The world is lucky in that the available technology made it possible for companies to move to remote work almost overnight. It may not have been a smooth transition but that could be chalked up to not having policies, procedures and services in place rather than the technology. Teledata Select has been setting up remote work situations for years but the last couple of years has really helped to cement best practices that ensure employees have a reliable and productive remote work solution.
Fast and reliable internet service is the cornerstone of a viable remote work business model. It’s important to know the minimum bandwidth needed for your remote workers to effectively perform their job remotely. Especially when you factor in that most likely there is also a spouse’s home office and the kids’ remote schooling vying for bandwidth. If they have cable internet service, their speeds may be limited by how many of their neighbors are getting their internet over the same cable. A service upgrade may be required if available. You’ll have to work with their provider to see what they offer. Is there another provider in the area that you should research for possibly better service, reliability and price? Do any residential internet providers servicing your employees have corporate discounts?
If your employees are using their home internet to access corporate data and systems, it is critical that their connections are
secure. For them to do their job they are going to have to access all of the data to which they had access to in the office. At a minimum, logins should require two factor authentication. Set up an End to End VPN to protect your data in transit. You’ll need to set up firewalls and access policies to control data access to an as-needed basis. Look into tools such as Solarwinds or Splunk that monitor your network for data breach attempts. This is a link to a blogpost that goes into greater depth on these tools. Consider allowing only company provided laptops with built in security to access company data and services. And in case all else fails, back up your data on a regular basis in case a ransom ware attack gets through and locks your data.
What tools and applications do your workers need to do their job? The goal should be for a customer, co-worker or vendor to have no idea that they are talking to someone who is working remotely. For example, a good cloud PBX service or call center application allows workers to work anywhere with a laptop and internet connection. Remote work offices can be added or removed to the phone system in minutes. Employee privacy is insured by allowing them to make and receive calls from a company telephone number.
For a more robust remote work solution, Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) is a cloud based platform that allows employees to easily access the tools and data they require to do their job from any internet-connected company device. Look for a UCaaS solution that integrates easily with your CRM to have any stored information about the customer before the call is even picked-up.
The Human Factor
Over the past 20 year, residential internet speeds have increased enough to allow effective home offices. The effort to go to a remote work model has had varied success though. Remote work challenges include feelings of isolation, worker self-discipline, work-home interferences and ineffective remote work tools have been obstacles to implementing a successful remote work model. Policies and procedures that support the remote work model need to address social support, job autonomy, productivity monitoring, and overall workload.
The remote work model has had varied success over the years. We have always had the luxury of pulling back to the office work model so there was never a need to make it work. Until now, even with the pandemic receding, employees are hesitant or downright refusing to go back to the office. It is important that companies, big and small, make sure that remote work models work for the employee and the business.
Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via This Link to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.
John Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta, Ga serving customers throughout the US and overseas. His company provides business solutions for voice, data, mobile and cloud solutions for both large and small businesses. Contact John or his team for a complimentary telecom audit to make sure you’re getting the best value for communication services. The savings you receive could offset the cost of purchasing a new Hosted or Premise based solution.