It’s 2020 and COVID-19 has affected the whole globe. It came on strong and fast, and left so many feeling unprepared. City by city, the virus’ quarantine has changed people’s lives drastically, with schools, daycares, businesses and offices shutting down. One of the biggest questions that everyone has now is: How do we continue to work?
If you have the ability to continue to work from your household, consider it an advantage. The truth about working from home is that it is entirely doable, and with the whole nation having to adjust, you are not alone in any frustrations you may be experiencing. An essential part of this whole process is to create a routine that you can efficiently stick to in order to accomplish all that you need with minimal downtime and interruptions, and we’ve created a checklist to help with just that…
First things first, take a breath. It all may feel overwhelming, but once you break down your tasks, your work will become much more manageable. Let’s review the technical aspects of work-from-home life so that you feel confident that your team has everything they need…
Fresh Start to the Day
1) Surely you’ve heard this one by now: Wake up and get ready as though it’s another day at the office. Set a standard for the rest of your team to do the same. We are creatures of habit; a change in our routine startles our system. It may seem luxurious to work from bed in our PJs (and sometimes is) but ultimately our brains will not understand that we’re trying to work and will have to fight much harder to accomplish tasks that we’re usually used to. Get dressed, eat or drink something, and get motivated for the day. An easy way to tackle this new ‘normal’ is to write (or type) your step-by-step schedule. What are immediate next steps? Regular weekly tasks? Future goals? Making a list that you can edit and add to each day will create a clear, focused environment so that each morning you know exactly what to do and can jump right into productivity while handing out tasks to employees.
2) Carefully examine your IT infrastructure. Is it set up properly to support the amount of remote work that is needed for your organization? Have you considered the needs of each individual employee? Remember that not all situations are identical; you will need to confirm that everyone has access to the right resources so that nothing keeps them from their work. For example, if you have all in-house servers which contain all of your data and software; how are you providing safe access to your employees? If you leverage cloud services such as G-Suite, Dropbox, Microsoft Azure, etc… working from home will be simpler, however you need to make sure your employees are using these services safely. Perhaps you fall somewhere in-between by using a hybrid environment (local and cloud services) this may be a good time to analyze if some of your services could be migrated to the cloud for more centralized access.
3) Utilize an efficient communications tool. It may be difficult for employees to find motivation when alone or surrounded by distractions, but continuing to meet with as usual will help everyone stay focused. There are tons of video-chat resources like Zoom or Google Hangouts/Meet so that you can message or call each other as if you were back in the office. Consistently communicating with your team or setting up a weekly meeting time is an easy way to avoid losing touch. That being said, if your main form of communication has been something more traditional, you may want to look into these more updated solutions for greater flexibility.
Secure Connections (VPN)
4) Last here, but certainly not least, you must ensure that your employees all have maximum data privacy. This is crucial, as hackers still have everything they need to prey on companies’ vulnerabilities, especially at a time such as this. Secure connections with a VPN, encrypt data between the user and the company systems, continue to apply system updates/patches, and limit employee system access when possible. In addition, remember to communicate to your employees the importance of staying hyper aware of attacks such as phishing, which threat actors are using COVID-19 to make these attacks seem very urgent and real. Remind them to be cautious in general, especially with sensitive data.
Again, don’t let any of the above stress you out more than you already are. If you feel as though you have any uncovered ground, or if you know you need a trusted team to set you up and ensure that everything is running as smoothly and safely as possible, Prestige IT is here to help. Our experienced staff has been assisting organizations with these exact types of transitions for years, and are passionate about seeing businesses succeed in any situation, no matter how difficult it may feel in the moment. We believe it is possible for you to move forward without any disruptions holding you back, and want to offer the help or advice that you need to feel empowered in your position.
If you would like to chat with a member of Prestige IT, get in touch with us and we’ll set up a time to connect.