Reminders for Enabling Employees to Work From Home to Combat COVID-19

With more cases of COVID-19 (the coronavirus) coming to light, many employers have taken the precaution of transitioning and encouraging employees to work from home or remotely. Business operations are not unfamiliar with telecommuting or remote employees. However, with more employees falling into this category than before, network security and capacity are quickly becoming a concern.

In anticipation of the influx of remote employees, businesses and organizations of all sizes have been holding “Remote Test Days.” During these test days, segments of employees are asked to work from home in order to help IT departments address any issues to get up and running, and connected to the corporate network. Many businesses are now expediting preparations as state and local governments advise more and more for people to exercise social distancing sooner rather than later. To prepare, IT departments along with key leadership members need to determine and outline business-critical applications and functions that will need to be accessed outside of the office. For example, teams who generally use phones for a majority of their duties will need an alternative digital or “soft” phone option to continue their daily tasks. Video conferencing may increase productivity while teams are separated, and ensuring that each employee has the access they need to this service will help maintain productivity.

IT teams will also be tasked with hardware and software compatibility tests. Many employees have hardware and software preferences that extend beyond laptops into mobile devices. iOS, Windows, Android, and other software or hardware combinations need to be tested for compatibility and all necessary upgrades, adapters or bridges prior to employees leaving the office for extended periods of time.

There are several ways that IT teams can make sure employees, who may be unfamiliar with network security protocols for remote access, can take precautions to ensure they are securely connecting to the corporate network

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