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March 10, 2020

Top 5 Ways Your Business Can Leverage Technology for Remote Work

The spread of coronavirus is creating significant disruption for many businesses. More and more companies are encouraging employees to work remotely, primarily in a Work from Home (WFH) arrangement. The ability to have your company thrive in these challenging conditions is quickly becoming a huge competitive differentiator.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is advising companies to consider “creating employee plans to work remotely” to slow the spread of coronavirus. In addition, the CDC also recommends to “prepare for possible increased numbers of employee absences due to illness in employees and their family members, dismissals of early childhood programs and K-12 schools due to high levels of absenteeism or illness.”

Anders Technology has identified the top five ways your company can quickly prepare a remote work environment:

1) Enable Remote Connectivity

There are several great technology solutions to enable your employees to remain productive from anywhere.

a) VPN

  • Is your infrastructure adequate to handle the number of employees working on a VPN back to the office?
  • Do you have applications that make it difficult to work over a VPN?
  • What applications do you have that cannot be easily accessed outside of the network or even across a VPN?

b) Windows Virtual Desktops

Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktops enable your employees to work remotely from anywhere. Employees can access company files and applications from anywhere by simply logging in through an internet browser.  This is a great solution to consider as it can be deployed rapidly, and the cost is completely consumption-based meaning you only pay for the employees who access the desktops for the amount of time they need.

2) Empower Employee Productivity via Collaboration

Employees can work together and collaborate regardless of where they are working.

a) Microsoft Teams

  • Microsoft is offering its Teams product for FREE for six months to customers who are not yet on Office 365.
  • Enables collaboration through online chats, video calling, and document sharing. Employees can edit the same documents simultaneously from anywhere.
  • Anders can quickly migrate email and files to Office 365 to ease the end user experience
  • Anders offers multiple training solutions to get your team up and running on Microsoft Teams.
    • Customer Immersion Experience (CIE) Training – This half day to full day session is a hands-on guided experience to learning Teams.
    • On-Demand Training – If time is short, Anders has online tutorials and videos available on demand to help jump start employees on how to use Teams. This training is delivered through an online training path customized specifically for your company’s needs.

3) Support Your Employees Technology Needs

Employees get the support they need to stay productive from anywhere.

a) Temporary Support Assistance

  • Not staffed to implement a remote work policy quickly? What happens if your technology staff is unable to support all of your employees?  Anders has a large team of Microsoft and Cisco certified engineers to quickly get your company where you need to be.
  • Are you staffed with backup resources for your help desk?

b) Deploy and Manage Technology

  • Anders has can help you get your employees the equipment they need for working from home deployed quickly and efficiently.
  • As an Office 365 customer, you have access to a robust Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution with a Microsoft 365 Business license. Microsoft Intune is an MDM solution which enables our engineers to package your applications and deliver them to a remote employee. Anders can order a computer/laptop and have it sent directly to your employee’s home.  All the employee needs to do is login and the Intune MDM will ensure all applications assigned to the employee are installed on the machine without having to come into the office.

4) Protect Your Business and Your Employees

Cyber threats will likely increase as your employees begin using tools outside the traditional office environment.

a) Assess Changes in Risk in the New Remote Work Environment

  •  Applications that were once secured through being restricted to use only in the office may no longer be secure when employees access them remotely.
  • Employees must be constantly reminded of security risks, including coronavirus-related phishing attempts.

b) Fortify the Technology Environment

  • Single sign-on (SSO) solutions enable users to access applications and outside websites with a single login (e.g., their Office 365 login).
  • Add in Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) to prevent your employees from being compromised while working remote.

5) Leverage Technology to Manage Remote Workers

New and additional management tools and reporting may be needed to manage a remote workforce.

a) Assess Information Needs

  • Business owners or managers need to think about what additional methods and tools are needed to manage remote works. For example, do you have the information necessary to ensure productivity for a remote team? Do you have the necessary analytics to ensure your employees are productive and moving your business forward?
  • Identify the key reports and dashboards and ensure these reports are available from a browser or mobile device. Enable alerts to be sent on key metrics.

b) Ensure Work Continuity via Process Mapping

  • Many middle market companies do not have clear documentation of employee responsibilities. In many cases key employees know their responsibilities but it would be difficult for another employee to take over their work. What happens if one of your key employees is suddenly out of the office for 60 days. Would their team be able to step in?
  • Process maps can be extremely helpful in outlining employee responsibilities. Process maps are visual depictions of key business steps, who performs the step, and how the success of the step can be assessed.

Anders Technology is ready to help your organization thrive in an era of remote work. We do this by understanding your business needs and ensuring you have the right technology in place. Contact an Anders advisor to discuss your situation and learn how we can help you during this time of uncertainty.

Take the Remote Work Technology Assessment to find out if your company is equipped to implement a Work from Home policy, or see how Microsoft Teams can help implement Work from Home capabilities.

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