5 Tips to Enable a Remote Workforce

The world is in uncharted water when it comes to the COVID-19 outbreak. Despite international efforts to contain the virus, the World Health Organization has declared the Coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern that has resulted in major disruption to daily life.

Here in the US, we’ve seen a mass movement with companies big and small mandating their employees to work from home and practice social distancing. In our new reality, it’s essential to arm your employees with key tips and tricks to work from home. We went to our MSP partners and collected some of their tips on working from home and want to share them with members of the channel community. Read on to master our 4 tips to safely and securely work from home.

#1 – Security

As teams across the country start working from home, it’s extremely important to keep security at the top of mind. Even in times of crisis, bad actors continue their assault on our data. We’ve even seen an increase of cybercrime on our government during this time. Here’s where you can take action today:

  • Mandate that your employees use multi-factor authentication for their work devices.
  • Ensure all employees are using work approved devices with the latest anti-virus software.

Outline clear device backup processes for your employees – it is in fact the last line of cyber security defense.

#2 – Access to Essential Data

File sync and share solutions are not new, but in times like these they are essential to having a highly productive remote workforce. Topline, we recommend that you have all your files kept in one place that is regularly backed up. Contact your partner MSP for solutions on this front or inquire about more seats if needed.

#3 – Home Office Setup

In 2020, most office employees are working off of laptop devices, but in the SMB space we see a lot of companies sticking with the classic desktop setup. Give your employees the necessary technology to work from home. This may require the SMB owner to purchase new laptops or inquire with their MSP if they have any to use on a rental basis.

Keep phone systems in mind as well. If your employees need to use the company phone system from home a call forwarding solution might be in order as well.

Finally, allow employees to bring their in-office setup home for the duration of this work from home period. Many companies large and small sent their employees to work from home with a laptop and monitor in hand as they departed the office.

If this is not possible with your SMB, enable employees to use their personal smart phone or tablets to work from home.

#4 – Constant Communication

At Axcient, we’re staying in constant communication by mandating daily AM and PM stand-up meetings that require teams to put hard bookends on their day. This type of communication ensures productivity remains up while employees work from home. Some other actions that you can take include:

  • Asking employees to use video conferencing instead of just utilizing phone conferencing.
  • Increased usage of tools like Slack of Teams.
  • Asking employees to self-report on time and project management.

#5 – *Bonus* Build some FUN into Remote Life

  • Virtual Happy Hours – Invite employees to join an unscheduled social or happy hour with their team. Activities like Jeopardy or creative storytelling can always be fun with small groups.
  • Backdrop Contest – Challenge your employees to a contest for the best video conference background. Hold voting throughout the company to get everyone involved.
  • Encourage employees to schedule 15-minute check-ins – just some general social conversation can help big time.
  • Walking Meetings – Encourage employees to take meetings while walking or outside.

Finally, we at Axcient are here to help in a time of crisis like this. We’ve taken proactive action to help MSPs and SMBs transition their business practices to a remote workforce. To learn more about our free offer to help enable a new national remote workforce, please visit https://bit.ly/2TYp65P

About the Author: 
Ben Nowacky // Senior Vice President of Products, Axcient

As Senior Vice President of Products for Axcient, Ben Nowacky leads the Engineering and Security teams to provide business continuity and cloud enablement services. He’s also a semi-amateur boxer and modern-day renaissance dog trainer. When he’s not banging the keyboard and helping MSPs, he loves long walks on the beach and romantic dinners with his wife.