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 what should you be doing to keep your employees’ technology and software current 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 current.
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. In some cases Office 365 will be enough when used through the browser, if you become decentralised then your employees can work from anywhere.
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). They might need a 4/5g dongle for their laptop so they can work effectively when on the move.
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. As part of your onboarding and offboarding processes you should keep track of what is available to your users, and ensure they get the right stuff from day one.
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 (even Jitsi), 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, and you can easily provide or revoke access to your most sensitive files.
7) Protection. Ensure that you are protected from external threats. Using an endpoint protection solution such as Defender or Malwarebytes 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. Ideally you would have a Management Information dashboard so at-a-glance you can see how well your IT estate is operating.
8) Companies lucky enough to use remote monitoring and management (RMM) software, or security software like Malwarebytes Oneview, can 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 way to ensure everything is kept up to date. As part of your compliance planning you will look at your on/offboarding procedures, how you can ensure updates are done in a timely manner, network security, and a number of policies (like a password policy) which will help you keep on top of the important IT to-do's. We provide this as a service to our clients, and work under its principals.
10) Make sure your employees know what they are and are not allowed to do when going online. HR will usually include work policies in a staff handbook.
At Bongo IT, we know that technology is increasingly dominant and crucial to maintaining business performance and productivity.
Organisations should make sure they are making the right IT decisions for their current needs, whilst also planning for the future with flexible and scalable solutions.
As a special offer, we are offering a FREE one hour consultation to address your current IT setup and recommend an effective strategy for your future requirements.
Addressing issues such as computer hardware, broadband, data security, file sharing, compliance and more, we’ll help you build a plan and ensure you deploy the most cost-effective IT strategy for your company’s needs.