Reopening the Workplace After COVID-19: A Checklist for Businesses

The CTO team have done a sterling job supporting businesses during the Pandemic. I, myself, have come back into the business this week on a Part-Time basis. I must admit it feels strange getting back to normal after an extended absence due to furlough.

From a Technology perspective, returning to your establishment doesn’t necessarily mean you will be abandoning all of your WFH (Working From Home) set-ups.

In fact, for most of you, your workforce will likely consist of remote workers for some time to come. In addition, workstations in your establishment may have been sitting idle, while everyone worked remotely.

Going forward, your technology goal should be to ensure your employees have what they need to do their jobs effectively, whilst you ensure and maintain a safe and secure work environment. As ever, please feel free to contact CTO for assistance with all of your technology needs.

In the meantime, please find below some useful tips regarding your IT Systems as we return to the ‘new normal’: –

  • Schedule a review with your Managed Service Provider.
    • Your Managed Service Provider will play a key role in your return to the workplace. Schedule a meeting to review all technology and IT related concerns.
  • Evaluate any new technology deployed during the crisis.
    • The tools your employees used to work remotely may or may not be required when you return. Create a list, including any new devices, and decide if they stay or go. Evaluate how the new tech was implemented, determine what worked and what fell short, and if you still need all of the licenses you purchased. Examples include new Office 365 licenses, Zoom, new laptops, etc.
  •  Evaluate any service providers you use to run your business.
    • Identify any vendor that was not able to achieve their SLAs, and determine the cause. Pay particularly close attention to those critical vendors and how they performed during the crisis.
  • For any employee who will continue to WFH, audit the tech they will be using.
    • Determine if the tech is appropriate, secure, and is sufficient to enable optimal productivity.
  • Run an audit on any workstations in your establishment.
    • An audit will help you determine if the workstations are properly patched with the latest OS and other critical updates. Reach out to your Managed Service Provider for help on this.
  • Document a list of those employees who used their personal computers to WFH.
    • Develop an appropriate action plan to ensure the ongoing use of personal computers or devices complies with your company’s security standards. Consider requiring your employees to change the passwords on any personal devices.
  • Catalogue items that were removed from your establishment.
    • Protect your business and intellectual property by ensuring any devices, technology, files, folders, contracts, customer lists, and documents, etc. are properly returned to the workplace. This list may include electronic files left on the employee’s personal workstation or device.
  • Conduct a gap analysis.
    • Document the technology gaps that were exposed during the crisis and create a plan on how to address them.
  • Schedule a review of your Disaster Recovery (DR) and/or Business Continuity plan.
    • What can be improved upon? What worked well?
    • Were you able to easily transition from your establishment to WFH?
    • How was your business impacted during this crisis?
    • Update your DR and/or Business Continuity plan accordingly.
  • Schedule regular DR and Business Continuity testing.
    • This should be a routine part of your business. But given this recent crisis, regular DR and Business Continuity testing will be even more crucial moving forward. Don’t be caught unprepared.

The above can be an extensive piece of work, but will be extremely worthwhile. It goes without saying that should any of our existing clients or prospective new clients need assistance, CTO would be more than happy to help. Contact our offices on 01135 329800 or email [email protected]

Thanks

Richard Payne – Senior Consultant