COVID-19 Has Forced Businesses to Work From Home – But is Your Business Really Prepared? | Spirit

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2020 is cancelled. Well, not exactly but… COVID-19 has caused a rocky start to the new decade, bringing with it a slew of restrictions and regulations including forced school shutdowns, bans on social gatherings and of course, business closures. In less than a month, the current situation has changed rapidly, leaving business owners and employees alike wondering, “When will this all end?”.  

With no signs of the virus letting up any time soon, businesses across the country are making the switch to flexible working arrangements in order to stay afloat. However, due to very little warning on the latest coronavirus prevention procedures, many companies are now finding themselves struggling to conduct business in a remote situation. In a world that’s now consumed with uncertainty, businesses are adapting to this compulsory new way of life for an ‘undetermined’ amount of time – but at what cost?  

If your business is in the same boat, it’s important to reassess firstly, whether your team can handle working from home, and secondly, what you can do to ensure a smoother transition. 

In an office, it’s easy to control your employees’ working environment, however switching to working from home can change the playing field immensely. Issues can arise from a range of factors including slow Internet speeds, cyber security sleuths and other IT & tech disruptions.  

Luckily, there are processes, procedures and programs that can be easily implemented in the meantime to help increase productivity and improve the overall circumstances of remote working.  

 

Secure, Fast and Efficient Internet 

For most businesses, a fast and secure Internet connection is a necessity to complete the everyday demands each employee faces in their unique role. While this is more common in the office, with remote work this simple requirement can become complicated in a matter of seconds. If you’ve joined the thousands of businesses now participating in video conference calls, “Can everyone hear me?” and “No, it’s still loading,” are phrases you most likely now use on a daily basis. So, what are some ways these kinds of obstacles can be eliminated? 

Having a home Internet connection that meets business demands, as well as maintaining the same level of cyber security as in the workplace, has undoubtedly become a challenge for employees and businesses alike. To support this, Spirit has a range of business-grade Internet plans for home plus an array of additional Business Continuity products available to give businesses and employees easy solutions to flexible working arrangements, while maintaining productivity, network speed and security. 

  • Sky-Speed Internet for Your Home gives you business-grade, high-speed, reliable Internet for your family home 
  • Affordable remote worker plans with Internet connections, soft-phone licenses and virus protection for fast and simple flexible working 
  • The Health From Anywhere remote solution is built for medical practitioners to diagnose and treat patients safely and comfortably in their homes 
  • Back-up Internet connections ensure your business is always connected to fast and reliable Internet, no matter what’s going on in the world 
  • Home conference call plans allow you and your teammates to affordably conference and video call from home 

 

Keep Your Servers Safe 

For companies that rely heavily on in-house servers to protect and store important information, switching to remote work can cause serious issues with access. While there are ways you can still set your network to operate remotely, if the Internet at your office location experiences a prolonged outage, everyone working online could immediately lose connection to the internal information stored on your network. 

While this situation is hard to prevent and likely out of your control, there are measures you can take to back-up your connection so business can continue as usual. Consider switching to Spirit’s independent fixed wireless Internet, which can be used as a main service or as a backup Internet source (redundant network) to your regular ISP. This support source also helps to ensure a reliable service if incumbent networks such as NBN get too congested or go down. 

 

Tighten Your Cybersecurity 

One of the biggest risks your company may face during this time is a breach in security. The easiest way to prevent this is by installing software and monitoring the security of your employees’ computers. Installing enterprise-grade Managed Firewall security safeguards your organisation’s private network. This comprehensive service includes: 

  • Corporate Level Firewall 
  • GateWay Anti-Virus 
  • Intrusion Prevention Service 
  • Throughput 
  • Application Aware Control 
  • Content Filtering 
  • APT Blocker 
  • DNS Watch 
  • Threat Detection & Response 
  • Data Loss Prevention 


According to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), human error is the second largest source for data breaches within companies. When employees are remote, the danger multiplies, especially for less 
tech-savvy individuals. Installing a Managed Firewall can help mitigate the risk of employees misclicking or missending sensitive, private information which may lead to an irreversible data violation.  

 

Introduce Managed IT Support to your Business Model 

It may be harder for some employees to embrace the shift from face-to-face communication to screen-only contact. Switching to remote work can result in a whole new range of technological questions and concerns from staff members. It’s important to ensure that through this difficult time, employees still feel supported. Whether the issue is big or small, someone needs to be contactable 24/7 to help resolve output-crippling technical issues in a flash. 

Outsourcing to a team of highly-qualified professionals can save you time, while concurrently increasing business productivity and reducing costs. Spirit’s Managed IT Services will help your business better manage the inevitable surprises that come with moving your team to a remote working environment. Common issues that can be resolved by professionals include, backing up data, protecting against cyber security attacks, repairing Internet issues, performing disaster recovery and enforcing other measures to protect from potential work from home threats. Our job as your remote IT department is to ensure minimum interruption to the day-to-day and to develop quick fixes that can keep your employees’ work rate strong, despite the unsettling circumstances. 

Get in touch today with one of our specialists for a free IT assessment. In this uncertain time, we are happy to work closely with your team on a flexible working arrangement that’s best suited to your business’s IT needs and expectations.  

Sources

  1. https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-employers 
  2. https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/notifiable-data-breaches/notifiable-data-breaches-statistics/notifiable-data-breaches-report-july-december-2019/#chart-9-desc 
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