IT Support is Critical for a Successful Remote Workplace
Many companies are transitioning to a “work from home” workplace. This shift presents several challenges for employees and their employers (Coronavirus will transform UK work and travel, says AA). Ensuring that all employees working from home have access to the resources and IT support they need is absolutely critical. Poor planning can result in a drop productivity and morale, which may negatively impact your business.
Thankfully, there are some best practices and solutions to help ensure your company gets it right. A remote workplace starts with providing the best IT support for remote workers.
Key Challenges & Considerations
Ensuring employees have access to a computer or laptop, equipment, devices, programs and other tools they need to do their job is essential. Will employees be required to use any personal equipment, such as phones, screens or computers? How will you ensure that each person has a workstation that is safe, functional and secure?
With the physical distribution of a team comes the spreading out of company data and information. Employees will use their home internet connections, and perhaps even some of their own equipment too. Personal computers or other devices are more susceptible to malware and may even already be compromised. Other family members or roommates will have access to the same internet connection.
IT Support & Troubleshooting
Many businesses lack a dedicated IT department. It is important to consider properly what will realistically work for you once more people are at home, potentially dealing with new systems and new issues. Providing quality and timely IT support for remote workers is a must for any remote workplace.
Email alone may not sufficient for a remote team. What other platforms and modes of communication will work for your teams?
IT Procedures, Policies, & Training
You may need to revise and develop IT procedures and policies. It is important to plan how you will review and implement any new changes as well as best practices for communicating and training staff accordingly. It is recomended that you consult with an IT specialist for an audit of your IT procedures.
Solutions & Best Practices for a Remote Workplace
Use a Range of Communication Technologies
When you remove the possibility for face to face interaction, diverse modes of communication become crucial, as well as guidelines on how to use each one. Be clear on what platforms should be used in which situations, how frequently, and during what hours.
Keep complex or delicate conversations to video conferencing, and use instant chat options for time-sensitive and quick communication that doesn’t require lengthy detail or formality.
As a best practice, incorporate a platform that allows for asynchronous communication, so that your workers can catch up on less urgent information when they have time for it, without missing the opportunity to contribute or collaborate.
Many workplaces already have some of these platforms in place, but if not, they are inexpensive to set up. Consult with OneTouchServices to check the suitability and security of any platform you may be considering.
Make sure to provide employees with up-to-date guidelines for use of these technologies. While productivity reportedly increases for many people working from home, overuse or misuse of communication technologies can become more of a hindrance than a help. Some people will struggle with feelings of loneliness and isolation with the abrupt move to remote working, so provide structured opportunities for social engagement.
Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
When installed on a device, a VPN client can connect to a remote data center that provides a private, secure connection.
A good VPN client also has strong encryption capabilities, protecting your files and data from anyone without authorized access to the network. You will want to use a VPN client with industry standard SSL encryption (Secure Socket Layer) to ensure any data exchanged through your system is safe and secure.
Conduct Training Sessions
Make sure each employee understands the new risks and why they need to follow remote security protocols. Even if you already have strict IT security measures in place, provide refresher training. Take the opportunity to make sure employees are using secure passwords to protect their devices, including password protecting screen timeouts.
Security is one of the major reasons organizations have been hesitant to allow staff to work from home, but with proper planning and best practice IT solutions, the security risks can be minimized.
OneTouchServices Remote IT Support
IT Support for Remote Workers
With OneTouchServices Remote IT Support, you gain access to a team of IT and tech experts who can safely and securely employ aid and assist, completely remotely. It’s far more efficient than using one single in-house technician who’s stretched to their limits under the increased demand of an entire staff working from home, and it’s the perfect solution for remote teams. It’s fast, convenient, safe, and cost effective.