Today, businesses are embracing digital technology to enable productivity anywhere, any time. Yet ensuring accountability is a stumbling block to widespread acceptance of remote work.
Recently, COVID-19 has forced many businesses to transition quickly to working from home. Even bosses concerned about lack of control over absent employees had to make the change. Former opponents to remote work may have discovered the benefits of this approach. Employees certainly may have enjoyed the opportunity and want to keep doing it.
The good news is that technology and products are even better today for managing remote teams.
Top Tools for Remote Work Accountability
Overall, employers need to trust their people. This is true whether they’re working on-site or from home. Still, for some supervisors, trust is easier with remote monitoring abilities.
Joint calendars are a common starting point. Microsoft 365, Google’s G Suite, and other tools allow staff to share calendars. People can still schedule personal appointments and keep those private, but the joint professional calendar lets everyone on a team stay in the know. Managers can go online to track sales meetings, client presentations, or team sessions.
Project management software is another way to see what co-workers are doing. Teamwork, Basecamp, and Trello offer a central location to see a project come together. Employees can access secure software from any location to share files and interact. Individuals can set deadlines and create tasks to improve accountability and responsibility sharing.
Business-based internal messaging software also keeps everyone on the same page. These communication tools typically provide one-on-one messaging and group chat. It’s easy to send a quick note asking someone for a status update, or just check in. Some tools also allow individual and team audio calls as well as video conferencing. Top contenders are Microsoft Teams, Slack, WhatsApp, Skype for Business, or the Facebook and Google Hangout work chat apps.
Go big enabling collaboration among employees with cloud-based office software. Microsoft 365 enables many users to go online and work on the same things at the same time. This solution also lets managers easily view shared documents and verify progress. It’s even possible to invite clients or other external partners in to view folders. For security reasons, you may want to limit their access to “view only” and set an expiration time on the link you share.
Securing Remote Work
Security is another point of friction for businesses allowing remote work, but the technology is keeping pace there also. Even so, you will want to educate employees about cybersecurity best practices. Requiring antivirus and malware upgrades, limiting external sharing, and enabling multifactor authentication will help make remote work viable, reliable, safe, and secure.
Need help installing or implementing remote work tools? We can help. Or, our IT experts can put in place the administrative controls you need to help secure work from home. Let us provide the IT help you need. Contact us today at 606-8FIX!
There are many problems with isolation. We don’t want to get you started. We know it’s true, but one issue we can help with is computer repair. Yes, there are problems with your home devices that we can address remotely.
Perhaps before sheltering in place you were willing to make do, or you're only facing challenges now. You're working at home, kids are online learning, and you're sharing the same computer.
You need to remain connected to the world and continue working, but you don’t want someone to come into your house to check your computer, and you’re not keen on going out to wait in line at a computer repair shop. Fortunately, with technology today, it’s much easier for IT experts to resolve computer issues remotely.
Remote Repair of Home Computers
There are many common computer issues that we can help address remotely. We’ll start out by sending you a link to download a tool that gives us remote access and control of your computer. Please know that we value our customers’ privacy. Even with this tool, we’ll still be able to access the computer only when you allow us to.
Now, what can we do once we have eyes on your computer from our remote location? Many things.
If you’re troubled by a slow computer, we can run diagnostics. We’ll find ways to speed up and optimize your computer to get you back in business more efficiently.
Running into software errors? We can take a remote peek and troubleshoot the issues to get you back on track.
The problem might be due to a virus or malicious software. A remote computer expert can identify security risks and remove viruses or spyware.
Perhaps you have to install software for video conference calls or online learning. With remote access, IT experts can install and set up applications, and personalize them to your needs.
Working from home has many of us setting up separate email accounts, because we need to keep personal and professional communication separate. With authorized access, remote tech support can install email and handle problems.
Your home printer may have been up to the job when it was in use intermittently, but it’s struggling to manage the demands of everyone at home at once. Installing printer drivers and some maintenance tasks are doable through remote support.
Then there’s the big one: data recovery. This is the one that makes people panic. “I’ve lost everything!” Our comforting support team can help recover lost files and restore peace of mind.
Get the IT Support You Need
Another cool thing is that you can sit back and watch us do it if you want to! Our experts can provide this support via online chat or phone conversation. Hey, you’ve been dying to talk to another human lately, right?
If the problem with your computer can’t be fixed remotely, we can arrange to pick up and drop off your device. Our people will wear masks and gloves and limit contact if in-person IT help is necessary. Contact us at 606-8FIX for a remote consultation today!
“Downtime costs money.”
That’s no secret, but it doesn’t quite capture the whole experience…you arrive to work in the morning, grab your coffee knowing you’ve got a hectic day ahead, and are ready to dive in. For some reason your computer can’t access the database and neither can anyone else’s. You restart the server while fielding calls left, right and center, but are unable to answer any client queries. Your hands are completely tied…and now the server is beeping furiously…what’s going on??!
You’re not just in crisis mode, you’re on damage control as you call every tech you can think of, trying to find one who can come NOW.
Not exactly the day you had planned.
The Break/Fix Days Are Gone
Previously, businesses only addressed their IT needs when something broke. A few hours down meant little in the scope of things. In today’s fast world, businesses rely heavily on IT and downtime just isn’t an option. Even the legalities of simply restoring financial, legal or medical files after a breach raises issues.
The cost of break/fix is now too high, both financially and emotionally.
Simply put, your IT services are remotely monitored and proactively managed by a professional, external business. Your Managed Service Provider (MSP) runs regular diagnostics on equipment to identify impending failure and resolves problems before they happen. They keep your systems updated and protected from security threats and ransomware.
Benefits of Managed Services
Small to medium businesses in particular benefit from managed services, because they don’t usually have an on-site technician to oversee the multiple systems in use. By subscribing to a managed service provider, businesses can have reduced labor costs, access to a knowledge base, future-pacing, better data security and reduced downtime. Businesses can also know exactly what their upcoming costs are and plan accordingly.
Some of the managed services we can provide are:
Remote support – This allows us to help you quickly without needing to be on-site.
Hardware monitoring – We monitor your servers and workstations to catch hardware failures before they happen.
Managed anti-virus – We make sure your anti-virus is up to date and take immediate action if an infection occurs.
Patch management – We make sure your computer’s operating system is up to date, closing access to known vulnerabilities as soon as possible.
Security Operations Center – We have a team dedicated to monitoring systems for the sole purpose of identify security threats and taking action to protect your business.
How much down time can your business afford? Give us a call.
Elroy is the man behind the scenes; writing posts, checking status of servers, managing networks and endpoints, and enjoying coffee in his favorite spots in Lakeland and Winter Haven, FL.