Working Remotely: Safe and Secure

Banner image of Man working from home

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed our work style. You probably already have had some experience working and attending remote meetings with co-workers as well as clients. At TSTS, we want to ensure your remote work setting is efficient, safe, and productive.

As we enter another month of social distancing, let’s take time to review several best practices for working remotely so that when we no longer have a quarantine, there will be little to no lag time in getting your business back on its normal track.

Six work from home tips

  • Security first: Ensure that any devices you use are safe and that your connection to the internet is secure. Review or establish policies for VPN access, internet security, and the use of personal devices with all employees.
  • Tech needs: Identify what technology you will need to work successfully from home, including hardware (Where is that charger?) and software (Is your virus protector up to date?).
  • Confidentiality: Keep in mind that some information you now have at home should not be shared with your family members. Treat all work material as confidential and shred documents as soon as you are able.
  • Workspace: Set up a home office that is away from the daily hustle and bustle. This could be the dining room table or a downstairs sewing room; make sure your area has enough physical space to accommodate your ability to work effectively.
  • Be efficient: Know how to access the information you will need to problem-solve for your staff and clients. Likewise, understand that it may take a little longer to respond to requests that would have had a simple solution earlier.
  • Don’t get scammed: Unfortunately, there are already plenty of stories of scams being run on unsuspecting employees working from home. Be safe and be aware of the sites that you visit. If you are unsure that a site or an email that you received is not safe, contact your administrator for clearance. Above all, be conscious of cyber dangers and don’t click on unknown sources!

Online Meetings

Staying in touch and communicating with co-workers is essential to keep your business fully operational. Utilizing remote-access meetings are a great way to stay on top of what is going on. Before you attend or host a virtual meeting:

  • Practice using online collaboration tools to ensure you know how to work the equipment. (Have the access code on hand if the meeting requires one; locate your mute button; make sure your microphone is on!)
  • Dress as you would as if you were meeting in person. Some companies don’t mind a less formal dress code, but the ball cap and college sweatshirt are a little too casual for most.
  • Check your camera’s line of vision. It should be on you, not the pile of unfolded laundry behind your desk.
  • Make sure your work area is quiet. Put the dog or cat away, close the door, and keep distractions at a minimum.
  • A little before-the-meeting chatter may help with the need for social interaction among your co-workers, but remember to keep topics appropriate and professional. Don’t let the informal nature of your work setting infiltrate your work life.
  • Don’t forget basic remote etiquette rules. Consider your background before you get started. Choose a system provided background if possible. Otherwise, find a neutral home office background that won’t distract other participants. Once the meeting is underway, introduce yourself and familiarize yourself with the other attendees; try to ensure that everyone has a chance to contribute; speak clearly when it is your turn. Turn your microphone off if you are in a setting that may have distracting sounds (i.e., dog, small kids).

Meeting Providers

There are a variety of web-based meeting platforms that are being used currently. These may include GoToMeeting, Teams, FaceTime, Zoom, and others. Some carry fees, limit the number of participants or have a meeting time limit. Do investigate the cyber risk of outsiders hacking into your meeting.

Remote Safety

TSTS wants to ensure your business information is not compromised. Below are some additional resources to help you and your staff stay safe while working remotely.

  • Don’t know the best hardware or software options for remote work? Give our OST a call at 563-441-1504, or contact the team at helpdesk@tsts.com, and they will help you get started.
  • If you are a member of KnowBe4, we can send out training via your dashboard. It will track progress and give reports to a POC like a normal training.
  • If you are not a member of KnowBe4, you can take the training directly at https://workfromhome.knowbe4.com/. Tracking or a progress report is not provided with this level of training.
  • Check out the other COVID-19 resources offered by TSTS.

Looking at the new way of conducting business remotely, stay calm, simplify, and enjoy the lack of commute!

 

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