In an increasingly digital world, businesses have been forced to adapt to and allow for changes in their common practices. This became all too obvious in early 2020 when many businesses worldwide experienced significant disruption, and as a result, were forced to change basic operations.
Many businesses have started adding remote work strategies and guidelines into their business continuity plans. To plan for the unexpected and keep your business on the Internet running, even when employees can’t be in the office, it may be smart to add a remote work plan into your business continuity strategy.
Here are some ways that you can maintain business continuity no matter where your employees are located.
1. Invest in Collaboration Technology
Collaboration is key to a successful business on the Internet. That’s why you should have tools in place to ensure your small business can collaborate effectively, even if an unexpected event prevents your team from meeting in-person.
There are many collaboration and productivity tools available that are inexpensive, easy to use and only require an Internet connection. For small business teams, these can help make working remotely efficient and effective.
Slack is one of the most popular tools available. It has an extensive set of features that can help you bring all communication that happens across your small business together in one, single place. To learn more about Slack’s features and other productivity tools, check out this post.
2. Create a Seamless Work Experience
It’s critical to provide your remote employees with the resources they need to perform their day-to-day job. Reliable Internet and connectivity are critical. It’s also important that employees have the right office equipment to perform their day-to-day tasks. Business owners should budget for stipends that remote employees can use for these basic home office needs.
3. Establish Daily Check-ins
Many successful remote small business managers establish daily calls with their remote teams. Daily check-ins can be in the form of one-on-one or team calls, based on the nature of your work. It’s important that your check-ins are both regular and predictable. Make sure that during each check-in, you give your team time to share any concerns or questions that they may have. Having a daily voice or video call can help bridge the gap that may be caused by only interacting with your team via an Internet connection. For small business owners, having voice or face time with each employee will help keep them engaged and feel valued.
4. Prioritize Cybersecurity Best Practices
For each employee working remotely, your business needs to secure a new user endpoint. Compared to networks that have already been established within a business, home networks are often less secure, leaving them more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
There are a few best practices you can add to your business continuity plan to ensure your remote workers are secure.
Ensure devices and applications are always up to date
Developers are continually improving the security of devices and applications, so staying on top of these updates can drastically improve your employee’s security. If possible, activate automatic updates on all remote devices so that updates can be continuously deployed as they become available.
Watch out for phishing texts and emails
Criminals who are attempting to steal data and information will often employ these techniques via complex phishing texts and emails disguised to fool your employees into clicking links and giving information out. Educate your employees on these methods ahead of time so that they are better able to spot a suspicious email or text message.
Never use personal computers for work
Ensure that all your team members are using their company-provided laptops/desktops, virtual machines, or VPNs at all times. Personal computers tend to run on outdated applications and free antivirus programs, leaving them more susceptible to virtual attacks.
Create strong passwords
Strong passwords are the first line of defense, yet they are often a precaution many employees fail to take. Ensure that your employees are changing their passwords often and not relying on simple passwords that are easily hacked, such as repetitive numbers or letters. To learn more about how to create and manage strong passwords, check out our post “The Best Password Managers to Protect your Business from Cyber Attacks.”
Implementing these remote work guidelines into your business continuity plan can be critical to your business, its daily operations and network resilience. By leveraging these tips and technologies, you will maintain continuity for your business on the Internet, no matter where your employees are located.