When Circumstances Require Work-at-Home – A Secure VPN Connection Is Necessary

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    From extreme winter weather to international travel advisories and global health concerns, the powers beyond our control force remote workforce solutions. When team members cannot collaborate in person or come into the office, technology comes to the rescue.

    Coronavirus Requires Preparedness Motivation

    Current global fears about coronavirus (COVID-19) have set stock markets reeling and prompted widespread panic. In the office, an employee with a persistent cough prompts worry among coworkers. Parents find themselves unexpectedly working at home when schools or daycares close. And employees cancel work trips to high risk areas.

    In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently published recommended strategies for businesses in light of the crisis. These recommendations include:

    • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
    • Develop an infectious disease response plan that includes policies for telecommuting.
    • Plan for possible impacts including employees who must stay at home due to illness, sick loved ones or school and daycare closures.
    • Minimize exposure between employees when public health officials recommend it.

    It is common for many companies have provisions in place for certain individuals to work from home i.e. regional sales people and owners/CEOs. Now with the possible need to quarantine groups workers regardless of job function, the requirement deploy on-demand secure Virtual Private Network VPN connection to an office based computer may be a necessity.

    Many new generation firewalls offer “Client Software” which ensures secure and authorized connection to your network files and/or end user office systems. These solutions can be implemented relatively quickly by IT professionals often by remote process (so no onsite home visit will be needed).

    As a public service. the Harvard Medical School provides the following tips for the preventing of a coronavirus infection:

    • Wash your hands well. In addition to hand washing after using the bathroom, before preparing or eating food, and after gardening or other dirty tasks, it is also mindful to wash up after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; feeding or stroking your pet; or visiting or caring for a sick person. Wet your hands thoroughly. Lather up with soap or cleanser and rub it into the palms and backs of your hands and your wrists. Be sure to clean your fingertips, under your nails and between your fingers. Rinse under running water. Dry your hands and wrists thoroughly.
    • Cover a cough. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, then dispose of it. If no tissue is handy, cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than into your hands.
    • Don’t share dishes, glasses, or eating utensils and avoid direct contact with napkins, tissues, handkerchiefs, or similar items used by others.

    While experts caution against panic, they also advise organizations to put plans in place to allow for social distancing. For example, businesses can replace in-person meetings with video conferencing and promote remote collaboration tools.

    Please feel free to contact our office if you would like to discuss measures to mobilize your workforce.