Enabling a Remote Workforce – Coronavirus Update

Written by Dylan Hodge

Specializing in small business IT solutions and cloud products. Love exploring the latest technology and how it can be applied to businesses of all shapes and sizes to improve their efficiency and profitability.

April 7, 2020

Enabling a Remote Workforce – Coronavirus Update

As we all face this new global threat, COVID-19, more and more businesses are being forced to close their doors or quickly get their staff setup to work from home. Setting up your remote workforce can be a tricky and costly endeavor in itself, let alone having to do it in a time crunch. We wanted to share some of our experience in this area and tips on how to keep your business running efficiently during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Don’t Let Security Slip – With the majority of businesses now shifting to a “Work from home” environment, it is crucial to consider the security aspects of enabling such access. There are certainly some solutions that are more secure than others and the last thing you want to do is open your business up to additional threats amidst the one we are currently facing. If staff need to login to their computers at the office, be sure to use a trusted, well known solution. LogMeIn, GoToMyPC are a few common paid options. There are some free ones as well including Chrome Remote Access by Google or Zoho Remotely to name a few. If you’ve got a server at your location, we strongly recommend setting up “Remote Desktop Gateway”. This built in (with some initial configuration required) functionality allows your office server to authenticate logins then connect the remote worker directly to their PC.
  • Make Sure Your Home PC is Safe – Unfortunately most of us don’t always keep our home computers as up to date or secure as we should, leaving them susceptible to virus’, malware and hacks. With the sudden rush to get connected remotely, security on your home PC could easily get overlooked. It is possible for threats to “Jump” across from a home PC to your office PC or server depending on the method by which you are connecting. There are many solutions out there and we are happy to help you sort through the options.  
  • Consider a Remote Meeting Tool – In addition to connecting remotely to your computer or server, you’ll want a way to connect with people too! One solution that we have been using ourselves for some time now is Microsoft Teams. Not only does Teams provide an easy and fun way for a distributed team to message each other, it also allows for remote calling and video conferencing! Being it is a somewhat new contender to the market, many people are not fully aware of the capabilities of Microsoft Teams or that it may even already be included in your Office / Microsoft 365 subscription. Click here for more information on Microsoft Teams or give us a shout for assistance in getting Microsoft Teams setup for your company.
  • What About the Phones? – Having to make a quick jump to working remotely is no easy task. An often overlooked consideration is the phone system. Most businesses have an in-house phone system to route calls, handle voicemails, record messages etc. Getting this system to work with external handsets or cell phones can be an immense challenge to setup, that is if your current phone system even supports it. Most VOIP (Voice Over IP) solutions will have some option for this and even the older ones will at minimum have a call forwarding feature so calls can be forwarded to an external cell number. The latest options such as Fortinet FortiVoice which we use here at Daxtech have a SoftPhone feature. This allows an application to be installed on your home PC or cell phone to function exactly as if you were at the office. A quick call to your phone system management company will be able to get you the answers you need or feel free to get in touch.
As always if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to us and we would be happy to help.

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