Remote Possibilities

Whenever something out of the ordinary comes along, we have a chance to re-examine possibilities we may have been ignoring. Or we may be forced to look for alternatives because “business as usual” is no longer possible.

The Covid-19 crisis is one of those extraordinary circumstances, and whether we call it social distancing or sheltering in place or self-quarantining, the result is that a lot of people won’t be going to workplaces for a while. The technology to enable working from home has been around for some time but has not commonly been the preference over working in the office. Now the office is no longer an option, and many businesses are taking another (or a first) look at what it would take to make working from home a practical alternative.

What does it take? The basics are a telephone, a computer, and a connection to the Internet. Your office phone system can forward calls to employee phones; the Internet allows the employee’s computer to access computers and servers in the office. If the company uses software hosted at a vendor site, that site can be made accessible to the employee.

The complications begin where the basics leave off…

  • In an office, information still moves from one employee to another by paper or in conversation, not just electronically. To be as efficient from home as they are in the office, employees need tools that allow them to replace those office systems.
  • Security is always a concern, even in the office. You need to make company data and programs accessible, but only to those who are authorized to use them, not everyone on the Internet. And in some industries, there are security standards and regulatory requirements to be satisfied. This can be challenging even inside the company walls and on company equipment; unless home workers have company-issued computers and phones, provision must be made to ensure that they do not become a security and compliance nightmare.
  • Continuity of the business is also a concern. What happens when the home-based employee has a computer problem? What if it results in lost data? Who is responsible for backing up the employees’ equipment? How do you keep them safe from malware and ransomware?

These complications, as well as others, have sometimes prevented business owners from pursuing the idea of the remote worker. However, they can be overcome; and the companies which have treated them as a to-do list rather than as a barrier are the companies that will emerge from the current circumstances in much better shape than most of their competition.

We would love to help your business survive this challenging time. Contact Aurental to schedule a free discussion to look at your issues and options!
Even if you feel you waited too long, and now it’s too late to prepare for this crisis, it is not too late to prepare for the next one. And it’s never too early! Give us a call at Aurental to schedule a discussion about next time.