures.
Provide adequate security.
- Ensure all devices have anti-virus software installed with updates applied
- Ensure devices have a firewall enabled, if available
- Provide your employees with secure access to work. If you don’t have access to VPN or Multi-Factor Authentication, see some of the free trial offerings below.
Securing your devices.
It might seem overwhelming to have so much technology leaving the office at this time. If you do not currently have a good method for keeping endpoints secure, consider some of the free offers that are being extended during this unprecedented time:
- Cisco is offering a 90-day trial of Umbrella. Umbrella is extremely easy to deploy and, as the name suggests, can cover everything inside and outside the network: https://umbrella.cisco.com/
- Duo is offering an expanded 30-day trial of their MFA offering with parts of the trial extending to 1 July 2020. The expanded offering extends licensing to more than 10 users. Sign-up at https://signup.duo.com/
Do you have MDM?
Consider that now may be the perfect time to deploy a Mobile Device Management solution
- Managing your fleet of devices might seem like a monumental task – especially right now. However, this might actually be the ideal time to deploy a solution with basic policies to get devices under a single pane of view and lower the amount of time your IT teams are chasing down devices.
- Meraki has a cloud-based MDM offering and offers a free 30-day trial: Systems Manager
Take a break.
Everyone is running as fast as they can to keep & bring services online all while working to connect employees. As we discussed earlier, this is creating an enormous amount of stress on top of the day to day stress we are all already under.
Take time for yourself to take a deep breath. Step back once in awhile and recognize not everything is going to get done today, but you will make progress each day, nonetheless.
Looking for helpful ways to de-stress? Here's a helpful video from the Mayo Clinic, on just that topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCliJmqI2m4