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Is your IT Team prepared for Coronavirus?

Updated: Mar 8

The Epidemic


COVID-19 or Coronavirus has hit us all at once and affected the businesses around the globe. Infected people can spread the novel Coronavirus by sneezing or coughing. For an example, if an infected person sneezed in a board meeting, virus will spread to the uninfected people. As a result, many companies are making the decision that it’s time to work from home. There are some challenges when it comes to working from home. Let’s go through them one by one.




Do your employees have equipment to work from home?

First of all, employees need fast internet to work from home. If employees don’t have an acceptable internet connection at home, your IT Team can provide them with a mobile hotspot. People who have office laptops can take it home and work. People without office laptops will have to request one from HR.


Does your company have proper equipment at office?

Not just the employee, even employer should have proper equipment for this to work. If employees are required to access the company network to do their work, companies should have a firewall with employee access via VPN.

Your firewall needs to be ready to handle the increased volume of traffic. If you have high number of employees, your user count in the firewall should be high. Your firewall should be able to handle the traffic. Are all your employees set-up with VPN access?


Online collaborative tools

When you work remotely, you can’t see your colleagues. So it’s important that you stay in touch and have frequent & quick interactions. Tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Whatsapp and Outlook can be used to stay in touch with your colleagues.  Also employees should audio and video conferencing facilities for internal and client meetings.


Pay special attention to HR and Finance…are they ready?

If you want to stay in business…you must invoice your client and you must pay your employees. Thus HR and Finance & Accounting Teams should be first in line to get prepared. Make sure your IT and HR and F&A teams sit down and review their process. Go through a dry-run of generating an invoice and running payroll. These are not tasks you want to try for the first time when everyone is working from home.


Tips for working from home

Working remotely has many benefits to the employee. You can work in the comfort of your own home, but you need to have a plan to deliver the assigned work on time. First you have to make sure you have a proper place to work at home. A quiet place.

When you are working from home, you have to manage your workload. It’s important to organize your day. For example, if you have to write an article, you have to do your research first. Before you do your research, you have to finalize the websites you need to refer. And also you can setup reminders on your phone regarding important tasks.

Finally when there is a deadline for your work, you need to make sure there are no distractions. Set your phone to do not disturb mode, turn off the email notifications etc.. etc…




References


1.Evolvit. (2016). Your Guide To Working From Home. [online] Available at: https://evolvit.co.uk/it-support/computer-support/guide-to-working-from-home/ [Accessed 5 Mar. 2020].


2.  Hadden, J. (n.d.). Twitter and Amazon are among 31 of the largest global companies who have restricted travel or asked their employees to work remotely as a precaution against the novel coronavirus. Here’s the full list. [online] Business Insider. Available at: https://www.businessinsider.com/companies-asking-employees-to-work-from-home-due-to-coronavirus-2020#facebooks-employees-in-china-are-working-from-home-and-the-company-stopped-all-non-essential-travel-to-the-country-facebook-also-pulled-out-of-sxsw-in-austin-texas-over-concerns-about-the-outbreak-5 [Accessed 5 Mar. 2020].



3.July 20, M.B. in C. on, 2018 and Pst, 4:00 Am (n.d.). The 10 rules found in every good remote work policy. [online] TechRepublic. Available at: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/the-10-rules-found-in-every-good-remote-work-policy/ [Accessed 5 Mar. 2020].


4. Eavis, P. (2020). How Bad Could It Get? Companies Gauge the Coronavirus Impact. The New York Times. [online] 28 Feb. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/28/business/economy/companies-coronavirus-economy.html.


5.Stern, J. (2020). Working From Home Because of Coronavirus? These Are Your Tech Fixes. Wall Street Journal. [online] 5 Mar. Available at: https://www.wsj.com/articles/working-from-home-because-of-coronavirus-these-are-your-tech-fixes-11583326423?mod=e2li&tesla=y [Accessed 5 Mar. 2020].

6.Sumac Non-profit Software. (2013). How to Setup a VPN to Access Your Office Files Remotely - Sumac Non-profit Software. [online] Available at: https://www.sumac.com/how-to-setup-a-vpn-to-access-your-office-files-remotely/.


7.Rock, T. (2015). 11 things your company firewall absolutely must do. [online] Invenio IT. Available at: https://www.google.com/amp/s/invenioit.com/security/company-firewall/amp/ [Accessed 6 Mar. 2020].


8.VPNShazam TM. (2016). Relationship Between VPN and Firewalls. [online] Available at: https://www.vpnshazam.com/2016/04/01/relationship-between-vpn-and-firewalls/ [Accessed 6 Mar. 2020].


9.quickbooks.intuit.com. (n.d.). Online Invoicing Software | QuickBooks Global. [online] Available at: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/global/invoicing/?cid=ppc_G_dsa_ROW_QBO_ROW-USD_DSA_G_S_txt&gclid=CjwKCAiA44LzBRB-EiwA-jJipBjwpnyFqyHbr35EjjAMctn8dLijiiYuV8sFhMoZMHfnMr7l4fujyBoC3_cQAvD_BwE [Accessed 6 Mar. 2020].






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