Working Remotely – Do you have a plan?
by Adam Arnold
Working remotely used to be a convenience, but with Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Snow Days, even the Coronavirus are all things that can spin up the question of how can I work if I cannot make it into the office? How can I access my files and keep my business running?
Create a Remote Worker Plan
You need a remote worker plan, and a good plan should account for much of the following:
- Can your staff telecommute and collaborate effortlessly when the office is up and has power? What about when the office power and internet is down?
- What about using company phone lines and phone numbers when working remotely? How are you addressing that?
- How does your staff get face to face time? How are you running video conferencing? Screen Sharing? How are you leveraging chat?
- What about company file access? Does your plan account for accessing company files from home when the office internet is down?
- Does your plan include the proper security and auditing controls when dealing with multiple users accessing the system remotely?
These are just a few of the questions your policy needs to consider. You know your business best, and obviously, we can’t address all of your policy questions. But we can tell you many of the tools you need to work remotely are available and may be accessible to you now.
Helpful Tools for Your Remote Worker
One of the primary tools you can use is Microsoft 365. Most organizations already have the licensing available to leverage many of the collaborative tools in Office 365, such as:
- Video Conference and Screen Sharing – Microsoft Teams
- User chat application – Microsoft Teams
- Cloud-based file sharing – Microsoft Teams and Microsoft SharePoint
- Real-time document editing and collaboration – Microsoft Teams and SharePoint
- Cloud-based phone system – Microsoft Teams Voice
You can do all this securely with Office 365. Tools like Cloud App Security, Conditional Access and Advanced Threat Protection all work to all only who you approve to access your systems.
So, before you go out and create a new Dropbox account or set up a new Google Docs account to share a calendar or chat. Call your IT provider first and use the systems you may already have in place for a more seamless remote work effort.