How to maintain a productive remote workforce in the face of Coronavirus concerns

While we all hope we don’t have a pandemic to deal with, with each passing minute it’s looking more and more like we may.

Some organizations are looking at rolling out “work from home” options and/or mandate them as a way to help prevent the spread of the virus and maintain productivity.  If that day comes, will your organization be ready?

Employers need to have the right infrastructure to support their workforce, as well as tools, solutions and services to allow them to securely access the network, applications, resources, content and data. Employees also need a way to communicate and collaborate remotely.

Woman-Work-From-Home

There are technological, process, security and compliance considerations employers must keep in mind to create an infrastructure that supports remote work and collaboration.

What to consider if/when your organization is looking to mandate a short or long-term work from home policy.

  • Accessibility
  • Collaboration
  • Security
  • Bandwidth

Organizations will also need to have IT support services available to remote workers to help address technical issues, concerns and troubleshooting.

DNS Security

Accessibility

  • Simplify Access and App Management – Enable secure mobile access anywhere, from any device
  • Unify Endpoint Management – Manage all apps and devices from
    a single platform regardless of ownership models
  • Virtualize Desktops and Apps – Keep apps, desktops, and all data
    secure in the data center or cloud
  • Optimized application delivery

 

Collaboration

Enabling collaboration among co-workers and customers is critical when working from home.  This can be addressed pretty seamlessly via always-on collaboration solutions/services, such as video conferencing and content sharing services.  Key topics to think about include:

  • Web & Video conferencing
  • Content sharing / version controls
  • Mobile endpoints

Check out this Cisco Blog: Working Smarter Anywhere – Working Remotely

Organizations need to ensure that their corporate asset is fully protected
while off network as well as having secure connection from that remote
device back to the corporate network. 

  • Security protocols in place
  • Enforcing URL filtering protocols off network
  • Secure VPN connection
  • Multifactor authentication

Bandwidth

Folks needing to work from home will need to have a decent internet connection, with enough bandwidth to support uploading / downloading of large sized files.  Of course, folks that work with very large files (think videos, image/graphic heavy, etc) may need even more bandwidth.

Standard household internet speed is 25 Mbps*.

Here are some general download speed requirements based on everyday online activities*:

  • Check email and browse the web: 1-5 Mbps minimum
  • Stream HD content: 15-25 Mbps minimum
  • Stream 4K content and play competitive online games: 40-100 Mbps minimum
  • Stream 4K content, play online games, and download very large files: 200+ Mbps minimum

*Source: https://broadbandnow.com/guides/how-much-internet-speed-do-i-need

SMP has been supporting its customers with remote worker solutions for years; please feel free to reach out should you wish to delve deeper into any of the above technology areas

Additional information & resources for dealing with COVID19 or Coronavirus

What’s Your Company’s Emergency Remote-Work Plan?

General information about the current outbreak can be found here:

World Health Organization

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Johns Hopkins CSSE Global Map of Cases

Protective Measures for Individuals