Being prepared for a crisis is never easy. Many businesses have been feeling the struggle of adapting on the fly over the last few weeks. As the COVID-19 situation continues to get worse, more and more businesses will have to change how they do business to stay open. With a large portion of the workforce being sent home, many businesses will have to transition to work from home arrangements.
There are a lot of positives, but also a lot of hurdles to overcome when working from home – specifically when it comes to cybersecurity. That’s why we are here to provide you with insights to best transition your company to work from home (WFH) during these troubling times.
Have The Right Equipment in Place
The first step to take when moving to a work from home policy is to make sure that you have the suitable equipment and software in place to ensure that your employees will be productive. Be mindful that not all your employees will have the same access to technology that others may have. One cannot assume that all employees will have the same stature of technology, such as cybersecurity software and router connections. To help combat this, work to provide employees with whatever you can so everyone is able to do their job as normal.
While it will range depending on the industry that your business is in, we have compiled a check-list of the most important equipment and software that you should use to work from home.
- If your work does not already provide laptops, this likely will be the most expensive purchase, but having a working laptop or desktop is a necessity to work from home.
- Many large companies already have strong security in place for remote work, which is something smaller companies may be lacking. A virtual private network (VPN), which secures digital traffic as it travels back and forth from a user’s computer, is particularly key in preventing cyber threats through security vulnerabilities of users.
- Utilize Zoom.us. Zoom is a great way to keep up with your coworkers. Zoom will allow you to video conference, share screens, call, group message, and more with all your coworkers and clients.
- Invest in a messaging platform. There is a large array of business messaging apps available, each with different features and costs. Check out this list of messaging platforms to figure out which one would work best for your team.
- The last thing you may be interested in utilizing is time management software. This will help you keep track of who is doing what and when. Time management software will ensure that your employees are just as productive at home as they would be in the office.
Some companies will not be ready to make all of these large purchases to implement these types of software and equipment and that is okay. Online loan providers offer small business loans that can be used for equipment financing. This loan can help take some of the immediate stress of purchasing this new equipment. Just be sure to choose a loan term that is right for you and your business.
Improve Your Security Measures
Over time, technology advances. As Internet users, we should all keep in mind that cybercriminals are looking for new opportunities as software develops. Cybercrime has risen since the start of COVID-19, making safe cyber practices critical as your workforce works remotely.
Employees will always be on the front lines when it comes to keeping company information secure. When working from home, your employees will not be under the direct supervision of an IT administrator. Be sure to tell your employees to be mindful of the emails they are opening, links they are clicking, and sites that they are visiting in the coming week. Cybercriminals often will use timely events to prey on susceptible victims through phishing emails. Use the rule, if something looks fishy, it probably is.
Besides just worrying about your own employees accidentally clicking on a sketchy link, you will also need to think about cybercriminals attempting to hack you and your business unprovoked. According to a recent study, 43% of cybercrimes are directed towards small businesses, but only 14% of small businesses are equipped to handle these attacks.
Do not be passive. Stay a step ahead of criminals and learn as much as you can about cybersecurity. You can talk to one of Cybint’s experts today to learn more about the services we offer. Educating both yourself and your employees about possible threats is the best way to ensure that your business stays safe.
It is easier said than done but look for creative ways to keep your team motivated while working from home. Productivity can certainly take a dip while working at home, but it doesn’t have to. There are ways to stay motivated and productive, even when you may have a five-year-old who is talking your ear off.
First, having a dedicated workplace at home is a great way to stay productive. Replicating your work environment can help you get back into some familiarity and will allow you to concentrate. Do not fall into the trap of working from your bed, couch, or any other soft space. This will entice you to lean back, relax, and not worry about working. Either sit at a desk or at a dinner table to promote posture and productivity. Be sure to set boundaries with whoever else you may live with.
Just having a dedicated workplace won’t be enough to stay motivated when working at home for long stretches. As a business, try to be creative to keep your employees engaged. If you use Zoom or another video conferencing platform, be sure to use it to check in often with your coworkers. Try not to talk exclusively about business when checking in. Striking up casual conversations can go a long way. Try having a virtual happy hour once a week to promote communication and lighten the mood.
We are lucky to live in a time where working from home is a possibility. Thankfully there are so many tools we can use that help to make the transition of your company to WFH seamless. Follow this guide to ensure that your business is as productive when working from home as they are in the office. If these tips work to make you more productive at home, just think about how they’ll help when you’re back in the office!