Remote Working Guidance

7th April 2020
Robert Best

We are currently in an uncertain time with change coming at an unprecedented rate. Among the many issues, businesses have had to deal with over the past two weeks we have seen a rush to implement mass remote working as companies follow Government advice.

Being effective and productive away from the office is about more than simply having a smartphone and a laptop. It’s about having access to the right tools, information and contacts.

To help those who are new to remote working or have never done it on this scale we have put together a collection of home working tips, both technical and practical.

Useful links for businesses:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

https://www.who.int/

General remote working tips:

Video meetings not conference calls – 2 minutes on a video call can save time and significantly more brain space than back and forth over email or messengers. Video is also better for complex or contentious discussions. Video is a more natural interaction and will help with staying connected with your employees.

Have a clean and tidy workspace – Having a space to work in is crucial for your state of mind, and not just in terms of getting into the working mindset but it will also help you to switch off when the working day is over.

Keep in contact – It’s important to avoid becoming isolated and don’t let team members become isolated. Keep the company culture intact by staying in contact with all staff.

Use a shared platform – Using an application such as Slack or Microsoft Teams will give all members of your business a central place to connect. These applications will help bring your team together and act as a hub for business activity and keep productivity up.

Use one-on-one check-ins – Don’t cancel your one-on-ones just because they can’t be held in person. Even a two-minute chat, video call, or text message chain can make employees feel more connected

Get feedback – Ask your staff for feedback on remote working. If this is the first time your business is remote working you will likely have niggles and issues to solve. Even those used to remote working can still find ways to improve the experience.

Technology tips for remote working:

Basic technology tips

  • In the rush to implement remote working don’t forget to consider the IT security implications
  • Make sure everyone has all the right equipment they need and staff know how to use any collaboration tools
  • Tell people how to contact your IT support people
  • Make sure you have a reliable VPN solution and it is scaled correctly to meet your needs
  • Have multi-factor authentication put in place
  • Make sure you continue to regularly update your software and devices

Key technology considerations for you:

Split your technology into these 4 sections and consider what you already have in place for each and what extra you may need to do.

  • Systems: Can key staff access key systems remotely if they are not in the office?
  • Connectivity and Remote Access: Do you have enough internet bandwidth for key staff to connect into your systems from the internet?
  • Devices: Do all key staff have a secure device that they can work from at home and has this been set up and tested in advance?
  • Telephony: Can you connect to your telephone system from outside the office and still divert and receive calls, should the need arise? If you are using our VoIP service, you will already have this in place

For further information you may find these two resources helpful:

https://www.infotech.co.uk/blog/how-to-prepare-your-business-for-covid-19

https://www.infotech.co.uk/blog/how-to-keep-your-business-working-during-a-pandemic-checklist

Help for getting you started:

Thanks to our partnerships, we can supply these two offers for Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce members.

Free access to Microsoft Teams for 6 months.

One month’s free access to a remote working tool that will allow you to access your work computer from home.

If you would like to talk to us free of charge about any issue your business is experiencing as a result of the outbreak please feel free to contact us on hello@infotech.co.uk and we will help in any way we can.

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