As you know, there's a great deal of buzz going around about the coronavirus. Events are being canceled and whole countries are being quarantined. Whether you believe the hype or not, the debate does bring up a real risk to your business continuity that needs to be addressed now rather than later.
Already, large corporations are taking precautions by allowing their employees to work remotely. Whether it's a virus containment quarantine due to coronavirus (extreme) or a building fire (more mundane), there are real circumstances that could prevent your staff from traveling or accessing your building. Do you have a plan in place for telecommuting? If not, now's the time to develop one.
Is Telecommuting an Option for My Business?
Productivity without being at the office has been a topic of contention for the last decade. Thanks to remote desktop apps and internet-based telephones, productivity is no longer a concern when it comes to technology. In fact, the amount of people working remotely has increased by 91% in the last ten years according to FlexJobs.
Just like anything else, there are always exceptions. Specific industries and roles may not be a candidate for telecommuting. For example, a cashier at Walmart cannot successfully do their job at their house. And the same goes for a heart surgeon.
However, to answer the original question "Is telecommuting an option for my business?", at the end of the day, it really depends on three major factors: the industry of your business, your employees' roles and the technology you have available.
How to Make Telecommuting Work
Once you have determined that it's possible for your employees to work remotely, you must now address how to securely make this happen. While it's completely possible to send your employee home with a laptop and let them work, it can be a little more complex than that. Here are three things you must have in place before letting staff work from home:
Communication is key to an organization running at its best. If your team is working remotely, are you able to securely and effectively communicate with them? You don't want to send sensitive data through personal email without encryption, creating an easily accessible gold mine for hackers. Instead, make sure everyone has access to their work email via a portal online and a chat program for instant responses.
#2: File Access.
Employees must have easy access to their files in order to be productive while working from home. There are a couple of different options. You can let employees remote into their work computers using an app like LogMeIn or use a secure file sync program like CloudSync.
#3: Personal Devices
If people use their own laptops and desktops for work, are they able to do so securely or will they be putting your company at risk? In this case, it's best to have your employees sign a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy. Within this policy, there should be a clause on remote wiping their devices so that sensitive data is not left on their machines.
Take the proper steps when creating a telecommuting policy for your office due to the coronavirus. BIS is happy to answer any of your questions and make sure your company is on the right track in preparing a flexible workforce. Contact us today.
Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.
About BIS Technology Group
BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing, Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.
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