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Remote access considerations: business continuity in winter

Here are four tips for allowing your employees to work from home during a storm.
Here are four tips for allowing your employees to work from home during a storm.

Last winter, parts of the country were hit with some of the highest amounts of snowfall in years. When something like that happens, it may negatively affect your business for days, as roadways and public transit lines must to be cleared before your employees can return to work.

Instead of stressing over when and how your staff will make it back into the office, one way to mitigate any downtime is to have them work from home on these days.

Modern computing technology makes it easy for people to work remotely, which can help your business continue with its day like it was the middle of the summer. Here are four points to incorporate into your business continuity plan to make sure you're ready to have employees work away from the office:

  • Critical personnel. Critical staff members, and other workers needed to support them, should be prioritized when considering who can work from home during an emergency. This will help you allocate recourses more efficiently.
  • Virtual private network (VPN). If an employee works from home, their internet access point my not have the same level of security that your company requires. Allowing them to access business systems with low or no security presents an even greater threat to your company than not having that person work that day. A VPN provides a way to add security without adding extra hardware.
  • Capacity. Before you start allowing employees to work from home during snow emergencies, you have to make sure your company has enough bandwidth to support that number of remote users. Without the proper capacity, they'll be essentially useless while at home.
  • Training. Employees need to be familiar with the process of connecting from home before they do so in a storm. Give them proper training and then allow them to work from home one day to test it out.

To develop a comprehensive business continuity plan, getting help from an experienced business continuity consultant will ensure you're ready when the winter storms roll in.