The impact of COVID-19 is becoming harder for business owners to ignore. If you’re following the recommendations of the World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control, and your local governments; you’ve switched to a remote-based operation. Many businesses are trying to figure out how to go remote. Here are a few items to consider to prepare for a smooth transition.
Equipment for Staff to Work at Home
How many businesses have an arsenal of extra laptops, desktops, monitors, and other tech equipment sitting on a shelf in case of an emergency? Owners are finding most of their staff no longer own computers, and have shifted to tablets and phones.
Determine who has a home computer they can use for work purposes. What operating system is their home PC running? Is it a Windows or Apple computer? Do they need two monitors to maintain productivity at home? Stores like Office Depot, are creating “work from home” packages that include ergonomic keyboards, mouse and other workstation tech equipment. Make sure to complete your research before making purchases and price compare other options.
How much in-office equipment can be transferred to your employees’ home? In many cases, allowing staff to take their work system home, in its entirety, is the simple solution. Consider drafting a simple Equipment Checkout Agreement for the staff and supervisor to sign, maintaining record of the company equipment leaving the building.
VPN & Remote Capabilities
For Windows based users, setting up VPN access can be pivotal to continued productivity. The decision to go remote is being made quickly and difficult for staff to think of what will be needed to work from home over the next few weeks (or months.) Transfer your files to your cloud solution if you have access from your home, or transfer to a secure Google Drive or similar method. Make sure your password key chain is accessible from your browser at home, or have the necessary access in the event you need to change passwords in order to regain access.
Your network can be set up to allow VPN access. You’ll need to determine the number of ports first. Setting up 50 ports on your network because there are 50 employees that need to work from home now might not have enough bandwidth to support those 50 simultaneous users. Instead, consider setting up a limited access to a group of employees who can fetch what the rest of the team needs, as it arises. S & P Global dives deeper into the limitation of VPNs being exposed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Creating a continuous flow of access to the network while the staff works from home will be pivotal to work flow production.
If you’re only using web-based programs, your business is set up for a smooth transition to a virtual operation. If your business relies on installed software for vital functionality, complications are more likely to arise with a transition outside the office. Business owners should look to the setup and configuration of their software: servers, IPs and network configuration.
There are issues that will arise after transitioning to a remote operation on short notice. However, a smooth transition starts with equipment, access to data, and software. If you need any assistance with your home workstation, contact us and we will gladly assist.