The outbreak of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) has many employers evaluating their capabilities to allow staff to work from home. Considering this current pandemic, it’s important that your organization is prepared to provide productive work spaces outside of the office.
Below are a few tips to create a productive remote work environment for your staff:
1. Use cloud-based collaboration tools to work on and share data.
There are many services that can allow you to keep your workflow going without being physically present in the office. These communication and collaboration tools allow conferencing, file sharing, instant messaging, and many other features. Some options are:
2. Have good remote access tools for employees.
Make sure your staff knows how to access these tools from home and that they are aware of your organization’s acceptable-use policies for remote work. Some options are:3. Have strong security tools in place.
When working remotely, don’t forget to keep up your general security practices. No matter where you work, you still need good security tools to keep your devices and data safe. Some of these tools include:
- Spam Filtering
- Data Backups
- Multi-Factor Authentication
- Email Encryption
- Mobile Device Management
4. Make sure you have the proper number of licenses.
It is critical that you have enough software licenses for all staff to work remote, including for your Microsoft Office 365 and your SSL VPN.
Depending on your environment, there could be significant limitations as to the number of users or functionality that you have when working remotely. For example, if you currently are using a Terminal Server to have remote desktop sessions, there are physical hardware limitations that may limit the number of concurrent users. Call DPS to discuss your specific situation.5. Always maintain physical control of your devices.
When working remote, it’s important to keep tabs on where your devices are so they don’t fall into the wrong hands. When not in use, be sure to lock your devices and have a password or other form of authentication required for access.6. Be on the look-out for an increase in cyber-threats, such as social engineering & phishing attacks.
Phishing and social engineering efforts feed on the public’s anxiety and emotions. We anticipate cyber-criminals taking advantage of this pandemic, so be extra careful about unsolicited information that comes to your email from unknown sources offering information on Coronavirus:
- Know what red flags to look out for (see our Social Engineering Red Flags cheat sheet)
- Follow best practices for email security (see our Email Security Best Practices cheat sheet)
- Always maintain a level of skepticism and vigilance about communications you receive and be extra vigilant about clicking on any links or attachments.
- For facts about coronavirus, utilize known public resources such as cdc.gov and https://www.who.int/.
Make sure ALL employees have access to a business laptop, tablet or home PC that have the proper security protocols installed.
8. Update important vendor documentation.
Ensure that you have proper documentation including contact details and contract information for your partners and vendors who may also be impacted.9. Set up call forwarding or use a SoftPhone system.
Ensure that you can have calls forwarded to mobile or home phones. If needed, use a SoftPhone system, a software program that allows you to make telephone calls over the Internet using a computer. Some options are:
10. Make sure your employee’s contact information is up-to-date and set up a call tree.
You want to ensure that you can quickly communicate important news and updates with all employees 24x7. Take a moment to make sure you have updated contact information for all staff, including mobile phones, home phones and personal email addresses. Establish a call tree, which is a hierarchical communication model used to notify staff of an event or situation (See: Phone Tree Templates and Overview)
You may also want to consider a text message alert system. Some options are:
What is DP Solutions doing?
The tools that DP Solutions uses give us the flexibility to work and support our clients around-the-clock, even if we can’t come into the office.
In accordance with the CDC and WHO recommendations to mitigate exposure and outbreak risks within our company, we are asking staff to stay home if they are not well. This may impact scheduled onsite client visits; if one of our team members is sick, we will not be deploying them to client sites. This is done out of an abundance of caution for the well-being of our staff and clients.
While the way we work may change, rest assured that DP Solutions has policies and procedures in place to support a remote work environment and will continue to be available to support the needs of our clients in these times of uncertainty.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us for assistance: