Everything You Need To Manage And Support Your Remote Staff

Just because your staff is stuck at home, that doesn’t mean your business has to be put on hold. With the right IT and best practices in place, you can keep your staff working and productive.

Since the close of 2019, coronavirus has been spreading around the world. The situation developed into a true crisis in March, with the spread of the virus continuing to the point that Most states have issued shelter-in-place orders so as to prevent further spread. and Social distancing plays an important role in slowing the spread of the virus, given how easily it’s transferred from one person to another.

However, while social distancing is important for community, national, and global health, it puts business owners in a difficult position. As you’ve undoubtedly come to find over the past couple of weeks, managing a remote staff isn’t easy if you don’t have the right technologies in place.

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Verifying Your Remote Work Capabilities

  • Connectivity: As you can’t realistically lay cable to connect your employees’ homes all the way to your office servers, they will need a viable Internet connection to access business data and applications.This really only becomes an issue if your staff members are located in rural or remote areas that still lack a strong Internet option. If that’s the case, then you’re urged to consider investing in mobile hotspots, or reimburse staff for the increased cost of relying on their personal cellular data connection.
  • Home Devices: Your employees require the right technology in their homes in order to continue working like they normally would in the office. In this day and age, you could assume that your employees all have laptops or desktops at home, but that may not be the case. You’d be surprised how many people rely on a smartphone or tablet for all their personal computing needs.
  • Necessary Storage Space: Are you sure you have enough cloud storage and email storage space for your entire staff? They won’t be able to save files locally to their work computers anymore, which means your storage needs will go up.
  • Access Rights: Have you determined where there are any files that should not be accessed by staff remotely? If you operate in a regulated industry like healthcare or finance, you may want to section off certain sensitive data.
  • Continuity Of Roles: While most jobs can be done from home, you should take a moment to consider what jobs specifically can be managed while outside of the office.
  • Licensing: Have you invested in the necessary number of licenses for all of your staff members to work remotely? Some cloud platforms and applications will have a limit, which may not have mattered in the office, but could slow your business down in a fully-remote model.
  • Video Meetings: You’ll want to invest in a way for your staff to meet, both together, and with clients. While an audio-only conference call can suffice, many prefer to use video meeting software like Microsoft Teams. This allows for a more personal and connected experience in meetings.
  • Cloud-Based Phones: If you and your team are used to communicating over the phone at the office, you’ll likely want to maintain that standard as you switch to a work-from-home model. Ideally, you won’t be asking your staff to use their personal phones for work – it can be tedious to circulate everyone’s personal numbers, verify that they have client contact info, and calculate how you’ll reimburse their personal phone bills.  That’s why you should look into cloud-hosted phone systems, which can maintain your business numbers and lines, and route incoming and outgoing calls through the cloud to your staff’s devices at home.

Don’t panic if you’re not sure how to address these concerns – you’re not on your own. The Alliance Technology Partners team is available to assist businesses like yours in planning and launching and optimizing remote work capabilities.

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