Before the Covid-19 outbreak, a Citrix poll reported that 62% of employees said they could work remotely in 2019. Today, those numbers are increasing significantly as large numbers of businesses are now operating from home offices across the world.
After the outbreak, big tech companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter and Amazon were some of the first to make work-from-home policies mandatory. Now, during this period of social distancing, businesses can use this time as an opportunity to ensure their remote work infrastructure is up to par.
Does your workforce have the most productive and safe remote practices in place? Let’s consider some questions you’ll need to answer.
Is Your Workforce Using Appropriate Telecommunication and Remote Access Solutions?
Now more than ever, it’s important for companies to take necessary steps for workers to remain productive as they switch to remote work.
Make sure to have the right communication tools for constantly staying in touch. Instant messaging like Slack and teleconferencing software like Zoom helps everyone stay in touch. Use these frequently and keep everyone active, connected and working towards a common goal. Some companies have even hosted virtual happy hours to keep morale up.
Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft 365 and other cloud platforms allow everyone to work on files and projects in one location. Collaborative roles like editors and writers can create content from one document, while managerial roles can review daily work.
While communicating is vital for business productivity, a fast internet connection and phone line isn’t enough. Remote access solutions such as SSL-VPN, RDS Servers and VoIP phone systems provide an additional layer of productivity. Consult with your IT team if you aren’t using these tools already.
Is Your Workforce Looking Out for Cyber Threats?
Whenever working remotely, it’s always important to use due caution and diligence to avoid cyber attacks. Making sure your workers are on the lookout for phishing attacks is especially vital when working remotely. Educate them how to identify phishing schemes and social engineering.
Verizon reported last year that malicious malware breaches occur in the majority of cases through email attachments, which are downloaded to the user’s machine where it gains more foothold. Always be wary of emails you receive from unknown sender, and never open questionable attachments or click suspicious links.
Even more recently, cybercriminals are leveraging current news topics on coronavirus in new rounds of phishing attacks. One of these new schemes, originating from Russian forums, involves using an interactive dashboard from Johns Hopkins University to spread password-stealing malware. Like many cybercrimes, this tactic uses high-interest news topics to spread extract information from unsuspecting people.
General rule of thumb: Always err on the side of caution. If you’re not sure about an email, contact your IT team first.
Is Your Workforce Prepared for The Long Term?
As work-from-policies likely become more common in the near future, it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead now. Eventually, someone on the team is going to have a reason why they can’t commute to the office. Life happens and unexpected occurrences — a blizzard or a vehicle breakdown — will prevent someone from traveling a day or more.
Use this time to shift your company’s culture and adapt to the possibilities that companies might work for extended periods of time in a virtual workspace.