With the announcement last month from Google and Facebook that the majority of their employees will probably be working from home until 2021, it would seem that companies across the globe are making long term plans for the uninterrupted continuation of their business. Whilst the large US tech giants may be leading the way, small and large companies will now also need to start planning for long term remote working in order to protect their staff and clients and adhere to social distancing rules.
When the UK lockdown was declared in March, many organisations were forced to quickly cobble together a remote IT system so that their employees could carry on working at home. With different options to choose from, and with differing price points, some companies will have found this easier than others depending on what they had in place already. The overarching questions to ask now are firstly, will those remote systems be secure and sustainable over the next 6 to 12 months and beyond? And secondly, will the workers who were forced to work at home, ever want to come back to work in the office at all? Here we outline the points that all employers should now have on their agendas to talk through with their IT managers in order to prepare for the remote working revolution.
Plan for change
What is becoming apparent with every news bulletin is that we are heading for a year or more of social distancing. It is likely to be the case, especially for the larger companies in larger offices, that they won’t be able to go back to the system of having everyone return to working in the office at once. It will probably have to be in shift patterns whilst maintaining a high level of remote workers until the coronavirus vaccine is freely and widely available.
Is it sustainable?
So now is the time to look at the remote IT solution that you have in place now and then consider if it is just adequate for now or if it will need to be upgraded or even redeveloped in order to support your remote workers and enable them to be productive for now and more importantly for the future too.
Is it secure?
If your solution was hastily prepared to get users logged in and up and working at short notice, there’s a strong possibility that it probably wasn’t well thought out. Your users may have had to change the way they work in order to adapt to the new set up and in all the haste, it’s likely that security and patching concerns were overlooked. For companies such as accountants or solicitors, who hold a large amount of client sensitive data, failure to ensure correct security protocols are met with the new remote IT system could lead to a data breach, which would be catastrophic to the business and the client.
Plan for the future
Your plan for the future will need to be well-thought out. If your employees decide that flexible working is the more productive way for them to work, you will need to put a robust system in place which allows them to share files and collaborate with their colleagues, communicate securely and have access to as much data as they need. With Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) at maximum capacity in the UK, firms here will have to consider the security implications of opting for WVD as all data on new accounts will have to go via servers in the US. A hosted desktop solution like Prism, provides for remote and mobile working on any device, anywhere in the world and allows uniform access to your desktop. This is a secure, agile and flexible working solution which will allow your company to continue to work at full productivity with the ability to scale up or down according to the needs of your business.