If we could go back to the beginning of March or the end of February, we would have told ourselves to (1) buy toilet paper and hand sanitizer and (2) buy stock in Zoom.
Because though we have been hearing about Coronavirus for months, it did not feel like a threat back then. But boy, it sure feels like a threat now!
While those of us who can work and run our businesses from home feel beyond lucky to still have jobs, that does not mean the transition from office to remote workers was a smooth one.
Businesses and employees alike are still learning what it means to work from home. We are here to give you some wide-lens tips about remote work and expose you to one thing you probably had not thought about yet: how Coronavirus is making you extra susceptible to cybercrimes.
Get in the know below.
What Do Good Remote Workers Look Like?
It is easy to tell if an employee is reliable when they are coming into the office every day. You can see if they are on time, see what they are doing on their screen (aka, not Facebook), talk to them, track their progress, and more.
Once everyone goes remote, it seems a lot harder to tell who your good workers are. However, grading work from home performance is easier than assessing it in-office. You just have to change how you look at it.
A lot of us see constantly working during the 8 hour workday as the standard. But did you know most people only get 3-4 hours of productive work done during that period?
Eight hours is a long time (too long, as it has been shown) to stay on task.
Instead of thinking about your employee performance in “time spent,” going remote allows you to change your mindset.
Instead of concentrating on the number of hours of work, change how you think of performance to project or task-based.
What Does Task-Based Assessment Look Like?
If you are thinking, “But I pay them for eight hours, so they better be working for eight hours,” we hear you. That is how you have been taught to think, and it is going to take some internal work to change it.
Instead of that, think about how much a well-done project or set of completed tasks is worth to you. If someone is going to do good work for three hours instead of mediocre work for eight, we would rather pay more for those three hours – wouldn’t you?
Maybe this does not make sense for the kind of tasks your employees have, but it is something to keep in mind. Many experts predict that working from home will become the new normal in the next five or ten years.
Home Office Security Risks
Your employees probably do not anymore about cybersecurity than their pre-installed anti-virus system tells them. Unless you sponsor all your workers with a work laptop, that means you are exposing your business to safety gaps in their home networks every time they log on.
Depending on how many employees you have, that means it is just a numbers game for when (not if) a hacker gets in.
Now – there is no perfect solution. Some hackers can get around anything, but a VPN is the best safeguard for your business.
What’s a VPN?
VPN stands for a virtual private network. It is like being able to log into your work desktop from your home. By doing that, you are automatically giving your computer the protections your work network has (while you are logged on).
Most businesses have some form of VPN, but before now, they were rarely used. It may have even been a free service with your internet or software provider.
With all your employees going remote, the free version is not going to work anymore. Just like you invested in workstations and computers for your office, you need to invest in a high-quality large-capacity VPN during Coronavirus (and beyond).
If you stick with your current free or low-quality version, your employee’s productivity will go down. The more people that are on a low-quality VPN, the slower the server gets.
Give your company the protection it needs and give your workers the chance to do the best quality work by investing in managed VPN service today.
Do Not Forget About Your Customers During Zoom Calls
One tip we wish more businesses would use is to designate one or two people to man the phones/chats/or emails during the morning check-in conference call.
While it is great to check in with all your employees every morning, not having anyone doing customer service or menial tasks for that first hour means the workload builds up for everyone.
Designate one or a few people who can hop on the call for the first five minutes, then start the customer-service related tasks for the day.
That way, your company will not have 34 calls in the queue when you get off the call. The customers will be happier, and your employees will be less overwhelmed.
Speaking over overwhelmed – how are your online services doing with all this? We have seen a spike in IT issues with so many Americans online – so now is the perfect time to invest in managed IT support.
Making Work Work for Everyone
How many people had never said the word unprecedented in their life but now find themselves saying it every day? (We are raising our hands).
It is just such a good descriptor of what is going on right now. So – if you need tech help in these unprecedented times, do not be afraid to reach out.
We want to make sure your transition from managing in-office to remote workers is as smooth as possible.
Sagacent Technologies offers technology management and support, including proactive/preventative maintenance, onsite and offsite data back-ups, network and security audits, mobility solutions, disaster planning, and emergency business resumption services. The company serves clients of 10 to 150 employees within the Silicon Valley region.