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Your Remote IT Checklist

| September 30, 2020

Whether you refer to it as telecommuting, working virtual, work-from-home or remote working, most businesses have previously used these terms. For instance, certain employees needing to travel, others needing to work from home due to weather or illness, and so forth. 

However, now is different. The number of employees remaining to work from home and the current hybrid of office and remote work environments, need an increase in IT support. To make sure your bases are covered, here is a convenient checklist to help determine your IT needs for each employee: 

  • Laptop/Desktop Computer – there are two choices: a company-issued computer or a personal computer. Company-issued computers tend to be more secure, but if your employees typically use software in the cloud to do their job, a personal computer may be sufficient if all necessary security measures are enabled. 
  • Collaboration/Communication software – No one works in a vacuum, so you will need to address the best way for employees to meet, discuss and work together from a distance. For example, software such as Microsoft Teams is both secure and flexible. File-sharing methods and Cloud file storage should also be standardized. 
  • Video Conferencing and Webcams – Making face-to-face discussions, presentations, training possible requires a secure application. Most laptops come with a webcam, speakers and microphones installed however we recommend that you use a quality headset for conference calls and an external web cab for quality.  Additional USB ports may also be required as well. 
  • Internet connection – Speed, Bandwidth and Router all need to be assessed. Fortunately, practically everyone has some sort of Internet connection within the home already. But as downloads and video conferencing needs have grown so have demands for better Internet access. Home routers need to be assessed, its firewall enabled and at least one additional firewall installed.  
  • “Double” Devices – Some employees may typically use two devices, such as two monitors or two computers, to do their jobs the same from home as they do at the office.  
  • Phone systems and Call Forwarding – Your VoIP should be evaluated so employees can send and receive work calls efficiently. This may require a phone app and possibly a headset as mentioned before, depending on their call frequency. 
  • Email consistency – this is the ideal time to standardize on your email source such as Outlook or Gmail so everyone has the same email feature-set for their work emails. 
  • Remote Monitoring and Maintenance Software – This absolutely needs to be installed for all employees and their computers; then, they can receive IT support whenever and wherever they may need it. 
  • Third-Party Security Software – This needs to be installed and kept updated as cyberattacks continue to rise. 
  • Multi-Factor Authentication – Implement more than one way of accessing company systems, data and more, for example, in addition to passwords, add security questions, fingerprint scans or some other means of identity verification.  What is Multi-Factor Authentication? Also, evaluate and enforce your password policies and password management
  • Cloud Applications/On-premise Application Access – Identify which applications are cloud-based and that they are properly secured. If your company uses any other on-premise application or non-cloud VPN, additional setup and configurations may be required for the increase of remote demand. 
  • In addition to the hardware and software considerations, there are IT policy changes to set for employees working remotely. For example, updates to BYOD, an adapted “Telecommuting Agreement”, manner of scheduling and timekeeping, IT and office supply provisions or reimbursements such as printers, paper and ink, to name just a few items to integrate with existing employee and HR policies. 

To successfully implement IT hardware, software, and support for remote workers in the best manner possible, is to contract with a trusted managed IT services provider. They can take care of your remote hardware, software, network, security, support and new policy guidelines. At Concensus, our team of experienced IT experts are here to help, support and guide. 

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