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Advice for Remote Work Planning

With many companies investigating or enacting remote work options in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Pythian team would like to share their best advice to those companies considering a move to remote work. Here are some of our remote work best practices:
  1. Getting Started: Encourage online collaboration now, even before you move to a remote working model. Tools like Slack and Google Hangouts can bring people with shared interests together, keeping them productive regardless of their location. And you may see that the number of in-person meetings will decrease without any effort on your part. Most people will be grateful!
  2. Encourage your employees to have a dedicated remote workspace. This will help them to focus on work priorities and separate distractions that may impact their productivity and success.
  3. When working in a global 24/7 environment, rotating the meeting times will support the inclusivity of everyone’s ability to participate and will help nurture your remote team culture.
  4. Isolation can be a real problem for those who are not used to working from their home. Over-communicate and make an effort to extend your workplace culture to that workforce through online mechanisms
  5. Ensure that all devices or endpoints are centrally managed, secured to your standards and monitored for compliance.
  6. Applications available on the public Internet should follow a recognized security standard. At a minimum, require multi-factor authentication to access your systems.
  7. Ensure your systems are prepared to support your remote workers, especially around licensing, certificates and bandwidth.
  8. Move toward cloud-based IT tools to seamlessly enable remote access and ensure VPNs or other remote access technologies have the capacity to grant access to behind-the-firewall legacy apps.
  9. If your company is not set up to enable your people to securely work from home, some options are available.
  10. Many companies don’t have secure laptops for all employees to use at home. New DaaS (Desktop as a Service) offerings allow for rapid spin-up of home workers without the need to ship laptops. Consider adopting one of these solutions.
  11. Encourage staff to use video during calls in order to capture non-verbal communication
  12. Ensure team members create their own quiet, professional work environment, that they limit printing or having any confidential information at home, and that absolutely no confidential information is ever transferred to personal computers.
  13. Make sure that anyone leading work-from-home initiatives is actually (or regularly) working from home.
  14. Have a backup plan to care for your critical IT assets even if you are successful in moving to remote work. If most of your employees are in a single or even a handful of cities, having people work from home might not be enough if illness strikes your employees. Pythian offers flexible managed service options to care for all your critical infrastructure and databases. Contact us if you want additional insurance against disruption.

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