Working Remotely: What Employers Should Know
If the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing your employees to work remotely, your company must take steps now to prepare.
The first thing you should do is survey your workers to see if they have home computers and wifi—don’t forget to ask about bandwidth levels, which are important if you want to do video conferencing.
Your HR and IT departments should work together to determine the technology needs and availability for remote workers, always keeping cybersecurity in mind, according to the Society of Human Resource Management.
Security risks can be mitigated through the use of virtual privacy networks, which connect business networks securely over the internet and allow a business network to be accessed remotely.
IT will have to install VPN software on employees’ home PCs or laptops.
IT should also implement a multi-factor authentication for sign-on—something in addition to a username and password, such as a numeric code sent to an employee’s phone.
Consider having IT create instructions for accessing work materials and video conferencing, if applicable.
Among the video conferencing platforms to consider are Zoom, Google Hangouts, Cisco WebEx, BlueJeans, or GoToMeeting.
One of the best things about video conferencing, according to Forbes, is that it keeps dispersed teams connected and aligned, which is important when much of your staff is working from home.
There are several platforms for sharing files, documents, spreadsheets, and PowerPoints including Google Suite, Dropbox, Box, or Microsoft OneDrive.
All these platforms are safer than sharing files by email.
HR should recognize that having so many people working remotely will put additional stress on your IT team.
Finally, one of the biggest challenges for remote workers is feeling disconnected from their coworkers.
That’s where video conferencing and chat rooms become a great place to communicate, share ideas, and keep your staff connected.
Google Chat, Slack, and Microsoft Teams are effective chat room platforms.
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