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As the “new normal” becomes a reality, many of us now find ourselves working from home. While many of us have worked from a home office before, for most it is a strange environment to become productive in. Along with the kids and dogs, the lack of physical co-worker contact and a real sense of uncertainty, suddenly we have been given a new set of tools to work with.
As the economic fallout from the pandemic continues, so will the need for businesses to do more with less. As many who have been relegated to move their workspace to their homes have found, there is the real possibility of getting our work done more efficiently from a home office. How we accomplish this while maintaining our sanity is the challenge for all of us.
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Here are five steps for helping your entire organization work more effectively from home:
- Identify the systems and platforms you already have in place.
- Determine how the investments already made in those platforms can be best leveraged.
- Decide what challenges are still not being addressed.
- Research potential solutions best suited to meet any specific shortcomings.
- Deploy and implement new solutions while avoiding disruptions as much as possible.
How can your employees best communicate with each other, your clients and vendors? Is there a physical phone system and servers in place? If you’re using VoIP, there may be a voice/video desktop application available for remote workers. Is there a need for a physical handset, or can the desktop or mobility application suffice? Should a pure cloud solution be deployed?
Where are your files and other applications stored? Is there a physical server or servers located in the main office equipment room or in a data center? There needs to be connectivity established between home offices and where the data is stored, and applications are running. Does a pure cloud solution make more sense?
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It is important to remember that it is not just the what, but the how. The workforce is varied in technological abilities, knowledge and savvy. We are challenged to provide those different skill sets a solution that works and is easy to use. Any necessary training should be offered via video or webinar. Ensure that there Is adequate bandwidth and wireless availability.
Mike Metzger (Photo: Provided by NCET)
Reach out to your trusted IT professional for help in making these tough choices. Chances are they have been working long hours the last 60 days helping other businesses accomplish these tasks.
Learn about effectively implementing work from home solutions at NCET’s online Biz Cafe on at 3 p.m. on May 13. NCET is a member-supported nonprofit organization that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology. Find more info at www.NCETcafe.org.
Mike Metzger works as director of sales for PacStates (www.pacstatesnv.com), a local Systems Integrator where he provides effective technology solutions and unsurpassed customer service to local businesses, nonprofits and government agencies.
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