The Stampede to Remote Working

In the UK, we as businesses have pretty much paid lip service to remote working, mainly focussed around our inability to access our workplaces due to poor weather conditions at this time of year, when we would perhaps rather be sledging.

With so much uncertainty around our immediate future and the impact that Covid-19 will have upon us all in both our personal and professional lives, we have seen a stampede over the past weeks for clients focusing on remote working who are keen to get this setup across entire workforces.

Each company’s technology estate is unique and how we access our data from a home location, often using personally owned equipment can present its challenges.

What do you need to do?

First and foremost, the health and security state of the home machines should be identified. Are the machines updated and under support from the manufacturer; for example, if there are issues connecting in, it might be a limitation of the user’s equipment. Testing remote access and productivity sooner, rather than later, is key so that time is not wasted when you need it most.

Depending on how your infrastructure and data is configured will determine the best methods of connectivity and ways of working.  Though perhaps after this initial reactive period a review of this may be appropriate.

Next up is the home environment! Do the users have a sensible and quiet place to work, away from extremes? How is the user’s own broadband connectivity? Is it reliable?

Communication in the virtual workplace

If you have these bases covered and staff can work effectively, how do they interact with each other?

We use ZOOM for meetings – this allows us to ‘meet’ online face to face so that we can have the human level of contact with our colleagues even when we are away from them.

We use Slack for instant messaging, its faster and quicker than email and allows us to organise ourselves into work ‘threads’ and maintain a dialogue about projects and initiatives much like when we’re in the office.

What about your Cyber Security?

Just because the world is suffering from a pandemic, doesn’t mean that all the potential cybercrimes that threaten us daily don’t exist.

For this we have 2 recommendations:

  1. A secure VPN tunnel for your staff to work ‘behind your firewall’ such as SSL VPN, effectively extending the office perimeter and protection to each worker’s home or remote location.
  2. Turn your staff into your greatest line of defence. This scenario presents an excellent opportunity to provide your staff the time and ability to take bite-size cyber security training. We recommend and are able to supply Cybsafe.
We have the luxury of working out of several offices and collaborating virtually on a regular basis, and of course technology solutions come easy to us, but we believe that there is an appropriate solution for every company out there.

If you need to discuss means to work remotely, and effectively, call CETSAT now.