COVID-19 BUSINESS GUIDE
Navigating Business through the New Now
There are still a lot of unanswered questions and uncertainty on how to navigate the “new now,” but at Integrinet IT, we believe in providing technical solutions to improve productivity across each organization. With COVID-19 evolving rapidly, we have taken key steps to keep your business running, as we navigate through this pandemic, and stay-at-home orders are lifted.
Business workflow looks different during these unprecedented times, however, we are committed to providing you with the best resources and technology plan.
Below you will find tools that support transitioning to a remote working environment:
- Computers: Generally, desktops and laptops will be provided for all remote employees, but where this is not an option, and employees are using personal computers, a VPN and multifactor authentication should be used.
- If computers are provided for the remote worksite, it is best if the equipment is used exclusively by the employee and for the purposes of conducting business.
- If new hardware needs to be purchased, buy in bulk from online retailers like Amazon or directly from vendors such as Dell or Lenovo.
- Telephony: Most phone systems will allow you to make calls through your regular work line. VoIP, Vonage Phone System, or Jive are a few systems that can be set up remotely.
- If your business is not yet using VoIP, look into your voicemail forwarding settings. When leaving messages, be sure to include details on the best mode of communication.
- Other at-home methods include getting a Skype number or the Google Voice App.
- Video: Most computer models have a high-quality built-in camera. If an external camera is needed, talk to your service engineer.
- Audio: Headsets, speakers, and microphones may be needed for better speaking capabilities when taking audio calls. Laptops and computers have built-in speakers, but a boost in sound quality can be improved when connecting additional devices.
- Faxing: Faxing is still part of today’s world, and it may be part of your everyday functions, but how do you fax files without a fax machine? Consider iFax, an app compatible with Microsoft. Going this route could mean that a new fax number will be assigned, which means you will need to alert everyone on the other end.
- Printers & Scanners: If printing is necessary for conducting your job, consider purchasing an at-home printer, but if this is not an option, FedEx Office can help get the job done. Alternatives to scanning documents at home are using portable scanners or apps. If using an application, simply install the app and take a photo with your phone or camera. The app will convert your files to PDFs. Some of the applications to consider include Microsoft Office Lens, Adobe Scan, and Doc Fast.
- Internet: Not only will you need a stable and reliable internet connection, but also a secure connection. Check to see what your settings are, and if possible, set your router to WPA2 as it is the highest secured option.
- Servers: A VPN is a secured method to create a reliable workspace where employees can go to and access shared documents and other internal systems. The VPN application is pre-built and functions when connected to your computer on your at-home wireless network. If help is needed during set up, Integrinet IT support is available to help.
- Passwords: Is it time to change your password? Possibly not, but it’s never a bad idea to change it to a much stronger one. Do not store your passwords in your browser when you are given the option to do so. Passwords, however, can be stored in password management sites like LastPass or Keepass.
- Authentication: Most applications you log in to will have a multifactor authentication option. If this is not turned on, make sure that you do so in your settings.
- Encryption: Turn on your encryption to protect confidential information when accessing files and communicating sensitive information.
- Scams: Be aware of scam emails that you may receive during this time. Treat any emails or texts with subject lines or information about coronavirus with caution. Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments. Lastly, reference government websites to obtain up-to-date information. Get alerts from the FBI here.
- Files: If files are typically saved on a cloud such as OneDrive, GoogleDrive, DropBox, etc., ensure that everyone has the right credentials to access and save files as needed. If files are saved through a physical server, make sure that instructions to set up the VPN are given. The login is typically the same credentials used to log in to the computer given to you by your company.
- Productivity Applications: Microsoft 365 makes it easy to navigate through the different applications and is available on your web browser and desktop application.
- Email: Email can be accessed via a web browser or you can download the software directly to any computer as long as there is an internet connection.
- Chat: If you don’t already have a communication plan, consider using Microsoft Teams for your day-to-day communications and meetings. Keeping up-to-date with what everyone is working on and keeping in touch creates stability for workflow and peace of mind.
- Project Management: Virtual project management has its pros and cons. Projects can and will run smoothly when finding the right workflow for your business. Processes may look different from here on out, but the work will continue. Microsoft 365 can help you here too. There are apps such as Teams, Word, OneNote, Excel, PowerPoint, and more to facilitate the management of your projects.
To get back to a workflow that makes sense to you, begin with your normal workflow. From there, look at the different opportunities such as using your Outlook calendar or creating a spreadsheet in Excel detailing tasks and deadlines.
- Remote work: This may or may not be the first-time your teams have had to work remotely. Even so, there will be a lot of questions as everyone gets acquainted with their new working space. Settling in may take some time, and that’s okay. Sit back, take a breath, and transition slowly to minimize any stressors among your team members.
Integrinet IT is following the latest guidance from the CDC and local health officials to ensure that the appropriate actions are being taken for our business and will make adjustments as deemed necessary. Get your pandemic questions answered by visiting the WHO website.
Integrinet IT is fully committed to the mental and physical wellbeing of all employees. Employees in our Idaho and Utah offices are either working remotely to continue job functions or are in the office complying with social distancing rules. Given the ongoing spread of the virus, Integrinet IT supports remote work and is at your disposal to help set up your work-at-home stations.
Learn more about Integrinet IT’s response to the coronavirus by filling out the Contact Us form (below), starting an online chat, emailing us, or calling in. We are here for you. Please don’t hesitate to contact our team with your questions or comments. Be safe and stay healthy.