While not all creative industries lend themselves equally well to remote work and work from home (WFH) arrangements, creative and passion-driven businesses have tended to be early adopters wherever possible. In part, it’s due to their curious and inquisitive natures, but mostly it’s because creatives understand better than most other business owners that the best work happens wherever and whenever inspiration strikes.
And – news flash – inspiration doesn’t tend to dawdle around cubicles or sit quietly in a stuffy conference room.
Nevertheless, if you’ve been hesitant to disrupt the traditional work space or if you’ve just started dipping your toes in, the rapidly expanding threat of the coronavirus might force you to take the plunge whether you like it or not. In that case, we’ll start warming the water right now by answering the most common, pressing questions while you go grab your rubber ducky.
If you already provide your employees with laptops, then the top line logistics of getting started with WFH is pretty simple. Alternatively,if you work from desktop computers, then the fittest employees might need to be on schlep-duty carrying CPUs and monitors down to the parking lot.
In all seriousness, while most or all employees will have personal machines at home, Angie’s five-year-old MacBook Air might not be up for photoshoping or AutoCAD. To avoid relocating equipment offsite to employee’s homes unnecessarily, it’s a good idea to send out a short survey to identify whose machine can handle what.
In cases where employees do need to take equipment home, don’t forget to include the easy-to-forget basics like chargers, cables, and an exernal mouse and mouse pad. Moreover, while some employees will melodramatically proclaim that they “simply cannot work without a second monitor,” others like graphic designers and drafters might honestly find their productivity inhibited without one.
If you’ve already migrated your network to the cloud, then our self-satisfied answer is: “the exact same way they do now.” Alternatively,for a business with an on-premise server, remote access might require installing productivity apps directly onto employee’s computers. In this case,it might be necessary to reach out to your vendors to request a flexible licensing arrangement or access to a cloud-base instance of the software during this coronavirus period.
Once again, if your business network is cloud-based then your employee’s access to files through applications like SharePoint, Dropbox,and Google Docs will be seamless. On the other hand, on-premise networks will require you to configure a remote access arrangement.
For some industries like healthcare, changing access configurations or copying files from the server directly onto employees’ work or personal computers might bump you up against regulatory statutes. Moreover,allowing your employees to work independent of the on-premise server while at home can create duplicate files and resyncing headaches when you eventually migrate them back to the server.
It’s good cybersecurity practice for your employees to work off of a virtual private network (VPN) whenever they access your business network offsite. This applies whether you have a cloud-based or an on-premise server, and whether it’s from their work or personal devices. Nevertheless, in the case of accessing an on-premise server remotely, a VPN is pretty much a must.
Most quality business phone systems enable you to forward calls from a work line to a cell, and to access messages remotely. In this case, adjusting a few settings is all you’ll need to do. Otherwise, now would be a good time to consider migrating your landlines to voice over IP (VoIP).
On that note, whether it’s an issue of forwarding calls and messages, migrating from on-premise to the cloud, requesting flexible software licensing, or configuring VPNs, now’s the time to get your questions answered.
Whether the coronavirus outbreak is the push you needed or you’re wading into a WFH arrangement reluctantly, reach out to us at 323-396-9870 or by email for a free disaster preparedness assessment and get all your questions answered.The water’s warm and you might just discover that some of the most inspired work happens at home.
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