Working from home is an important form of social distancing that can help prevent the spread of disease. Here is a list of tools, resources, and information that can equip your employees to work remotely, safely, and securely.
Should you need assistance integrating any of the tools and services listed here into your business, please contact us for a free consultation.
This page will be updated. Is there a remote-work-related challenge you're facing that isn't yet addressed here? Please let us know.
If your business uses Google products or Microsoft Office 365, there is a good chance you already have access to videoconferencing software through Google Hangouts Meet or Microsoft Teams. Both companies have temporarily made their enterprise-level features available to all customers, meaning even those with usually limited accounts can hold meetings with hundreds of participants.
Because of recent developments regarding security issues with Zoom, we're recommending Jitsi Meet as an alternative to the two services listed above.
If you're new to videoconferencing, check out this explainer by Ben Ratner for videoconferencing etiquette, precautions, and other tips and tricks.
Most of the services listed above are also perfectly suitable for remote presentations and classes. Google Hangouts Meet, for example, can support live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within your company's domain.
Again, if you use Google G Suite or Microsoft Office 365, you probably already have access to a suite of file sharing and collaboration tools in the form of Google Docs/Drive or Microsoft Office/OneDrive. Files can also be shared through services like Dropbox and Box.
If your industry has common restrictions for security (e.g. HIPAA) or workflow, there are likely industry-specific services available.
If your company uses a digital VoIP system or cloud-based system, there are several ways to facilitate business phone calls outside of the office. “Softphones” like Zoiper are apps that can turn your smartphone or computer into a virtual version of your desk phone. Another simple option is “follow me” call forwarding which forwards calls to your employees' cell phones.
If you use traditional analog phone lines, your carrier may be able to forward calls for you.
If you're out of the office and need to send a fax in a pinch, try FaxZero. Some digital and cloud-based phone systems also have options for sending and receiving faxes.
If you need to access specialized systems, servers, or files, there may still be options available to you. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can connect outside computers into your business's network without compromising security. VPNs are often used in conjunction with Microsoft Remote Desktop to give remote users access to in-house systems.
If your business is new to remote work, you may need to adjust your workflow and processes. REMOTE: Office Not Required covers the human and process-related aspects of working remotely.
Keyboards, mice, cell phones, and desk phones can and should be sanitized regularly with ordinary Clorox wipes. Be sure to unplug or power down these devices before wiping them down, and allow them to dry completely before powering them back on.
For more information on the novel coronavirus and precautionary steps you can take, visit the Tompkins County Health Department website.