Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many companies have are providing work from home solutions to facilitate social-distancing as well as keeping their workforce safe, healthy, and productive.

As simple as it may seem, this is not limited to just firing up personal laptops and getting back to work.

Below are the 7 most effective ways to ensure the safety of your business while employees are working from home.

1. Secure Remote Access

Employees shouldn’t have open access to everything on their work systems from their personal (home) computers. Instituting hard limits keeps your company’s data protected. However, to be productive through this pandemic, employers have to provide a secure connection by utilizing remote access software or a virtual network (VPN). These solutions will visually mirror their employee’s work desktop without housing all of the data on the individual’s (unprotected) personal system, enabling them to efficiently work.

2. File Sharing Capabilities

While people continue to work in isolation, they must still have the means with which to collaborate. Implementing procedures for file sharing/group editing software are critical to moving forward through real-time editing, versioning, and commenting,. Resources such as Dropbox, Microsoft Teams/Sharepoint or Google Documents can satisfy this need in a manner that is secure, functional, and efficient.

3. Enterprise-Level Antivirus

The protection provided by basic home-level antivirus is insufficient, particularly in secured industries. Now is the time to extend your enterprise-level antivirus to home systems that will be accessing your network and create an additional layer of protection. You should also consider deploying firewalls on top of an individual’s home networks. This will create the same secure connection that employees experience in your office.

4. Video Conferencing

It’s inevitable – meetings must go on while employees are working remotely. However, voice-only communication leaves much to be desired in terms of both context, tone, and delivery. We strongly recommend implementing and standardizing video conferencing options. You can implement something basic such as Google Duo/FaceTime, or more feature intensive applications, like Zoom or GoTo Meeting.

5. Messaging Software

Swiveling your chair around to talk to your co-worker when working remote is no longer an option. But as we all know, it’s not efficient or time-conscious to be constantly picking up the phone. We recommend installing a messaging platform like Microsoft Teams or Slack to keep open communication channels that allow employees to interact quickly and accurately. By utilizing these tools, you can set up one-on-one conversations or set up channels for instant team communication.

6. Phone

A robust voice over IP (VoIP) solution allows employees to have their work phone calls forwarded to their cellphones without having to give out their cellphone numbers. Office calls can transfer seamlessly to the employee’s cellphones. For additional ease of mind, voice mails will be sent via email, and the employee can dial-out using an application to maintain office functionality.

7. Remote Access Policy

A clear access policy that acknowledges that your company monitors whatever they do while connected should be implemented prior to its use. Additionally, employees should be encouraged to act as if they are on-site even while working remotely. Furthermore, they should be reminded that the punishment for doing something illegal/against company policy still applies.

The COVID-19 work from home guidelines are still ever-changing. For assistance implementing these things, contact us.