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Leaders have found themselves dealing with their team working remotely during this crisis.  We are asking ourselves what is deemed to be essential and what is non-essential?   Can everyone or almost everyone work safely and securely from home?   These are some of the tough questions we are faced with in addition to the changing world we live in today.

Yesterday, we had a webinar on helping to deal with this topic.   Thanks to the WindsorEssex Regional Chamber, WEtech, and WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation for co-hosting and special thanks to my friend Karolyn Hart, President of InspireHUB for being a virtual speaker with me.  Here are some highlights of our webinar.

Work From Home Policy

Many have worked from home and remotely for years.   For others, this is new and all of a sudden a real issue that needs to be addressed.  Does your organization have a work from home policy?   If not, one needs to be in place.   Your current policy needs to be revisited and updated to ensure your team is taken care of in terms of their safety and most importantly, their health.

Setting Up The Home Office

Your office set-up will have a number of items to review and might need to be addressed to work efficiently and securely from home.   Your Internet speed is important.  Your devices need to be up to date.   For example, computers running Windows 7 and Windows 8 no longer have security updates and should not be used.   Ensure you are running Windows 10 with the latest updates.   The same principle applies to your Mac and other devices.

Business As Usual

Treat working from home the same as being in the office.   Find your quiet space away from everyone else in your home including pets while you are working.   Keep similar hours and dress appropriately.   This comment also receives a chuckle and could lead to embarrassing moments if on a video call.  Focus on your work.   When interacting with others, whether on the phone, video conference or replying to their e-mail, the same rules apply.   We can tell when you are distracted, working on something else so the best practice is to focus on the task at hand.

Remote Tools

There are so many phone conferences, video conferences,s and collaboration tools available today.  Starting with what you want to do and accomplish can help choose the right tools.   Some are free for the basic version and some have free trial versions for 30-days.   Microsoft Teams is included with Office 365 subscriptions and is a good tool to communicate with your team.

For our webinar, we used Zoom as our platform.  We had almost 100 attend virtually with the 2 presenters’ camera’s on, shared our screens for our PowerPoint slides and there was a chat box on the side for comments and questions.

You can Google top ten tools for each category, review them, ask others what they like/dislike, talk to your tech team and tech company to help.

Your Data

Data is very important to every organization.   What data do you need to access?   Where is it located?  Where are you saving the data once you update it?  How is it being backed up?  Many questions need to be asked and dealt with by your tech team and/or technology company.  If the data resides on your company network, you require a secured connection at both your home office and the company.   If the data is in the cloud, more questions need to be asked.   Just because it is in the cloud, does not necessarily mean it is safe, secure, and backed-up.

Security And More Security

During this crisis, security is more important than ever.  Be alert and aware of the many scams especially via e-mail called phishing.   When you receive an e-mail from someone you know and trust asking to go out and purchase gift cards or attached order and so forth do not automatically click on links and respond.  STOP.  Read each e-mail carefully and at least twice.   Are the tone, grammar, and spelling slightly off?   Is it demanding such as “What is the cell number I need to reach you right away?”  Look at the e-mail address.  It may say “John Smith” and it may also have a different e-mail address such as John Smith<[email protected]>.  Look at the e-mail address and if not sure, send John Smith a new e-mail instead of hitting reply.

Keep your anti-virus, malware, anti-spam, and all your software updated.  For additional security, when logging into company data and sensitive data, another layer of security can be added.  Most of us have experienced two-factor or multi-factor authentication.   When logging into an app or program, additional questions are asked or a code is sent to your e-mail or cell phone to prove who you are.   This is a good practice when working remotely to help minimize unauthorized access to your data.

Change Your Passwords

Change all your passwords today.  Yes, today.   Do it now….we will wait.  Welcome back!  Get into the habit of changing all your passwords on a regular basis, whether it is weekly, monthly, or quarterly.   Hackers are getting better every day so we have to keep working at staying ahead of them.

Wireless Internet at home needs a password.   How many family and friends have your wireless password so their devices connect when they visit?  Change the password on your wireless connections.   We are not visiting so this will have no effect on them until we are able to be social again.   Be diligent on your passwords and do not leave them posted on your screen!

We Care

We are here to help and we care about you.  We receive many calls and e-mails with questions from clients, prospects, and associates on how to deal with these challenging times as the world has changed overnight.   Doing business has changed.  Sharing our knowledge, helping others, and caring about each other will benefit all of us.

If you would like the slide decks from the Suddenly Remote webinar, please e-mail [email protected], and will gladly send you them.

Be safe and be healthy.


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