Hi, I was asked to write another blog but this time about the Coronavirus. As I opened my laptop to start writing this, the NHS literally declared the Covid-19 outbreak a level four incident, talk about timing…
But seriously, the advice from the NHS and the Government I’m sure you’ve heard more than enough recently so don’t worry; this isn’t a reminder to wash your hands!
We have had Boris’ response plan to a wide spread of the virus in the UK which mentions working from home. From a business and IT point of view we thought it would be good to share with you some things to consider. Below is a quick list of things to consider and then below that I will go into each in more detail:
- Internet connection
- Computer at home
- What you have in the office vs home
- New threats (IT Threats)
This is probably an obvious one but several people either rarely or never work from home. They then find when trying to do so their internet connection is not as good as they thought it was. What was perfectly fine for browsing Facebook and playing Farmville previously is now struggling with accessing SharePoint sites??!
As you can imagine, working remotely is going to require an internet connection. We strongly recommend everyone tests performing their normal work tasks whilst at home to assess how it may impact their internet connection.
Computer at home
Have you ever compared the computer you have at home with the one you have in the office?
Unless you are a PC gamer, the chances are you have a home grade computer. I.e. the specs of your machine aren’t as high as what you would find in a business environment. There is nothing wrong with this normally but in the event you need to work from home you may experience some performance issues. For example, in the office your computer can potentially easily have Outlook, 4 different Excel spreadsheets, Spotify and Chrome open at the same time without you even noticing it slowing down. Your home computer may not be able to do the same.
We are not suggesting you should buy a new computer for home as a result of covid-19! We are advising that should you need to work from home don’t expect your home computer will be able to fully keep up with your normal work tasks in the same way your office computer does.
When you are in the office, do you have a desk phone? Do you call people from your mobile? Or perhaps a soft phone on your computer? If working from home for an extended period becomes a necessity this is something we recommend you think about. Maybe you don’t mind calling colleagues and clients from your mobile or home phone. But in case you don’t want to do that, we are highlighting this as something to think about.
Office vs home
This final point is about the other items you have in the office which you probably don’t even think about as being part of your day to day operations. For example, by my desk in the office I have a shredder, a multi-function printer (MFP) and a calculator in my draw (I’m aware there is a calculator built into Windows 10!). I am happy to share with you that I don’t have a shredder, MFP or a calculator at home (I will inevitably be using the Windows 10 version). Similarly to the last point, we are not suggestion you go out and purchase these items or any others you use when in the office for home. We are advising you to have a think about what you do when you are in the office normally and confirm if you will be able to perform your job at the same level as you do when in the office.
If you have concerns or questions about your home setup or would like some advice on how you can ensure you are prepared to work from home should the need arise please feel free to get in contact with your account manager who I am sure would be more than happy to help.
If you wish to setup a meeting to discuss this we will endeavour to come prepared with solutions and hand sanitizer!
With the current Pandemic, we have seen several attempts on clients and ourselves by fraudsters to scam people. This is mainly being done with phishing attacks/attempts. As always, remain vigilant and question the emails you receive. So you are aware, we have seen several phishing emails being received which on quick glance appear to have come from the WHO (World Health Organisation). On a deeper inspection we can confirm they are not genuine and are not from the WHO. Just because of the pandemic we are currently facing we must all remember to remain vigilant with regards to our IT!
I hope you have enjoyed this post and if not at the very least you have started to think about your home setup and how you can work from home.
All the best and don’t forget to wash your hands!