No one saw coronavirus coming. Well, almost no one. Turns out, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, home of the Wimbledon tennis tournament, did. For 17 years, the club has paid $2 million annually for “pandemic insurance,” and will receive $141 million for this year’s canceled tournament. They’ll still lose money, but it’s certainly better than the alternative: no tournament revenue at all.
Take your lessons learned to plan for the second wave now
No one really wants to think the current situation could happen again, but it’s possible. We’re still many months away from a vaccine and experts are warning about a potential second wave of infections. What happens next is unclear, but if you take the 4 steps outlined below, you’ll be better prepared and have a lasting work-from-home solution for your business.
How to Set Up Long-Term, Work From Home: 4 Steps
1. Give remote workers full ability to do their jobs
Shelter-in-place caught many organizations off guard and the focus was on getting people working remotely, ASAP. The option you chose may not be sustainable. To engineer a long-term solution, use Remote Desktop Services (RDS) or Microsoft Azure to bring the full office to employees’ homes. At DiamondIT, we use and recommend Azure. Because we’re in the cloud, when the virus hit, we didn’t miss a beat and easily transferred to a remote-work environment.
Here are a few other ways to keep your team productive:
- Provide hardware for employees: laptop or desktop computer, web camera, keyboard, mouse and a phone.
- Conduct remote training on new tools and systems
- Collaborate on documents in SharePoint
- Have remote IT support services that can keep the team operational through any situation
2. Become more efficient with Microsoft Teams
Working from home can be challenging, especially right now. Partners, roommates or kids are all home too, and it can be hard for people to focus. To increase efficiency, start with Microsoft Teams. Available in Office 365, Teams is an all-in-one collaboration platform where you can edit documents, chat with team members, call external business partners, host a video conference or conduct a webinar. It’s cloud-based and can be accessed on computers or through smartphone/tablet apps.
You can try Teams free for 6 months. Call our team of Microsoft Teams experts. We’ll get you access to the trial and will remotely set up the platform for you. Call DiamondIT (877) 716-8324 to get your free Teams trial.
3. Tighten remote security
Cybercriminals were fast out of the gate with coronavirus-related cyberattacks and phishing scams targeting remote workers. And they had ample security gaps to exploit. A comprehensive work-from-home plan requires security. Start with an IT assessment. This will help you quickly identify where your weaknesses are so you can set the right priorities. Training employees on the latest threats and home office best practices will help protect your business too.
4. Rethink processes and procedures
Moving to a remote-work model instigates changes you might not be thinking about. For instance, if you move to the cloud from an on-premise server, you need to update your backup and disaster recovery plan to reflect this shift. If you issue hardware to employees, you’ll need to develop processes governing how people use the devices. Take the time to sit down and think through the business continuity and operational changes you’ve made recently and which corresponding policies and practices need to be updated. Again, an IT assessment is a good starting point.
What’s Your Next Play?
The first solution you hit on got you up and running but was probably cobbled together as you rushed to find a way to get your team working from home. As we settle into the new normal and look at a potential second wave, it’s time to redesign your business’ network to truly be productive from home and create a mobile teleworker workforce. Don’t wait for the next emergency, take a cue from Wimbledon and draw up a play for worst-case scenario.
We are an essential business and offer remote IT support services
DiamondIT is here to help you. Whether you want to get set up on Teams, need to plug gaps in security or have other questions about remote work, contact us directly. We’ll schedule a teleconsultation to figure out what you need to do: (877) 716–8324.