IT Response To COVID-19

March 12, 2020

As the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation intensifies, it’s important for employers to 1. Understand the risks, 2. Act swiftly, and 3. Ensure your business remains secure and productive during this event. The first and foremost priority has to be containing the spread of the virus. However, sencondarily, your business must remain productive and secure in the process. That may mean that you have to become comfortable managing a remote workforce. There are 4 main cornerstones to managing your remote workforce:

Access

Ensure your employees have correct access to the tools they need in order to stay productive throughout this turbulent time:

  • Microsoft Teams or Slack

    • Make sure all of you employees have access to a collaboration tool and they know how to use them. These tools can be extremely useful in work from home situations like this.
  • SharePoint or other business critical file repositories

    • If your employees are working from home, it’s crucial they have access to business critical file repositories. There are some information security considerations here, as well. We will cover that later in the article.
  • Meeting Software

    • Your employees should also have access and be trained on virtual meeting software like Zoom, GoToMeeting or TeamViewer.

Security

While working from home, your employees will obviously be on many other various networks and work settings. This can get tricky from a security standpoint. You want to ensure that they:

  • Always use trusted Wi-Fi to ensure data security and remember that public Wi-Fi is vulnerable
  • Consider encrypting your laptop, or advise your IT department to do so
  • Keep track of all your devices and take all measures to avoid loss or theft
  • Create strong passwords and memorize them
  • Use a password manager
  • Be wary of USB sticks as they are potential sources of malware
  • Use their VPN when accessing company drives or repositories
  • Ensure your antivirus software is up-to-date.

Control

It is important to build in controls when your employees are working from home. This will allow them to stay accountable to the goals of the organization. For example:

  • Communication is key. As we mentioned previously, tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack and online meeting tools can help increase communication when managing a remote workforce. Ensure you are scheduling frequent meetings to keep employees focused and on track.
  • Track progress. Just because your employees are working from home doesn’t mean they should be any less productive. Ensure there are controls and mechanisms in place to track progress and hold your employees accountable to it.
  • Implement a time tracking tool like Toggl or Clockify. A time tracking tool will ensure your employees are staying productive throughout the day.
  • Modify your monitoring or alerting to monitor for exceptions and potential risks.

User Experience

For remote work to function properly,

  • Encourage IT to identify and resolve issues ASAP to keep employees productive.
  • Ensure employees have access to everything they do at the office, at home.
  • Recognize and praise good work.
  • Encourage employees to use statuses within Microsoft Teams such as, busy, away, out of office, etc.

If you need help implementing any of these recommendations, please contact us.

CONTACT US