How ready is your business to make the move to remote working?

By Dave Page, CEO - March 17, 2020

In a world where our businesses are increasingly digital, business continuity plans for emergencies have to include being ready to adapt your digital services for home use. With the Covid-19 infection threatening to shut down workplaces for weeks on end, this is more relevant than ever. Have you planned for what happens when your employees have to work remotely? Are their home working environments fit for purpose?

A good digital readiness plan has to be part of a company’s business continuity. As part of that strategy, you need to know what sort of environments your employees have at home. Most home infrastructure is adequate for consumers, but it’s typically not maintained or managed in the same way as a corporate network, and there are many external influences which can make it unreliable.

Flexible and remote working is going to be the foreseeable future while cases of corona virus continue to increase. In the event of office closures, staff will have to rely on services and apps to get their work done - especially collaboration tools, conference software and CRM services. Video conferencing and other systems that aid remote communications will grow in demand with the surge in remote working, and using them requires your employees to have a home connection that’s fit for purpose.

Here at Actual, part of our readiness plan involves running our own audits on employee home networks. The results will ensure we know who to support should we need to close the office, where we might expect issues with connectivity and which apps will continue to work well in a home environment.

Our Digital Homeworking Readiness Assessment helps determine whether a staff member’s digital home working environment is fit for purpose, and if not, where it can be improved. It will test against the digital business tools important to any given business, highlighting how video conferencing might perform, whether CRM solutions will encounter delays or even how online collaboration tools are affected by your staff’s home environment.

This provides the opportunity to assess whether employees can reliably reach all the services necessary to continue operations as usual. Some tests will pass, and others will fail - but the business will know what its staff can and cannot do from home and plan accordingly. 

Inevitably, there will be some key applications or staff members that require assistance. Following the audit, we can work with employees to make their digital home working environments fit for purpose. That might mean fixing their WiFi or changing ISP for a faster service, upgrading their existing broadband service or swapping to business broadband, or even using 4G or 5G dongles as an alternative to flaky fixed broadband.

To be ready for the future, you need to make sure you’re thinking ahead. Your digital readiness strategy should make sure your employees can work remotely and effectively. Auditing their home environments will give you the ability to stay operational if you need to switch to remote working, and benefits your staff members with a home environment that’s appropriate for it.

 

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