With the government now requesting we work from home and self-isolation becoming increasingly necessary, it is time to get your working from home systems up and running.
Ahead of sending all our team home, we sent out a questionnaire to check that they could work from home, assessing both their technical set-up and their working environment. This gave us chance to pick up any additional monitors, laptops, chargers, keyboards etc.
Technical specialist David has created a list of all the considerations we ran through before we sent people home. If you need to do the same, we'd recommend giving it a thorough read...
(Jude also wrote a very helpful blog on how to connect to the office remotely: https://resolve.co.uk/blog/article/how-to-connect-to-the-office-when-working-remotely)
Obviously, the first thing to check is whether your staff have a computer they can use at home. Points to consider:
- Do all staff members currently work from laptops?
- Do I have spare laptops I can provide to desktop users?
- Am I comfortable with my staff accessing corporate resources from their personal computers?
Your staff will still need effective communication whilst they are working away from the office, including email, telephone, messaging and conferencing. Points to consider:
- Does Outlook still work away from the office, or will my staff require webmail access?
- Can our desk phones be plugged into any network with an internet connection?
- Does my phone system provide a "softphone" (an application that allows phone calls to be made from computers)?
- Will I need to provide my staff with headsets for use with the softphone?
- Do we have a messaging service such as Teams or Slack and do my staff know how to use this?
- Do we have or will we need some form of video conferencing facility?
Once your staff are working from home, they will need access to as many systems and resources as possible so that they can still carry out their job effectively. Points to consider:
- Are our day-to-day information systems accessible remotely (e.g. accessed via a web browser)?
- Do we have a Remote Desktop facility and can it cope with the necessary load in terms of number of users simultaneously logged in?
- Does our firewall provide any VPN access so that users can log into the corporate network from home?
- Do we have any clocking in systems that may be inaccessible when working remotely?
Working away from the office can present significant changes to the normal working environment, such as background noise, varying internet speeds and uncomfortable working areas. Points to consider:
- Operating a laptop using the built-in keyboard and touchpad can be uncomfortable for long periods of use - do staff have their own monitor, keyboard and mouse at home or should I loan these items to them?
- Do my staff all have appropriate working areas at home such as comfortable seating and desk space?
- What kind of distractions or disturbances might my staff face away from the office (e.g. younger family members, background noise, etc.)?
- Do all staff have a suitable home internet connection that is fast enough to simultaneously support remote connectivity, phone calls, emails and general internet access?
Security and Privacy
Whilst we have touched upon security in the first section, there are other considerations in this area. Points to consider:
- Some of my staff live in shared accommodation - are they sufficiently security conscious to lock their computers whilst away from the screen when working at home or do I need to prepare an education piece?
- Is there a risk that my staff may allow family members or friends to access the allocated company computer?
- Will any of my staff be taking or making confidential phone calls and will they be able to do this safely from home?
- Is all of my IT equipment insured when being used away from the office and have I ensured staff know how to securely store their hardware when not in use at home?
That’s a lot of information to consider, so if you’d like some assistance at all, do drop us a call on 0114 299 4050 and we’d be happy to help.
Also, if you happen to be looking for a new role which offers the flexibility to work from home, be sure to check out remote working vacancies here.