Navigating Business through the New Now
There are still a lot of unanswered questions and uncertainty on how to navigate the “new now,” but at Integrinet IT Solutions, we believe in providing enhanced technical solutions to improve productivity across each organization. With COVID-19 evolving rapidly, we have taken key points to keep your business running, as we navigate through this pandemic, and stay-at-home orders are lifted.
Assessing business moving forward will look different during these unprecedented times, however, Integrinet IT Solutions is committed to providing the best resources for you today and for the future.
Below you will find tools that support transitioning to a remote working environment:
- Computers: Generally, desktops and laptops will be provided for all remote employees, but in the case that this is not an option and employees are asked to use personal computers, a VPN and two-factor authentication should be turned on.
- If computers are provided for the remote worksite, such equipment shall be used exclusively by the employee and for the purposes of conducting business.
- If new hardware needs to be purchased, buy in bulk from online retailers like Amazon or buy directly from Dell or Lenovo.
- Telephony: Most phone systems will allow you to make calls through your regular work line. VoIP, Vonage Phone System, Jive, and others are a few systems that can be set up remotely.
- If an internet system does not apply to you, look into your voicemail forwarding settings. Also, include a detailed message on the best mode of communication.
- Another at-home method includes getting a Skype number or the Google Voice App.
- Video: Most computer models have a high-quality built-in camera. If an external camera is needed, look online to find out which brand offers what you are looking for.
- Audio: Headsets, speakers, and microphones may be needed for better speaking capabilities when taking audio calls. Laptops and computers have built-in speakers, but a boost in sound quality can be improved when connecting additional devices.
- Faxing: Faxing is still part of today’s world, and it may be part of your everyday functions, but how do you fax files without a fax machine? Consider looking at electronic fax options. Going this route could mean that a new fax number will be assigned, which means you will need to alert everyone on the other end.
- Printers & Scanners: If printing is necessary for conducting your job, consider purchasing an at-home printer, but if this is not an option, FedEx Office can help get the job done. The alternatives to scanning documents at home include portable scanners or apps. If using an application, simply install the app and take a photo with your phone or camera. The app will convert your files to PDFs. Some of the applications to consider include Microsoft Office Lens, Adobe Scan, and Doc Fast.
- Internet: Not only will you need a stable and reliable internet connection, but also a secured connection. Check to see what your settings are, and if possible, set your router to WPA2 as it is the highest secured option.
- Servers: A VPN is a secured method to create a reliable workspace where employees can go to and access shared documents and other internal systems. The VPN application is pre-built and functions when connected to your computer on your at-home wireless network. If help is needed during set up, Integrinet IT support is available to help.
- Passwords: Is it time to change your password? Possibly not, but it’s never a bad idea to change it to a much stronger one. Do not store your passwords in your browser when you are given the option to do so. Passwords, however, can be stored in password management sites like LastPass or Keepass.
- Authentication: Most applications you log in to will have a multi-factor authentication option. If this is not turned on, make sure that you do so in your settings. This process will vary depending on the software being used.
- Encryption: Turn on your encryption to protect confidential information when accessing files and communicating sensitive information.
- Scams: Be aware of scam emails that you may receive during this time. Treat any emails or texts with subject lines or information about coronavirus with caution. Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments. Lastly, reference government websites to obtain up-to-date information. Get alerts from the FBI here
- Files: If files are typically saved on a cloud such as OneDrive, GoogleDrive, DropBox, etc., ensure that everyone has the right credentials to access and save files as needed. If files are saved through a physical server, make sure that instructions to set up the VPN are given. The login is typically the same credentials used to login to the computer given to you by your company.
- Productivity Applications: Google makes it easy to navigate through the different applications and is available on any web browser with just a Gmail account. For Microsoft users, the same process mentioned above is true unless using the desktop version of Microsoft Office 365.
- Email: Email can be accessed via a web browser or you can download the software directly to any computer as long as there is an internet connection.
Chat: If you don’t already have a communication plan, consider having a day-to-day meeting to understand what everyone is working on, or find an application like Google Hangouts that allows for rapid communication. This also helps keep everyone connected and will creates some mental stability. Office 365 has Teams that can be used not only for communication, but also for task management.
- Project Management: Virtual project management has its pros and cons. Projects can and will run smoothly when finding the right workflow for your business. Processes may look different from here on out, but the job will continue. Have trust in your employees. After all, you hired them for the skills they bring to the team.
To get back to a workflow that makes sense to you, begin with the processes in your normal workflow that you still can. From there, look at the different opportunities such as using G Suite, sharing a calendar in Office 365, or creating a spreadsheet detailing tasks and deadlines.
- Remote work: This may or may not be the first-time remote work has been activated. Regardless, there will be a lot of questions as everyone gets acquainted with their new working space. Settling in may take some time, and that’s okay. Sit back, take a breath, and transition slowly to minimize any stressors amongst the team.
Integrinet IT is following the latest guidance from the CDC and local health officials to ensure that the appropriate actions are being taken and will make adjustments as deemed necessary. Get your pandemic questions answered by visiting the WHO website.
Integrinet IT is fully committed to the wellbeing of all employees, mentally and physically. Employees in our Idaho and Utah offices are either working remotely to continue job functions or are in the office complying with social distancing rules. Given the ongoing spread of the virus, Integrinet IT supports remote work and is at your disposal to proceed with business as usual. Additionally, strengthened communications regarding best practices have been addressed throughout our offices.
Learn more about Integrinet IT’s response to the coronavirus by filling out the form, online chat, or by calling in. Know that we are here for you, so don’t hesitate to contact our team with your questions or comments. Be safe and stay healthy.