Here are the top six tips on working productively and securely from home:
1. Fully implement a Cloud base Office Suite, such as Microsoft Office 365 or Google Suite: Encourage your company in fully implement your Office productivity suite. Many companies have partially implemented these tools and might only use the e-mail. Using the full suite of tools will give your company access to online meetings, chat, personal and group file sharing. Using these cloud base tools keep most of your company data managed in a cloud. If you choose Microsoft you can also share account and customer records.
2. If not in the Cloud, Remote Control your Office computer from Home: If you don’t have access to all your files and applications from home set yourself up to remotely control your office PC from home. If you have a work laptop you may have to leave it at work where only you can access those applications. A VPN and Remote Desktop, Logmein, or GotoMyPC can all be used to accomplish this. Remotely controlling your work PC will keep you connected to in office servers and applications and won’t download sensitive files to your home computer. Note: a VPN can be very slow if not used with Remote Desktop and Remote Desktop can be insecure if not used with a VPN.
3. Setup your home up as an extension to your Office Phone System: Most modern office phone systems are Internet based and can be extended to a cell phone or computer by installing an app or you can even bring your office desk phone home and plug into your modem. This will keep your team able to manage call volumes and call transfer routines while working from home. This will keep employees happy as they won’t have to give out personal cell phone numbers to employees and customer out of voicemail boxes.
4. Setup a Password Manager Tool: Ask your IT team to setup a password management tool which can save passwords you might need to use to access work website while at home. This will ensure you don’t loose track of the keys to the kingdom while out of the office.
5. Adhere to Policy as if at Work: Remember your employer can still monitor when you come online and access work systems, so adhere to your normal work shift. Beware of knowingly downloading or e-mailing sensitive files to your personal computer from work systems as this may breach workplace policies.
6. Have a Plan B Ready: After year of working on the road and from home I’ve learned it’s important to have a plan B ready to go so you won’t miss that big deadline. After all you will be working off of less reliable home grade equipment, won’t have IT standing by or your cubical buddy to help you out. Kids too noisy, can you work from the car? Internet down, do you know how to use your cell phone hotspot or connect to your neighbor’s wi-fi? Battery just died on your headset, have a wired headset nearby.