8 Work from Home Tips for IT Teams & Employees

Technology is critical to helping people stay connected in a time when we are asked to keep social isolation. The better IT teams can make this transition successful, the more they can help employees feel empowered. Here are 8 tips from our IT team to yours.

As a
precaution to the recent novel coronavirus, more and more companies and
governments are either encouraging or have made work-from-home mandatory. IT
teams are tasked with leading this transition across data systems, mobile
computing devices, applications and new security challenges so employees can
feel both connected and productive at home (both are not straightforward
tasks).

We’ve
gathered a few tips from our own IT team to help your workforce’s transition be
more successful. Here are the top eight:

1) Don’t Wait – Start Today (Literally, Right Now)

Most
companies today already have part of their workforce working from home, but
it’s an entirely different scenario when hundreds, or thousands, of people are
connecting remotely to virtual systems at the same time. If your company is
still not encouraging working from home, or only partially, use the time now to
prepare for the potential – a situation where most employees will need to
access applications and data securely from remote locations. Being a step ahead
with your data infrastructure, policies and documentation, will help ensure a
smooth transition for your business at a critical time.

2) Test It Till You Break It

Test your systems
to ensure performance, reliability and scalability. Test application and
hardware infrastructure at maximum load; understand how many concurrent
connections your VPN can support; send your entire IT team to work from home.
Find out where the remote operations gaps are. It’s far better to see what
breaks in a test scenario than when your company’s employees depend on it. So,
learn in advance where the weak points are and fix them now.

3) Streamline the Muddle of Communication and Security Tools

There is a
plethora of virtual meetings, chat, documentation, project and other management
tools out there, and likely people are using more than one in your company
today (whether authorized or not). This is the time to streamline the official
tools employees should be using, ensuring these services can scale (you may
need to review your SaaS contracts) and put documentation in place (accessible
in a shared repository) on how to install and use them.

4) Get Ready to Monitor With 24/7 Support

With
any new situation you’ll need to closely monitor infrastructure to be able to respond
to any shortfalls in real time. With employees using an all new technology
setup, and many potentially veering from regular daytime working hours (think
of those with children at home who will catch up on work late at night), expect
to need to provide more IT support than usual, and at different hours of the
day.

5) Establish Policies for Laptops, Services, and Peripherals

You’ll
need to establish policies for how your company can support employees at home
with everything from internet services, to computing devices, or peripherals.
Some questions you should explore:

  • How many employees will require a laptop to
    work from home? How many can you provision?
  • Will
    the company pay for internet or phone services?
  • What if someone does not have internet
    services or needs to upgrade speed?
  • What’s the policy on ordering
    peripherals such as keyboards, monitors, headphone sets, etc.?

6) Create Practical Documentation (and Accessibility)

The more you can support and enable the remote workforce to use the proper tools, the more you can impact the productivity and morale of the business. Prepare with the right documentation to enable everyone to work better – both end users at home and your IT team. Make sure to have a clear place where employees can find how-to guides on installing all the applications and accessibility tools they need. Take a moment to also ensure you have documentation and account accessibility for all IT systems should a core team member be unavailable.

7) Automate. Repeat.

Now is the time to explore what else can be automated in your IT workflows, particularly when it comes to IT tickets and support questions. You’ll be seeing a lot of similar support questions, and tools like AI-enabled chatbots have come a long way to ease the pressure off your team members for commonly asked questions. With working from home possibly an ongoing situation, IT may need to support the business in new channels and undertakings. Anything that can be automated will allow your team to focus on more complex tasks.

8) Set Up a Better Home Office, Together

work from home

Whether it’s tips on how to set up a dedicated work space, to desk ergonomics, working from family-shared spaces, or how to set structured breaks to unplug– you’ll need to help your workforce feel productive and connected from home. Using multiple ways of communication – guides, chats, shared meetings – can not only help people find ways to be more efficient, but also set an example of how to stay better connected in a virtual environment.

Technology is critical to
helping people stay
connected in a time where we are asked to keep social isolation. These abrupt
changes are challenging for both IT infrastructure and employee morale. The
better IT teams can make this transition successful the more they can help the
workforce feel empowered, find new ways to bond and keep spirits up. We’d like
to thank our IT teams for their hard work, innovation and patience in
navigating us through our transition! No wonder you’re an award-winning team.

To our readers, we hope you stay healthy, communicate often, and keep washing your hands!

Our One-Question Work From Home Survey

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