With the current outbreak of the COVID-19, it’s becoming important to allow the team to be able to work safely from remote locations. Current advice is to self isolate if you have been in contact with someone infected, this creates a lot of challenges for the workplaces that have not yet adopted policies around remote working.
While not applicable in every scenario, we can be looking at the ways to enable the remote working, and our teams to continue to operate as much as possible using the readily available technologies. As long as you have stable internet connectivity there is little stopping you from enabling your workforce.
Like it or not it’s the primary source of the communication in the businesses and is used by everyone to communicate. If you are using a cloud-hosted solution from Microsoft (Office365) or Google (G Suite) you already can allow your users to connect to their email from any location. What’s more important it’s not just the emails your users get access, but all around platform including access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and others allowing you to edit and view your files easily without a need of local installation of any software. If your email is a more traditional hosted solution, you will have to work with your technical team to enable remote access to the emails. It might not have an as nice and polish web-based experience as Office365 or G Suite, but you can allow your team access to key information.
While a lot of work is done using email, there is always going to be a requirement to create or edit the files. This creates for sure the biggest challenge to any business due to legislation like GDPR and others requiring you to maintain secure access to the data. If you use Office365 or G Suite you have access to secure file sharing platform allowing you to give your user access to the files. However, if you store your files locally on the servers, you will have to make sure you enable secure access to your network using VPN, this will allow your users to take their devices home and connect to the office in a secure way allowing them to continue to access any internal data securely. Most of the firewalls will have this functionality and it’s a case of configuration and enabling it.
Audio and Video communication
While e-mails are great, nothing replaces hearing or seeing the other person. If you are using Office365 you can use Microsoft Teams, that has the functionality of Audio, Video and Instant Communication. Even more, you can enable the traditional phone line service on the Microsoft Teams allowing you to answer the calls from your device. Google has their products to support it as well. For phone, conference or video there are standalone products on the market like Zoom.us, Slack and others. What’s great about the Virtual Phone systems is that you can change the configuration on the fly, and you don’t require the person to by in one physical location where the desk phone is located, they can answer it from any location on almost any device. Most importantly it’s possible to almost instantly enable a platform like that so even if your phone system isn’t ready for remote workers, you can set up the new one and just forward your calls from the old to the new one to help your team.
If you are concerned about how your business is going to be able to operate when your employees will be unable to get to the office, feel free to reach out for a free consultation of how Deployflow could help you.