Advice to enable charity & business employees' remote working

Items to consider when enabling charity or business employees’ remote working

The current virus is causing worries and concerns for many of us. This blog is intended to guide both business and charity leaders on the items to consider when creating an environment that will enable employees to be able to work from home or remotely from any other location over the difficult coming months.

Whether you are a business or a charity you want to ensure your staff can work with any device, from any location and at any time. Employees need access to the tools they require when they require them to be productive but always secure. Equally, you want to be able to ensure that only those who are entitled to access certain tools and applications can do so. With modern cloud IT, you can do exactly this.

The benefit of modern Cloud IT is that the Office is always on-hand irrespective of where you are located or working. It allows secure cloud data, storage, applications and access to your company or organisation’s current IT.

Some of the main components to consider when creating an environment that supports effective and secure home/remote working:

  • Cloud-based applications such as Microsoft 365. By default, this will enable your users to access resources and share files across the web, from both mobile and desktop devices, storing their content in the cloud so enabling their remote working and access to their emails, calendars, and files.
  • VPN access for remote workers back into on-premise applications – For those applications that are located at your premises rather than in the cloud, secure access for remote worker needs to be established using a virtual private network.
  • Identity, authentication and access to cloud-based and on-premise tools, IT applications and services based on their entitlement.
  • Device enablement and endpoint management including those that are running Windows or Mac and iOS or Android. Also, to enable, support and manage BYOD (bring your own devices)
  • Consider mobile device management, often know as MDM – Protect your mobile devices instantly with market-leading MDM software. All devices can be monitored from one place and overseen remotely from the air. MDM helps to maximise productivity, as employees can perform tasks on the devices they are most familiar with and without compromising security.
  • Enable team working, meetings, chat, video and team collaboration irrespective of your employee locations with cloud applications such as Microsoft Teams.
  • Level of remote service monitoring – Irrespective of where employees are working, you want to ensure there is access to IT support and a help desk to resolve any remote working issues they may have spanning devices, applications and network whether cloud or on-premise.
  • Enabling voice, data and video – Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows you to make free, or very low cost, phone calls over the internet/Cloud. It enables you to make and receive calls to and from any telephone whether in the office or remote at any location often resulting in cost savings, greater efficiency and a more streamlined working environment with free inter-office and remote working call charges.

When creating your remote working environment also consider the processes you will establish to support the new remote way of working and regular communication, motivation, mentorship and effective daily management. For example, Office 365 users may save files on the cloud to their one drive and enable sharing to other relevant remote team members.  Emails may contain links rather than attachments so that remote workers are always accessing the latest version of any file.

In addition to employees, the benefit of the environment described above can allow charities and businesses alike to collaborate, share and communicate with any third parties too.

Effective remote and on-premise working – basically the ability to work from anywhere, at any time and with any device – will create an environment that enables your business to continue to operate whilst creating a caring and effective environment that helps to protect, at this concerning and difficult time, the well-being of employees.

Often the quickest way to a secure and effective remote working cloud and on-premise IT environment is to engage with a company that is highly experienced in quickly enabling many charities and businesses to allow them to offer remote and home working rapidly.

Software such as LogMeIn enables immediate access and management of computers remotely, whilst providing remote support on-demand.  SpirIT UK is pleased to be able to offer this free to small charities and business (up to 50 users) for three months and if you do decide to continue to use, at £4 per user per month thereafter. This includes antivirus for secure working.

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