Because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, many businesses have asked their employees to work from home. As each member of your team is preparing a home office space and familiarizing themselves with Zoom and the other technology they will need to be productive remote workers, you might understandably wonder what you can do to ensure everyone’s success and safety during this time.
With this in mind, the following three tips can help your business and your team to be as safe and productive as possible:
Tip 1: Help Supply Necessary Equipment
While some of your employees might have a dedicated computer that they can use to complete their work, others might have a family laptop that they share with their spouse, teens and tweens. Consider shipping your employees their monitors, mouse, keyboard and even their office chairs and other supplies from the office. This will help make their workspace more productive, familiar and comfortable.
Tip 2: Offer as Much Support as Possible
To help ease as much anxiety in your team as you can, offer them ongoing support and encouragement. For instance, remind everyone that they should continue taking regular breaks during the work day, including a 30-minute lunch break when they can get away from their computers. Schedule predictable meetings via Zoom that not only involve updates about work projects, but also allow your employees to share any concerns and frustrations they may be having working from home. If you learn that several employees are having issues getting their projects done on time, ask team members from other departments to step in and assist. Remind everyone that you are all in this together and as you can, send everyone meaningful tokens of your appreciation like Starbucks gift cards, small floral arrangements or a gift card to a gas station or grocery store.
Tip 3: Reduce Online Threats to Security
If your employees are using personal devices and home networks during this time, they may not have the same customized firewalls, antivirus software and other built-in tools to help with security. Even if you send everybody their equipment from the office, it is important to ensure that company data is well protected.
Start by requiring that everybody update their passwords and set up two-factor authentication for their computers. This extra step can include entering in a code from an email or text message prior to accessing their work computers or facial recognition. For anyone using their personal computer, require that they have antivirus software in place—they should be able to find one that includes a free trial—and ask that everyone secures their home router with a new password and makes sure the encryption is set to WPA2 or WPA3. You might have to set up a Zoom meeting with your IT department and employees who need assistance with some of these tasks, but it will be well-worth the extra remote meeting time.
Also, consider investing in an identity theft protection plan for your remote workers through a company like LifeLock. LifeLock’s programs are a worthwhile and proactive way to help secure your company’s information and each employee’s personal information when they work remotely. In the event of a security breach, LifeLock will alert the employee and help to fix the issue immediately.
Remember, This Will Not Last Forever
Eventually, the COVID-19 crisis will pass and everyone will return to office. But it is good to know that for now, there are plenty of proactive ways to help you and your employees to work from home and to be able to accomplish as much as they can in a safe and secure way.