With the increase in numbers of people self-isolating due to the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis, there has been an increase for businesses in getting their staff working from home.
In just a few weeks, working from home has moved from a luxury to a new way of life for many employees. Although we understand that the crisis brings many concerns in terms of health and the wellbeing of staff, businesses are also struggling with how to maintain their operations in the face of this unprecedented event. With many companies closing their offices for now and asking staff to work from home as much as possible, businesses are asking for practical advice on how to achieve this. This guide will hopefully address some of those questions.
One of the key elements to home working is have a good reliable Internet connection. So making sure staff have adequate broadband facility to enable them to do their job from home is essential. This can be achieved by using Fibre Broadband or 4G. However, you need to first examine what you need the connection for.
You could have one or more of these needs in order to allow the homeworker to be productive and it would mean the more services the greater the bandwidth needed. A solution could be, deploying 4G and getting staff to exclusively use that for connecting their computer to the Internet and therefore not sharing bandwidth with the rest of the household. This can be costly if unmanaged, however the solution would be to invest in a Unlimited Data Plan with the mobile provider. As an alternative and if your employee isn’t on Fibre Broadband is to ask them to Upgrade to Fibre and make a one-off juster to cover the cost in doing so.
Hardware technology has changed over the years, from big box computers that sit under your desk to single board computers that sit in the palm of your hands.
Businesses have a couple of options here in terms of what they do for staff working from home.
In either case, security is paramount and having an IT support solution in place would overcome many of the legal issues in resolving this. However, if you felt that option 2 was a faster and more cost efficient way forward, a monthly small business support plan could be used to cover them and provide all the technical support needed.
The software needed to enable users to work from home varies on your business sector and model. However, most office staff who are being asked to work from home need the “Essentials”. This is office applications, email, and accounting software. As with all of these guides cost has to be a consideration, here are some suggestions:
There are alternatives to those suggested here like OpenOffice as your office application suite, GMail for your emailing system and Sage Cloud for your accounting. However, our suggestions are the solutions that most small businesses could deploy quickly and efficiently and switch on or off as the need arises, also in terms of manageability.
Many, many businesses feel that hard copy is the only resolution to getting information in front of their customers. This is not the case, you should use more cost effective methods in getting contracts, flyers and information in front of your customers. Here are just a few tips.
If you have no choice but to print an item because of the nature of your work, then you may need to have VPN access back to your office so that you can do this securly.
Meetings are important to all aspects of your business life, now more than ever. All of the personal contact you might have once engaged and even enjoyed has now stopped. From customers to suppliers and from staff meetings to training, you are asked to use alternative methods. Here are some solutions that you can employ to help you with this task.
Even though these are difficult times and we want to be able to keep moving forward, we must not become relaxed in our efforts in compliance and Data Security. As such we need to make sure that our businesses are protected from Legal Complications and Data Breaches. Here are some simple guidelines.
The security landscape isn’t changing because of the coronavirus, it is actually getting worse with Phishing attacks on the increase, so If in doubt, employ an IT team to manage your IT systems and resources and training.
Please read our advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and staff who need to self-isolate, https://www.rlscomputers.co.uk/news/?p=668. If you want to setup facilities for your staff to work from home, please give us a call on 01553 776937 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please follow the Government Guidelines on social distancing and Stay at Home during this crisis.