In the scramble to maintain business continuity during the COVID-19 crisis, some companies were more prepared than others. Before a remote team can be effective, expectations must be clearly defined and a unified communications (UC) solution determined. This is a large task in itself and involves auditing the company, finding a vendor that fits your needs, implementing UC systems, training staff, and possibly even upgrading the internet.
Beyond a UC solution, CIO’s can help their companies prepare for a remote workforce by taking these steps:
1. Create a WFH action plan
The plan should encompass all of the following steps and more. Create this plan with the long-term in mind. Check out these insights by Gartner to get started.
2. Reassess infrastructure
Does your organization’s network have the bandwidth to handle remote working? Is the current cloud infrastructure right for this situation? As the digital workplace expands, investment in infrastructure is paramount.
3. Deploy the right tools
Essential tools that are readily available and can handle increased demand is crucial. For effective workflow, collaborative and productivity software must be in place. Ensure you have videoconferencing technology, project management systems, and other apps for communication like Teams, Slack, Zoom, etc.
4. Assist with employee readiness
How aware are you of the current WFH setup of your employees and their equipment needs? Put together a WFH checklist for remote workers: webcam, headset, fast internet, software, etc. Software implementation will require training and IT support – make sure there’s a plan in place.
5. Secure your systems
Security is a top priority. With employees remotely accessing computers and company files, be especially vigilant on the security front. Enforce multi-factor authentication, update virus protection, and make sure employees understand security protocols.