As we all navigate the ways in which our social and work lives are changing in response to COVID-19 there are new challenges we face every day. From difficulties communicating to increased threats, remote work poses a lot of uncertainty for many of us. We have written about keeping in touch with and managing remote teams in the past, but many people did not expect a complete shift to remote work almost overnight. We wanted to put together a few resources to help organizations navigate this difficult change.
Connecting to the Internet
While this may seem like an obvious start, not everyone has a safe or reliable internet connection at home. We always recommend using a secure internet connection and have put together a resource on using a personal hotspot or tethering from your phone.
Keeping your team safe is everyone’s top priority right now, which is why remote work has suddenly become so essential. A part of successfully working remotely is being able to access all the files and software people need to do their jobs. We recommend using your company’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) or a remote access software like LogMeIn so employees can securely access your business-critical tools and data. If you use cloud file storage, like Office 365, consider using multi-factor authentication to protect your files from those outside the organization.
Taking Precautions Against Cyber Threats
During all this change and uncertainty, some people have started using stress and fear against others. There has been an increase in phishing attempts, malicious video call takeovers, and other scams in the past few weeks. We put together a document covering what to do if you receive a suspicious email, including red flags and known scams to be aware of, and are offering free phishing tests if you want to see how at-risk your organization may be. We’ve also put together a resource on how to prevent video call takeovers on common tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
Connecting with Team Members
Unfortunately, not all methods of communication are created equal. While a lot of work can be done over email or IM, more nuanced conversations should probably be had over the phone or on a video call. It is essential to keep team members in the loop, don’t assume that others know when something has been done or is needed. Keeping up communication is essential to staying in step with colleagues.
Most people are not set up with home offices. Because of this, the sudden switch to working from home can erase the boundary between work like and home life. Encourage your team to set aside one area, like a desk or table, to function as their workspace. They should also take regular lunch and coffee breaks, log on and off at their usual time, and try to get some sun if it is safe for them to do so (hurray for porches and neighborhood walks!). Just because we are all working from home now doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take time for ourselves and set healthy boundaries.
This is a challenging time and we at Tech Networks want to support you in any way we can. Share this information and these resources with your team, reach out if you need support, and stay well.