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As we begin to consider how to move forward, returning to the office doesn’t necessarily mean you will be abandoning all of your work-from-home set-ups.

In fact, your workforce will likely consist of remote workers for some time to come. Workstations in the office, however, may have been sitting idle while everyone worked remotely and you will need to give some thought to ensuring your employees have what they need to do their jobs effectively.

Evaluate any new technology deployed during the crisis

The tools your employees used to work remotely may or may not be required when you return to the office. Create a list, including any new devices, and decide if they stay or go. Evaluate how the new tech was implemented, determine what worked and what fell short, and if you still need all of the licences your purchased. Examples include new Office 365 licences, Zoom, new laptops, etc.

Evaluate any service providers you use to run your business

Identify any vendor that was not able to achieve their SLAs and determine the cause. Pay particularly close attention to those critical vendors and how they performed during the crisis.

Does everything still work?

Take the appropriate precautions. Is everything still in good working order? What about computers and networks? Have things been switched off for a long time? Do they need to be restarted by a professional?

Run an audit on any workstations in the office

An audit will help you determine if the workstations are properly patched with the latest Operating System and other critical updates.

Conduct a gap analysis

Document the technology gaps that were exposed during the crisis and create a plan on how to address them.

Catalogue items that were removed from the office

Protect your business and intellectual property by ensuring any devices, technology, files, folders, contracts, customer lists and documents, etc are properly returned to the office. This list may include electronic files left on the employee’s personal workstation or device.

Document a list of those employees who used their personal computers to work from home

Develop an appropriate action plan to ensure the ongoing use of personal computers or devices complies with your company’s security standards. Consider requiring your employees to change the passwords on any personal devices.

For any employee who will continue to work from home, audit the tech they will be using

Determine if the tech is appropriate, secure, and sufficient to enable optimal productivity.

Schedule a review of your Disaster Recovery and/or Business Continuity plan

What can be improved upon? What worked well? Were you able to easily transform from the office to work from home? How was your business impacted during this crisis? Update your Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plan accordingly?

Schedule regular Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity testing

This should be a routine part of your business but, given this recent crisis, regular Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity testing will be even more crucial moving forward. Don’t be caught unprepared.

Try new ways of operating

If it turns out, for example, most of your people work well from home, perhaps you can restructure your business to lower your overhead costs? Remember, it’s possible we may see a second spike in Covid-19 cases and businesses that have adapted to life under lockdown are more likely to ride out future distancing rules.

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