With more and more of the world forced to hastily go remote, it’s important to be ready for the worst.
As the current Coronavirus situation continues across the world, authorities and businesses are still seeking solutions that will allow work to continue amidst lockdowns and forced self-isolation.
For most professional services, this means work from home policies that allow staff to continue to work remotely.
While working from home may allow your business to operate more or less as usual, care should be taken to structure your policy correctly.
We’ve broken it down into three key components.
Work from home policies in 3 simple steps
Security should be the most fundamental consideration whenever you plan a rollout of any technology systems.
When devices are used on your business premises, it’s simple enough to place them behind tightly controlled security devices. You or your IT provider know and understand this.
However, once these devices are taken out of this controlled environment, or need to be accessed from outside of it, this quickly increases the chances of unknown security flaws being exploited.
It would be a mammoth undertaking to ensure that every single network used to access your business systems is clean and secure.
This makes it vital to configure your environment to be as resilient as possible to potential attacks.
In some cases, protections may need to be lowered to facilitate remote access. You should ensure that this is only done to enable access for those who really need it and nothing more.
User security clearance should always be kept to a bare minimum level too. Enable users to perform their regular tasks but not accidentally restart a server or access sensitive files, for instance.
Once you’ve locked down security, it’s time to start looking into the devices and environments that your employees will find themselves working with.
Networks and devices come in all shapes and sizes. If they are to be used for some time, it’s important to understand any roadblocks that could prevent your users from remaining productive.
If possible, check the systems that staff would use at home before you need to implement your work from home policy. Give yourself as much time as possible to plan.
This can be done with a simple survey to highlight the equipment that you may be able to provide from the office and the items that employees will need to source themselves.
Facilitate short trial runs to confirm that this equipment will suit their needs, allowing you to resolve any issues proactively in advance.
The focus for the required equipment should be on base devices such as laptops and computers. Ensure that they’re reliable.
Then check peripherals like mice and keyboards and, of course, a stable internet connection that is fast enough to handle what you expect your employees to do when working from home.
3. Workplace Health and Safety (WHS)
While users continue to work outside of your premises, their "workplace" will become wherever they login to work from.
As such, all WHS requirements must still be fulfilled to ensure that staff are kept safe and healthy.
Their expected work environment should be checked with a simple photo to ensure that no violations of WHS occur and to protect your business.
Returning to work after lockdown
Inevitably, the current situation with the world will improve.
Self-isolation requirements will decrease and people across the world will be allowed to leave their homes again.
When this occurs, it will be very important to ensure that staff know that they will need to return to your premises to continue work.
A work from home policy is an excellent way to ensure business continuity in extreme circumstances – but many staff may be keen to continue working in this manner.
Put careful consideration into whether this would really be best for them and for your business.
If you’d like a review of your work from home policy or assistance with putting one together, get in touch with the Altitude Innovations team for an expert opinion.