08/04/21

Heading back to the office – are you ready?

With restrictions starting to be eased, we can finally turn our attention to preparing for staff to return to the office. But what do YOU need to think about to ensure everything is ready for them?

There is no doubt that many businesses and employees have adapted remarkably well to remote working and that a large number will continue with the policy, seeing it as a more effective practice for both employer and staff.

It is also true that some firms can’t accommodate remote working because of the nature of their business and there may be others who will seek a more cautious approach to an office return for the time being. 

But for those actively working towards getting staff back in the workplace, here are some things to consider:

Time to reboot those machines

A lot of people will have been remotely accessing their office computers,  working on personal laptops or those provided for staff for working from home during lockdown. 

If office computers haven’t been switched on for long periods, they will almost certainly need Windows and anti-virus updates – which are a vitally important consideration.

Potential problems can occur when turning a PC on after a long time – if, for instance, it has been kept in an environment that has been very cold or very hot.  

IT networks can change

It’s also worth mentioning that IT networks can change, meaning we all might need a pinch of patience when going back into the office! 

Other considerations include:

  • Having a return to work strategy in place to pre-empt or be able to deal with any problems that may arise – especially if you have introduced any new remote workforce management tools or systems.
  • Employees need to be sure they understand which measures are being applied, how they work and what the procedures are to implement them. This includes where and how they are to collect any new equipment needed safely.
  • COVID-safe rules will still need to be observed in the workplace which may also apply to IT equipment.
  • Cybersecurity – keeping data safe and secure remains the top priority and extended periods of staff working remotely may have led to bad habits creeping in and a drop in security standards and general awareness resulting in a more casual approach. Make sure the cybersecurity message is reinforced and staff are made fully aware of their obligations.
  • Change passwords regularly. This is standard advice and should be an ongoing policy but is all the more important if computers haven’t been used in the office for any length of time or for equipment used by staff at home. In fact, in circumstances where staff are returning to the office after anything up to a year, we would advocate changing all passwords as a basic precaution.

Personal equipment

Where employees are still using personal equipment for work, it is also worth ensuring all relevant security updates are installed to avoid any costly systems breach. 

It is possible that businesses and employees will want to continue working in a way that has benefitted all parties during lockdown. Make sure your IT support team is aware of the requirements and the policy can be continued in a safe and secure way.  

Use your support team

And if you have any problems, use your IT support team. We are ready and prepared to help.