Updating employees’ tech when they are working remotely
Post-2021 and its upheavals, it is thought that many of us may remain working from home for the foreseeable future, or that some will only venture back into the office part time. This works well for many people, but how do you keep your employees’ technology and software updated so that they (and you) are able to work just as well at home as in the office?
Here are some tips to keep you up to date.
1) The basics. Make sure that your organisation supplies employees with the appropriate equipment for their role, both technically and ergonomically. You need to ensure that everyone has enough power and memory to crunch whatever they need to crunch, and they need to be comfortable doing it. The latest i9 processor, two monitors, a standing desk, decent chair, mouse mat, whatever they need – this will prevent problems further down the line. Prevention is always better than cure.
2) Network access. Ensure that everyone can log in to the network remotely, whether this is through VPN client software or something else like CITRIX.
3) Internet access. Do your employees have fast enough download/upload speeds, especially if they have other family members also working from home? They may need to upgrade, and potentially get a static IP (as opposed to the dynamic IP provisioned with many domestic internet services).
4) Application access. What applications do your employees need to carry out their roles efficiently? Ensure that they have access to everything they need for their financial, creative, production or organisational needs.
5) Comms software. How will your employees communicate with each other, or with external stakeholders, other than via email? You may already have set up Microsoft Teams, and be used to using Google Meets, Skype or Zoom, but if not, these are the most reliable and the best value. You may need to provide training for those who are not used to using these applications so they can make the most of them.
6) Team file sharing. There is really only one way to go unless you are dealing with file sizes in the gigabytes. Move everything to a file sharing application such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, iCloud etc, as long as everyone can access this from home.
7) Protection. Ensure that you are protected from external threats. Using an endpoint protection solution such as Defender or Kaspersky is a great idea. Whilst these both update automatically, it is a good idea to organise touch points with your IT team to make sure everything continues to function well.
8) Companies lucky enough to use remote monitoring and management (RMM) software such as Microsoft Intune will benefit from user alerts if/when the system is out of date, or something is wrong.
9) Cyber Essentials (which renews yearly) is also a great tool to use to ensure everything is kept up to date.
10) Make sure you know what you are and are no allowed to do when going online. HR will usually include your work policies in a handbook.