The whole world of business has changed in the past few weeks. With WHO recommending companies let their employees work from home if possible and some companies even hit directly by the CoronaVirus outbreak, it’s been a difficult time for all.
For all these companies asking their employees to work from home, the dependency on IT services has increased exponentially. To successfully manage IT services and run the company as before, here are a few essential points to focus on.
Top 4 Areas to Focus for Effective IT Services in the Face of a Pandemic
The unexpected shift in the workplace atmosphere and the complications that come with it may have thrown various companies off track. Now is the time to regroup and organize, making full use of IT services for seamless operations.
The Ability of the IT Team to Support the Change
In order for the work-from-home strategy to work, the IT support team must be at the center of the strategic plan.
It’s more important than ever that your in-house IT support team is capable of offering remote support and facilitating the transition. Every company should check thoroughly with your team and make sure that they are equipped and capable.
Make sure the IT team can manage all the resources and make those resources available for employees to access remotely. Ensure that IT support is there for the employees at all times to guide them in making the change. The number of people working on the IT support team is important now as there will a larger than normal work load for the foreseeable future.
When your internal IT team is not enough to manage the workload, it’s best to find a reputable team to outsource the job to. At Layer One Networks, we offer services for managing and supporting your internal IT department. Our team will help in streamlining your operations, supporting implementation and adaptation to tools and new resources that your employees will need when working from home.
Ensuring Security and Full Data Protection
Even with standard in-house working practices and controlled work environment, the protection of sensitive data is of vital importance. Now, when employees are using personal devices to access platforms and sensitive data, the security measures have to be more stringent than ever.
- Check if access on your cloud platform are up-to-date.
- Include measures like connecting to the company’s VPN to access data.
- Review your company’s policies about remote working and data protection, and include better clauses if needed.
- Implement security monitoring tools and access tools to keep confidential data safe.
- Educate employees on best practices to help protect data when working remotely.
- Enforce restrictions on access to very sensitive data as much as possible.
- Run regular checks on the security measures and firewalls.
Creating Central Systems for Communications
The employees have to communicate clearly and work in harmony with each other, especially in such stressful and emotional times. If employees use multiple ways and tools for communication and collaboration it increases the potential for misinformation and asynchronous operations.
A central communication system for the employees to talk, collaborate and hold meetings will avoid confusion. This will also ensure that they will have a single system to go back, check and verify action points and instructions. Here are some essential points to note when implementing a central communication system:
- Have a standard communication tool for all the employees, preferably something that employees are already familiar with.
- Look for basic collaboration functions in the tool like the creation of checklists, a message board for discussions and the ability to allocate jobs.
- Make use of the different features in a single platform, instead of using multiple tools, and try to leverage them for easy collaboration.
- If you are using a new platform for communication, ensure the availability of the IT support team in easing the transition and answering questions.
- Create short training sessions and self-help videos that the employees can refer to.
- If you are integrating other systems with this tool, put stringent security measures in place and run regular checks.
Be Picky About Implementing New Systems and Methodologies
When employees are already adjusting to working entirely from home, asking them to use new software or a new IT methodology can potentially put too much pressure on already fragile nerves. Avoid including any new online systems and tools as much as possible. Analyze with managers to find out if this new technology or tool inclusion is absolutely necessity. If not, try to postpone using such tools until after this remote work situation is over.
If you are in an unavoidable situation to implement a new tool, be aware of employee reactions. Offer as much IT support as possible to the employees and give them ample time to get accustomed to it. Schedule online training sessions and multiple open discussions to clear any technical doubts.
Instead of sending out a huge official manual on how to use the tool, create a simple one or two-page guide that employees can refer to easily. Don’t expect them to know every single facet of the tool. Help them learn about the basics and only the operations that are required by them.
Having a powerful IT services team is a necessity for unhindered operations. None of us know for certain when normal working conditions will resume. Therefore, try to ease this move to remote working as smooth as possible and offer complete IT support to help your employees succeed. Increase the frequency of security checks and maintenance sessions as the entire company’s operations depends on the software platforms, tools and technologies.