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So, what now? Preparing to return to the office

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As a nation, we’ve been confined to our homes (and gardens if we’re lucky enough) for little over a year now; our homes have turned into offices, schools, even exclusive nightclubs – though the police aren’t too thrilled about the latter.

With what would appear to be an end in sight, what’s going to happen to your workforce?

Are you keeping a work-from-home culture available to your staff, or are you hauling everyone back into the office? Now’s the time to be making these kind of plans, as the lockdown could soon be loosened – the sooner you make these plans, the smoother the transition will be when lockdown ends for good.

Before putting a plan together, evaluate what did and didn’t work well for your business while your staff worked from home – you need to have an idea at the very least of what really worked for your business as well as what you’d do differently. The main elements to consider here are:

Your people

Chances are that the end of lockdown will come in stages, which means that not all of your people will be able to come back to the office at the same time. You may have people in your business that are at a higher risk due to health concerns or the people they live with – they’ll definitely need to stay at home for longer.

Thing is, before lockdown you might not have had any remote workers at all – now look at your business; are you more flexible now than you were 12 months ago?

Look at your people; those who have thrived should be the last to return to the office, while those who haven’t been able to work from home as effectively would be the ideal candidates to bring back to the normality of the office first.

Your Equipment

With everyone working at home, they’ve needed devices to work off of as well as ways to access remote company data.

This means you likely had to make some changes to enable this, such as buying new equipment or changing the way you users are able to access network shares & internal data via VPN. Is it sustainable going forward? Will your uses be able to carry on working this way, or are you just going to get everyone back in the office?

This is the step that requires you to liaise with your IT partner; evaluate how your business is going to need to work to accommodate the way your staff will be working.

Your Data

Realistically, if your transition was seamless and everyone has been working from home securely, then your data should be watertight. Your antivirus should be up-to-date and everyone’s devices should be secured in one way or another to prevent leaks and being compromised.

Whatever the case, on returning to the office (or continuing to work from home), it’s definitely worth making sure everything is up-to-date, patched and secure.

The time to take action on this is now; if you don’t have a plan in place then get in touch with us and we can get you sorted.

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