With the Coronavirus forcing so many employees to work from home, people are predicting that it could permanently change the face of remote work – remote work becoming the new norm. Hopefully organizations will realize how valuable remote work can be, but a lot depends on how businesses manage it here and now.
Many organizations use this time as a test to determine if remote employment can actually work as a permanent option. Some organizations already had remote work infrastructure in place before COVID-19 and see many benefits. Others were simply not ready for this pandemic. Many have tried to implement a telework solution and are only limping. These companies simply do not have a clear idea of how remote working can and should be.
To do this, organizations need remote strategies for performance and security. But many companies have not had the time to put these policies in place. Many are struggling because they don't have the right technology. Some companies do not have enough laptops to move around and send their employees home with full computer towers. Even leading companies in the industry are struggling because their VPN solutions do not allow split tunneling. This slows bandwidth to almost unusable levels. Companies without VPN cannot even provide employees with secure network access.
So, while we certainly hope this will lead companies to realize that they need to build their capabilities remotely, some organizations might take the opposite approach and advertise it all as a failed experience … because they didn't not prepared.
If your business (like many) does not have a remote work infrastructure in place and the adjustment period is stressful, don't panic! And certainly don't think of working remotely as a viable option. Keep in mind that trying to implement a new work model in the midst of a crisis is going to be much more difficult than putting it in place during calm periods, and you may not achieve specific results.
It may be helpful for you to consider the additional factors that cause distance work constraints during this crisis:
It's a difficult time to test a remote access strategy. But don't be discouraged. Right now, we're all in the same boat, taking one day at a time, and doing our best to provide employees with continuous work and continuous compensation.
If your business does not feel the love for remote work, it is likely to be because it has been deployed reactively rather than proactively. Don't let the negative results deter you from trying again in the future. Do everything you can to keep things running smoothly for the rest of this period of uncertainty. When things get back to normal, take the time to strategically assess what went well and what could have gone better. Then prepare a plan (and keep it up to date!) So, if another disaster strikes, you'll be ready.
And in the meantime, here are some resources to help you understand and improve your remote working skills, so your business can thrive:
Is your organization ready for remote work?
Securing a remote workforce
Anywhere, anytime, any device
Remote access VPN: the access your employees need
Simple and encrypted access to vital servers
FAQ for adding VPN connections