Posted on March 30, 2020 by Brian George
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to keep people at home for work. As your organization prepares for a remote workforce, now or in the future, consider these top priorities to achieve success.
- Discover which files and apps employees use to perform their jobs, and devise a plan for them to remotely access and share data in a secure manner.
Cloud-based apps are inherently available, where there is internet, outside of your company oﬃces and network. Files and programs stored or running on a desktop in the oﬃce prove a more diﬃcult access challenge. You need to decide which option for extending remote access makes the most sense for your situation. A traditional VPN is probably the easiest option, although newer virtual desktops also offer advantages. Secure, remote access is possible.
- Ensure reliable, fast Internet service at home.
If the employee does not have reliable internet access at home, consider providing them with an LTE wireless solution.
- Ensure continuity of voice communications.
The ability to talk with customers, take phone orders, and simply keep up with day to day activities requires a communication system. Do your employees use physical phones? Can they use their business extension remotely? Can they access their business line via an online app in place of their physical handset? Is it wise to have people use their personal mobile as their primary phone in place of a business extension? Hosted Voice (VoIP) adoption has been on the rise for years, because it enables one business phone number across devices, has many calling features, is easy to manage remotely, and can integrate with CRMs. Now, Unified Communications (UCaaS) adoption is surging as businesses integrate their VoIP system with web conferencing, instant message/chat, presence, and screen share.
- Assess call centers.
Remote work is an attractive option for companies that operate contact centers. How easily could you scale your contact center beyond your four walls? Is your call center software cloud-based, or could your employees securely access your apps remotely? Think of the many uses for a call center beyond the traditional Customer Support set up. Your brick-and-mortar business might pivot to phone and online ordering or need a new service method which can require phone coordination. Transition quickly with an easy-to-use, hosted Call Center solution.
- Consider web conferencing capabilities.
What is the capacity of your current service, and how will it handle an increase in usage or number of meeting participants? Does your web conferencing service offer all the features your remote workforce needs? Are free conferencing services everything they claim to be? When face-to-face meetings aren't possible, video conference with screen sharing helps people connect and collaborate. Whether it's your Support agent helping a customer, your product team's weekly meeting, a customer sales presentation, or an all-hands call, you'll want a reliable system that enables collaboration.
There are many other considerations, such as training, support, policies, and procedures that accompany having a mobile workforce. For more information, download our free guide “Preparing for a Remote Workforce”.