Tips to create efficiency for staff working from home
- Meet with your management team to determine what functions are critical for your business to continue to operate. Also discuss what applications, such as any line of business software (LOB), email, file access, etc. your team will need to do their jobs remotely.
- Determine which staff members can work from home, as not everyone has reliable hi-speed internet access, or an environment suited for working at home.
- Ensure employees have a company computer that can be taken home with them that is set up with the latest version of their operating system, security software and applications. Ensure they have a business grade VPN set up. DO NOT use standard Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) access as there are many known exploits. Also, take the time to teach your employees how to use the VPN securely, or if you prefer, we can train your employees for you.
- Set company guidelines for remote employees, including proper use of company assets and security rules.
- Set strict requirements for expectations. If you are not sure if you can trust your employees to adhere to the rules, there is software available to ensure staff are working when they say they are. We can assist you with finding one that meets your needs.
- Choose a video conferencing platform for both team meetings and client meetings. There are many options available, some of which may be already included with software you are already paying for. We are happy to help find the right solution for you.
- Create a communications plan to involve remote employees in the daily activities of the company. This could be something like an all-hands daily web conference, a phone conference, using Microsoft Teams, Slack, or it could be software that keeps your voice connected all day with one click of a button. We are happy to walk you through the different options.
It is also good to adopt a policy of transparency with your staff and communicate frequently.
- Develop and implement a security policy that applies to all remote employees, including actions such as:
- Ensure employees have a strong password for their workstation and all software they are using. A strong password is 8+ characters long (we recommend 10+) and uses a minimum of 3 out of the 4 characters (uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols). Also, employees should always use a different password for every software application, website login, computer, etc.
- Locking computers when they are not being used. You can go into settings and make them auto lock when not in use after 10-15 minutes which is what we recommend.
- Ensure the network employees are working from is password protected and not using the default password. Example: If Comcast provided the modem/router and it is set with its default password, change the password, making sure the new password meets the strong password requirements.
Please contact Interpreting Technology to learn more about security requirements specific to your business and your compliance requirements.
- Instruct your staff on emerging threats tied to the COVID-19 coronavirus, including new phishing attacks, scams and attempts to steal VPN credentials. Please like us on Facebook to get information on current scams and phishing, as well as fiber outages and more that may affect your business. When in doubt please call us!
- Implement two-factor authentication using smart cards or security keys, especially for Office 365 and your LOB software.
- Check on your staff, daily if possible, to confirm that they are comfortable with working remotely. Find and fix any problems they’re having to ensure they can be as efficient as possible.
Interpreting Technology is open 8:30am – 5:30pm Monday – Friday to assist you and your staff with your IT needs. Additionally, we have emergency after hours service available during evenings and weekends!
- Make sure each staff member has reliable voice communications, even if that means adding a business-quality voice over IP service. There are many VOIP solutions available that we can refer you to, just ask!
You will need to modify and expand this list to match the specific needs of your company and the conditions affecting your organization. However, these points should be enough to get you started and to help you think of questions you may have for us.
When in doubt please feel free to call us! We are always here to help and want to help ensure the IT health of the business community stays safe as well.
Interpreting Technology has limited office hours during the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. Please contact us to schedule a visit Monday – Friday from 9am to 4pm. Check us out online at Interpretingtech.com.\ or call us at (360) 419-5555.
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