The global COVID-19 healthcare pandemic has caused many businesses to adopt new ways to operate.
In order to adhere to social distancing measures and lockdown restrictions, many companies that provide non-essential services have had to ask their employees to work from home. For many organizations that do not have the infrastructure in place to manage a remote workforce, this has thrown up many challenges.
These include communicating with and managing teams, engaging with their customers, and managing the security and the integrity of the business while employees access sensitive company data from their own homes.
To meet these challenges, companies need to make use of new tools. Here are five tools that can streamline remote work.
1.Use Virtual Private Networks
When your employees are working from home, you have no control over their home network’s security. This can become problematic, especially when they need access to sensitive data such as customer information or financial records.
Your in-house IT systems may have been audited regularly to meet data protection standards, and you may have invested in enhanced network security. The last thing that you need to do during this crisis is to compromise your data.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a powerful tool that adds an additional layer of security to any network. When you use a VPN, all your data is encrypted in a “tunnel” that cannot be intercepted, meaning that your data will be safe.
By setting up a VPN, your employees will be able to connect to the in-house servers of your business to access files remotely so that there doesn’t need to be any slowdown in their work.
2. Utilize Cloud-Based Solutions
Cloud solutions can create agility in your remote workforce. By connecting all of your files and software via the cloud, everyone across your organization will have the same level of real-time access to the data they need to perform their duties.
Cloud-based services allow users to collaborate effectively without the need to pass documents back and forth. Because there is no need to email or download data and documents, cloud-based solutions can help streamline your operations and allow for instantaneous collaboration.
3. Use VoIP to Create a Virtual Contact Center
The COVID-19 healthcare crisis should not stop your customers from getting in touch with you. You may have closed your offices, but that doesn’t mean you have to shut down the phone lines.
By using VoIP software, your employees can communicate with your customers over a secure digital phone line, allowing normal service to continue. VoIP software can either be run through employees’ laptops or through their smartphones with lines routed during specified working hours.
VoIP systems can also help ensure that you have measures in place to preserve your companies’ call records and provide call handlers access to CRM software.
4. Protect Your Business with Data Encryption and Backup
Security should be a major concern for your business while your employees are working from home. With the global crisis in full swing, cybercriminals are ready to take advantage of the difficult situation that many businesses find themselves in by looking for vulnerabilities in overloaded systems and home networks.
By using data encryption when passing information between server and employee, your company’s information will be protected. Similarly, remote workers should continue to back up all data to secure servers. Cloud solutions can provide remote access to a secure server where backups can be kept.
To protect any data or work that has been carried out, an enforced daily backup policy should be in place.
5. Hire a Managed Service Provider
During these difficult times, it is more critical than ever that your business gets the support that it needs for all aspects of IT management. With the risks posed through increasing cyber crime, as well as the additional challenges of adapting to and streamlining remote work environments, your business may be struggling to maintain productivity and function effectively.
A managed IT services provider is a great resource that will not only help you implement the essential technologies that your employees need as they start to work remotely, but give immediate, round-the-clock support. You couldn’t ask for a better resource as you face the growing pains that come with implementing a new work structure.