Wah-a-wah-a WAHHHH… dun DUN dun….
Saddle up, pardners, as I tell a tale about the Wild West of remote work and device management.
You see, it happened way back in the spring of 2020.
It seemed like overnight, businesses sent their employees home with computers and offices turned into ghost towns with papers blowing down empty corridors like tumbleweeds.
Those were hard times with loose rules.
Folks just did their best to get their work done (from home) and mind their own business (continuity).
Well, those lawless days are gone, and there’s a new sheriff in town compliance and security requirements to pay mind to…
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Team and Remote Device Management
There have been some big changes in remote work since the Wild West days of the COVID-19 work-from-home scramble.
During the height of the pandemic, many businesses had to leverage a work-from-home strategy like never before — things like Slack for real-time messaging, video calls for team meetings, and flexible hours to accommodate the teams’ needs.
In our post-2020 world, many aspects of remote work are here to stay.
Even companies who have a strong, in-person work culture (including Varay) continue to use some of these work-from-home strategies where they make sense.
But gone are the days of sending employees home with computers without an inventory (not that anybody really thinks that was a great idea!). In the remote work rush of 2020, businesses quickly discovered that even though employees left with a laptop, they might not have internet access at home to stay connected.
Or a smartphone.
Or knowledge of compliance and security protocols.
Since those days, businesses have learned a lot about work-from home strategies and remote device management. And there are now more stringent requirements because of the security concerns that arose.
Now, more and more companies have stricter compliance requirements — whether through cyber liability insurance coverage, government regulations, or industry requirements.
It’s no longer the Wild West of remote device management and work-from-home strategy.
And because of this, businesses must plan to meet requirements and keep the corporate network secure when they have people working remotely.
4 Essentials for Developing a Strategy for Managing Remote Teams and Devices
1. Make a plan (before you need it).
A big issue during the hustle to go remote was that many businesses didn’t already have a strategy in place. It’s best to make a plan now instead of waiting until the need arises. Or “Dig a well before ‘yer thirsty,” as the old-timey cowboys say.
Developing a strategy sometimes requires an investment in equipment, but it ALWAYS takes time and planning.
At Varay, we’re passionate about helping businesses implement strategy and proactively address IT issues — before they are headaches. And like our client Cibolo Nature Center discovered, proactive planning and strategy not only helped them weather the pandemic, it freed them to focus on their objectives and grow!
2. Determine your policies
To set up team and remote device management standards, take a look at the various roles within your organization. What level of remote access is needed for each role?
- Which resources do people need to access?
- How can they access it in a safe way?
- Where can they access it from? (Personal computers? Phones? Company-issued devices only?)
Setting standards based on the roles in your business can streamline remote work arrangements and keep you from having to discuss it every time it comes up!
Some positions in a business can work remotely, and others can’t for compliance and security reasons.
When a situation arises where a person needs to work from home (and it’s a request the business can accommodate), they can be aware of the compliance and insurance requirements that must be followed.
3. Know the challenges for your industry.
When it comes to industry specifics of compliance, security, and insurance requirements for remote device management, we reckon it’s like a tangle of tumbleweeds it’s complicated. The requirements and challenges are diverse and tailored to each.
There are different factors for local, nearshore, and offshore locations to consider:
- Does your industry allow employees to use their own devices (BYOD, or bring your own device)?
- Are employees limited to using company-issued equipment?
- If employees work flexible hours, what are the support concerns? Is after-hour support available?
- For hired contractors, are there wage and/or hour laws to consider?
We know that understanding the unique compliance and security requirements of your industry can be overwhelming. At Varay, we’ve helped businesses across industries and sectors meet compliance requirements and implement well-rounded cyber security systems.
4. Don’t assume.
In developing work-from-home and remote device management strategies, don’t assume anything!
Employees still might not have internet at home. Especially in the case of offshoring, employees might not have access to stable power in their area. When you have remote team members, it’s important to inventory what’s available to them so you can make accommodations as necessary.
Ride Into New Frontiers With Confidence
Like we mentioned, it’s a new era for remote work, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!
With the tools for flexibility and the guidelines to keep valuable data and equipment secure, you can face the future with grit and confidence. And at Varay, we’re committed to riding alongside your business to meet compliance requirements, take on cybersecurity challenges, and free you to do what you do best without the stress of IT problems.
By developing strategies for managing remote teams and devices, you can ride into new frontiers of growth for your business.
Do you need an IT partner to help your business with compliance, security, and tools to optimize your remote team? Contact us today for a free assessment!