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More workers may have to work from home due to the increasing risks from the spread of the Coronavirus.
Radius has seen several instances of companies sending home employees who have returned from at-risk locations as a precautionary measure. Business owners need to plan for every eventuality and outlined below are some steps/action we can take to ensure our business continuity:
- Access to the Terminal Server – You can configure access to the terminal server via a secure VPN and internet connection. Your workers will be able to access files and applications on the server. The VPN ensures that data is encrypted in transit. Disclaimer: You may be putting your data at risk if the files are being downloaded and stored on a local laptop in a worker’s home.
- Cloud as an Infrastructure – Working in the cloud is a better solution than #1. The Cloud gives you a secure VPN and a flexible remote desktop environment as default. This means that workers can access their own desktops, files, and applications in the same manner as if they were in the office from multiple devices. Because everything is stored in the cloud, workers are not compromising data by downloading files to a local device. The cloud is an ideal solution for data protection as all data is protected by multiple layers of IT security and backed-up to the cloud in the event it may need to be recovered.
- Staff Hardware – Now that you have a remote work environment, the next piece is to get the technology in place in staff home offices/mobile offices. Draw up a list of key staff who you would need to operate remotely, which of these staff already have company laptops and who need spare laptops.
- Employee Productivity – Worried about tracking employees’ productivity? As an add-on option, we have tracking software that lets employers track how many hours have been worked in a day. The tracking tool can track mouse moves, keystrokes and timestamp logins/disconnections within the Cloud network.
- Cloud-Based Phones – Don’t let phones go unanswered. A Cloud-based phone system is ideal for businesses enduring a crisis because you can turn any device (e.g. a smartphone, tablet or PC) into your business phone via an app. Furthermore, you can configure a follow-me effect where an auto-attendant menu will still route inbound phone calls to the right extensions (Sales, accounts, service, warehouse etc), regardless of location. Any outbound calls will still present the office number (caller ID).
- Productivity Apps and Videoconferencing – Communication internally isn’t limited to just email and phone. Microsoft Teams enables internal communications by way of messaging (groups or individuals), sharing of files, phone calls and videoconferencing. Don’t want people to see your home when on camera, then there is a handy blur tool that blurs out the background of the room.
ISME HR Advisor Cait Lynch answers questions on Remote Working
The HSA has provided us with the following FAQ’s for Employers and Employees in relation to Home-Working on a temporary basis (COVID-19). You can access them HERE
People remote working can claim tax relief for lighting, heat and broadband. Find out more HERE