This morning the team at Nine23 took the time to refresh our plan for working at home in response to the current pandemic, Covid-19, with consideration to the impacts that it will have on the operation of the company. We reviewed how we plan to tackle and prepare for those impacts in the event that all staff members need to work remotely. Specifically, regarding the Communication (between staff and suppliers), Security (internally and externally) and ensuring we maintain the high level of support our customers expect.
When working remotely, it is key that you can operate smoothly and securely, but also comfortably. As much as it can provide great business benefits, it also comes with its own risks that need to be managed. Some points for both end-user and organisations to consider include:
For a start, you will want to consider if you have the correct working environment at home and whether it is sufficient enough that in the event you have to work from home for a prolonged period, that you can sit comfortably for 8 hours a day 5 days a week? Will sitting on bed or lounging in the sofa with a laptop suffice? Ensuring you have a desk space in a room you can concentrate might be a good idea.
Secondly, ensuring the correct infrastructure is in place. You will want to make sure your broad band is sufficient enough to support any work or communication between staff that you may need and have multiple contact points. For example: via landline, mobile, laptop or computer (E-mail etc.) should any one of these fail. Additionally, you may want to consider connecting via a secure VPN when working remotely to
operate at a higher level of security when handling sensitive data and think about where you are accessing data from and its level of security (for example your private home network compared with a public café’s WIFI). Finally, ensuring that you have the correct and all applications you may need to operate remotely.
Another consideration should be to ensure that your hardware is in order. Do you have a work computer that you can bring home, or will you be using a home computer? Making sure that both alternatives have the capability to operate at a level needed to work efficiently. You may want to check you have the means to provide sufficient power supply to devices and have backups for devices in place, should they break. Lastly to
make sure that you have all the hardware needed and in the event that you need to purchase any equipment that you keep receipts.
Upholding security outside the office is very important and putting security guidelines in place to ensure remote workers are secure is a must. Make sure that you have the means to store your hardware securely (e.g. a safe or secure lockable storage) and reduce the oversight of screens and or the risk of theft/ loss of the devices (not leaving devices unattended). Additionally, ensure that you follow in office
protocol when operating at home and behave the same as you would in the office by following recommended security procedure as well as upholding new guidelines put in place.
Additionally, ensuring that consistent and clear communication is organised between employees (links to the correct infrastructure being in place) is essential. By setting up a communication schedule to ensure all employees are on the same page and present during meetings is valuable. Redirect phone numbers to the appropriate employees who are out of office and organising multiple contact routes.
Finally, working from home can often feel isolating. Many find it challenging and difficult when unable to communicate with others. This emphasises the importance of the points discussed above! It is key that you maintain a healthy lifestyle ensuring that you still find time to get fresh air, some exercise and socialise virtually. It also highlights the importance of communication and trust within your team and to remain supported by one another.