Many workplaces have started the processes necessary to safely return their employees to typical operations. However, this is going to involve no small amount of preparation in terms of your business’ technology and proactive planning. Let’s consider the different approaches that you could take as you resume operations in a way that helps protect your team while still enabling work to be done.
There are a few different outcomes here to consider. Remote work may be the best and safest option for some time to come, but some businesses may have no choice but to bring their teams back in-house and will need to prepare accordingly. Whichever approach you take, your IT resource is going to play an invaluable role.
Many businesses and their processes simply aren’t suited to remote operations, necessitating them to open once again. Of course, this will require these businesses to enact a few significant measures to protect the health of their teams and clientele alike.
As many of these measures will in some way involve protected health data, compliance to HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and other similar data protections will be necessary. This means that you need to ensure that you are prepared to properly store, track, and protect this data in some way. There are also many services popping up that allow businesses and employees to share COVID-19 test results securely and privately, assisting further in reopening processes.
If a business can support it, remote work is likely going to be the wisest strategy at the present time. After all, it subjects your staff and your patrons alike to the least amount of exposure.
To successfully do so, however, it is crucial that businesses who utilize remote work fully educate their remote team on how to work productively while also remaining secure. For many, this unfortunately has yet to be the case. An IMB survey recently reported that 45 percent of remote employees were not trained in how to protect their work devices while using them at home. While remote protections are far from the security that can be accomplished in-house, tools such as virtual private networks (VPNs) and remote access logins can significantly boost their capabilities. This becomes an even larger priority if an employee handles sensitive or personally identifiable information.
Regardless, properly training employees to safely use their devices needs to be a priority as remote operations continue.
For many businesses, logistics may make it necessary to stagger out how their workforce operates. As a result, a lot of these businesses will likely take a hybrid approach—some team members working in-house, and some working remotely, possibly switching periodically. This will require the technology solutions to assist in managing these schedules. This approach will also require business owners and managers to make a few decisions… for instance, what if one of their employees was to test positive? Should everyone else working in the office at the time be relegated to their homes to work remotely, or only those who share their immediate workspace, or used the same restroom as Patient Zero?
As for the IT and cybersecurity strategies of these businesses, they will suddenly have to deal with double the opportunities to complicate matters. Basically, IT won’t have just in-house or remote to worry about—both will be in play. This makes comprehensively locking down a business more challenging.
Regardless of your chosen approach, MERIT Solutions is here to assist you in implementing and maintaining the solutions needed to enable your business’ success. To learn more or discuss your options, give us a call at (757) 420-5150.