3/12/2020 – With the declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) of a global pandemic due to the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus), organizations are put in the position of having to implement “social distancing” policies in order to minimize the spread of the disease via the workplace. Many organizations may have only a limited remote workforce strategy or may not have one at all. It is now time for business continuity planning for Coronavirus (COVID-19) to begin.
How can an organization quickly implement a remote workforce process? If you have Microsoft Office 365 (O365) you already have a set of tools to support remote workforce processes.
Getting Connected – The first consideration is how employees will access O365. Employees can access email securely from any device that has a modern browser and Internet connection. Using a smartphone as the work interface is likely not optimal/feasible for most users. For employees that do not have a computer at home, consider going to the local library, which typically provides PCs with internet access. Employees with laptops can go to any number of businesses that provide WIFI capabilities in exchange for food and drink.
Exchange Online – As email continues to be the primary tool for communication between organizations, Exchange Online allows users to access their mailbox, tasks, and calendars from anywhere.
Microsoft Teams – Teams can provide a powerful platform for employees to collaborate with each other and external users. Team sites can quickly be set up to provide tools for file management, meetings, and task management.
Teams meeting capabilities provide a venue for users to collaborate in real-time using screen sharing, conference calls, and on-line chat.
The SharePoint site provided with each Team provides document management features for file storage and collaboration.
If an organization’s business applications are accessible via a browser, links to these applications can be quickly set up using links in Teams tabs or via SharePoint link lists.
OneDrive for Business – OneDrive syncing functionality allows employees to download files from their cloud OneDrive as well as other libraries in SharePoint. IT can set up syncing of a user’s ‘My documents’ folder to OneDrive, providing access to files the user has been working on.
Network folders can quickly be copied to SharePoint libraries and provide common access to files by multiple users.
Office – Depending on an organization’s O365 licensing, users have the ability to download and install Office to their home PC or other devices. Office Online provides the ability to edit documents using only a browser.
Need help to understand the capabilities of O365 and SharePoint Online to provide remote workforce capabilities? Need help starting business continuity planning for coronavirus (COVID-19)? We work with dozens of companies to set up and utilize Microsoft Office 365 and are able to rapidly assist you in meeting the sudden urgent demand of remote work. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we are happy to help!