Ramping up a Distributed Team

How to ensure efficiency and security while transitioning to remote work

04.21.20 by Julie Branc, National Director, Client Experience & Strategy

In recent weeks, companies have needed to quickly mobilize teams from the office environment to working remotely. In many cases, they simply did whatever they needed to do to get their employees connected at home and up and running. But there are definitely guidelines and protocols to follow to ensure teams are working efficiently and most importantly, securely. Below are some tips to help make the transition.

How to quickly ramp up a distributed team

While you have likely already pivoted your team to work remotely, here are some general guidelines around the scenarios we have seen:

  • ASSESS your remote capabilities and productivity to your infrastructure

• LAPTOPS AND TABLETS – can users connect to corporate resources, via VPN, Remote Desktop Services, or SaaS applications without issue? Do they have all the endpoint security tools installed and are they managed?

• HOME COMPUTERS – Ensure home systems can connect to resources, preferably through Citrix or Terminal Services for best security practices.  It is harder to manage the security on personal computers than corporate-deployed laptops that have all the required security protections pre-installed and up-to-date.

  • ENABLE productivity tools you may already be licensed for

• COLLABORATION – Does your organization have remote collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Unified Communication or Zoom?  If yes, do all users have licenses and software installed and are they trained on how to use it?  For companies with Office365, you can enable Teams easily for chat, secure data sharing, collaboration and much more.

• WEB ACCESS – Many users are unaware they can access many applications via the web and do not require VPN.  Are they aware and educated on how to access these applications, such as Office365, Outlook Web Access, OneDrive, DropBox and G-suite?

  • SECURE Hyper-awareness is critical

• SECURITY – Cannot stress this enough – ensure ALL devices that are accessing corporate resources have malware protection and scheduled scanning is enabled.  NOW is the best time to deploy a managed security awareness training program, COVID-19 Coronavirus phishing emails are on the rise!

How to make sure your employees are handling the change well

  • Communication, communication, communication.
  • In times of rapid change, ensuring communication across multi-channel platforms is key.  Users learn and adjust differently, especially if they are used to working in an office environment with their co-workers.
  • Take advantage of the technology tools available – many can mimic “in office” communication and collaboration sessions. There are tools for unified communication, whiteboarding, chat and conversations and video communications. You may be surprised by more focused meetings that stay on topic with more actionable takeaways.
  • Check in that your team is pivoting well. Are they having any productivity challenges? Are they adjusting their work\life balance? Remarkably, people often work more hours when remote than in a traditional office environment.

How to be efficient while keeping everybody sane

  • Keeping conference calls to the time committed.  Allowing conversations to continue outside of the scheduled time can bleed into other commitments for the person or group you are speaking with, causing them stress.  Being mindful and courteous of their time keeps people more engaged during the time you are working with them.
  • Don’t try to mimic an office with too many calls or meetings – allow people to adjust. You will most likely find they work more efficiently and have more output when they are not pulled into a virtual meeting every other hour of the day.
  • Make sure you don’t end up “living” at your desk, and neither do the teams you manage.  Sometimes it can feel like you live inside your computer.  Take regular breaks, go for a walk, eat lunch away from your desk.  Take a call outside – some of the best conversations I have is when I’m focused on them and not the ten emails that just flooded my inbox and distracted me while I was talking to them.

Adjusting to a new work reality at home can be challenging, especially for those with children who are balanced their full-time job with at-home schooling. All Covered is here to help with anything from assistance with collaboration and communication tools, security, hardware and more.

Our new virtual event series encompasses a curation of sessions around the evolving work environment and how “we’ve got you all covered,” addressing the new normal, what’s essential and what’s new with the changing needs and evolution of businesses and organizations. Register today and gain an adaptive advantage to be resilient and dominate any changes to come.

Mobilize Your Team

Get Started

Learn how All Covered can cut your IT costs, assist with your technology projects, and help strategize your initiatives. Fill out the form below.