The current circumstances have impacted almost every area of people’s lives – from their social activities through to how they operate and work remotely. Technology has been crucial to handling these shifts positively. It’s allowed employers to communicate with their workforce and ensured employees can collaborate with one another.

Yet, logistical challenges have arisen. There are new issues which people might not have addressed before. How are employees accessing sensitive business data? Should employees be using a Virtual Private Network (VPN)? How do individuals navigate working from home if they live in an area that’s poorly connected? With working from home becoming the ‘new normal’, it’s vital that businesses find answers and solutions to these kinds of questions.

Tackling all these questions at once can be difficult, especially when working remotely or without wider team support. However, it is possible for businesses operating within all sectors to make remote working a success, providing they plan around four specific areas of their day-to-day operations.

 

Access all areas

Working from home can throw up all kinds of disruptions, from limited bandwidth with children streaming videos to poor video quality due to connection issues. But productivity will really suffer if employees are unable to access the resources they need. Especially those which were commonplace before the need to work remotely.

Businesses need to focus on keeping the things they can control easily accessible and secure. Employees must have immediate and easy access to all files, tools, applications and data they are accustomed to in order to minimise loss of productivity.

 

It’s a learning process

Once employees can access data remotely, risk is the next challenge to address. It’s an inescapable fact that working from home increases the potential for both malicious cybercriminal activity and accidental data loss. Especially when employees aren’t protected by the full array of protective measures they might have had in their usual work environment.

This is where education becomes incredibly important. Keeping staff and data safe from cybercriminal harm only happens when employees are thoroughly educated on cybersecurity best-practices. The same is also true with accidental data becoming loss. If a business doesn’t want to see its information disappear into thin air, it needs to make staff aware of how to manage it securely.

From a security standpoint, a VPN can be incredibly useful. It protects data while also allowing employees to access the data remotely. For example, VeeamPN enables employees to connect to their desired VPN without hassle or delay.

IT teams also need to remain vigilant in ensuring all remote workstations are backed up to secure endpoints and installed with up-to-date, protective anti-virus software.

 

Back up, back up, back up!

Conducting regular backups is crucial to ensuring that all activity is stored safely and resiliently across all storage environments. The current crisis has shone a light on the importance of continuity plans that include a solid backup and disaster recovery strategy – which is regularly tested. Even the technical matters which might seem less important.

Take VPNs for example. The best-prepared CIOs don’t even let the usage of certain VPN tools pass them by, ensuring that they plan and test the potential effects of entire departments accessing their internal company network through a particular solution. Repeatedly.

 

Automation is key

While working from home for an extended time, IT teams can be overstretched with providing desk-side support, tightening cybersecurity and monitoring network capacity. Automating business continuity procedures should be top of mind for all progressive CIOs. Enabling automation of these processes allows IT teams to effectively manage their time and reallocate it to focus on key business priorities which might require higher competency of thought.

 

What’s next? 

There’s no firm end date to the current remote working environment. But embracing this new way of working will help us get to the other side. Amidst this uncertainty, there are things that can be done to help make operations as smooth as possible.

Ensure the right resources and tools are available. Make working environments feel secure. Back up data regularly and embrace automation. With this kind of planning in place, being able to run like ‘normal’ should become more of a reality for any business – for however long that may be.