How to remain connected and productive during COVID-19

By Glendin Franklin-Browne | April 15, 2020

team snip

For the majority of Australian businesses, the ability to enable a remote workforce quickly became a necessity as the restrictions caused by COVID-19 continued to evolve. 

(Pictured above is an image of the Diamond IT's current remote set up.)

The speed at which organisations have been required to implement changes to their business model to set their employees up to work from home was rapid, and many found themselves ill prepared to meet these challenges.

Scaling resources to transition whole workplaces to work remotely is no mean feat, and we've seen many organisations struggle with the balancing act of ensuring connection, infrastructure, and security.

Managing a remote workforce demands a new way of thinking for business leaders and IT teams, and one where technology is at the centre of their business continuity plans.

With this in mind, how can your team balance connection, productivity, infrastructure and security not only during COVID-19, but into the new normal of future workforces?

Here are some key factors to consider...

Network Connection 

Put simply, for a remote workforce to remain connected, they need a reliable connection. One of the major considerations is that the home internet is now needing to be shared across multiple devices at the same time (for example both parents now working from home, as well as their children home schooling or keeping themselves entertained.)

Do your staff need any assistance with their internet service?  Could you subsidise their connection costs during this time, or pay for a plan upgrade for access to unlimited data?

Capacity

Many organisations will not have had this many people working remotely at the same time. We are already seeing systems being impacted by the sharp increase in use. Making sure you have enough licences, bandwidth and equipment for your staff to work from home is very important. 

Considerations could include topping up your Remote Desktop and Office licensing, increasing your organisations primary WAN connection, and potentially purchasing new, more portable computers (laptops) for your staff who haven’t traditionally needed a portable device.

Communications

While self-service and web chat offer customers invaluable support during COVID-19, the fact remains that your customers need connection to your business via telephone. How much revenue has your organisation lost by not being able to take or transfer calls amongst your virtual workforce?

Consider how a cloud based phone system could ensure your lines to customers remain open at all times and appear seamless to the customer, even when your workforce is away from the office.

Collaboration

Staff engagement and productivity will continue to be a critical consideration for organisations over the coming months. The use of mobile phones or systems such as Microsoft Teams to communicate internally will be more important than ever. How will your staff remain in contact? How will you be holding virtual meetings or video conferences?  

Does your team have a way to chat internally other than emails? How will they securely be able to share files to work on projects together? 

Cyber Risk

Unfortunately, we have seen a large increase in cyber criminals taking advantage of the COVID-19 situation, so we need to ensure staff remain vigilant with regards to Cybersecurity and data protection. This may mean Online Cyber-awareness training and the implementation of additional security measures such as Multi Factor Authenticationto strengthen your cyber-defences. 

 

We are here to help...

Over the past two months, our team have seen a 62 percent increase in technical support questions as businesses have made the move to remote working. Fortunately, being a Technology company, our organisation is well set up to enable a remote workforce, and we have been able to respond and service these requests from a multitude of locations.

We understand that COVID-19 is issuing organisations unprecedented challenges. Our goal during this time is to ensure your organisation remains safe, productive and operational. 

Our Business Technology Managers (BTMs) and Technology Consulting team are here to guide you through making the best decisions around your Business Continuity Plan.

Additionally, you can watch our recent webinar, "Keep your business operating remotely" which provides information that helps people stay connected, productive and secure when working from home.

If you need our assistance, call us on 1300 307 907 today.

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About Glendin Franklin-Browne
Glendin Franklin-Browne

Glendin Franklin-Browne is the Technology Consulting Manager at Diamond IT. Glendin has more than 23 years’ experience and numerous certifications in the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) industry, and has worked across a breadth of industries including local government, professional services, not-for-profit and more recently entertainment and hospitality. Having worked with leading organisations such as Uniting Care, Hunter Water, Integrated Living Australia, Leah Jay Property Management and The Wests Group, Glendin has built up an impressive and broad range of expertise.