Working Remotely During Coronavirus

Originally published to Techwire.

10 Tips and 10 Microsoft Technologies for Organizations Preparing for Remote Work Options due to COVID-19

10 Tips for Working From Home

  1. Create a dedicated workspace
    1. Find a room with minimal distractions (especially if others will be home)
    2. Use a comfortable chair, preferably an office chair, to help you feel more inclined to stay working and be more productive
    3. Use a standing desk – makeshift desks are all the rage, or you can purchase from Amazon
    4. Invest in a good headset (Noise-canceling with a mute button)
  2. Set clear working hours and stick to them- Post working hours on your front door/office door to minimize distractions.
  3. Red light/Green light- Create a sign to let others in your home know when you can and cannot be disturbed.
  4. Get dressed- Stick to a regular routine by taking a shower and getting dressed every day, just like if you were going into the office.
  5. Create a daily to-do list that must be completed each day. This will help you stay on task and accomplish your daily goals no matter what distractions may pop up.
  6. Take a break.
    1. Give your eyes a break. Look away from your computer screen and focus on something far away once an hour
    2. Walk 250 steps at least once an hour
    3. Take a scheduled break – go for a walk, eat lunch away from your workspace
    4. Listen to music at enhances your concentration
  7. Stock your refrigerator and pantry with healthy foods and snacks. Meal prep is a good way to stay on-track with any dietary needs and not be distracted cooking during work hours.
  8. Check-in with coworkers often to stay connected. Use video chat when possible.
  9. Stay informed on the latest COVID-19 news. The CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) are updating their sites with the latest information.
  10. Make sure your pets have a place to stay where they are not a distraction.

10 Microsoft Technologies that Support Remote Work

  1. Skype for Business/Teams – IM, Chat, Meetings, Conferencing.
  2. OneDrive for Business – Remote access and collaboration on personal work documents.
  3. SharePoint Online – Create emergency preparedness information portals/sites/pages (see screen shots below).
  4. Microsoft Teams – Collaboration on shared projects and documents.
  5. OneNote – Share notes with colleagues in SharePoint Online, Teams, or OneDrive.
  6. Outlook Web Access – Access your email anywhere on any device.
  7. Office Online (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) – O365 users can co-author on Office documents.
  8. Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) on Azure – Deploy virtual workstations for remote users in Azure.
  9. Planner – Create and track tasks with teammates.
  10. Security Technologies
    1. Multi Factor Authentication- Require more than one form of authentication to access organizational resources, dramatically reducing identity-based vulnerabilities.
    2. Conditional Access- Control access to critical systems with specific conditions such as; AD membership, device health, OS version, antivirus presence, forced MFA, location restrictions and much more.
    3. Self Service Password Reset- Reduce administrative burden and increase identity security by empowering employees to reset their own passwords with authentication security controls.
    4. Mobile Application Management- Allow access to critical applications and organizational data without the need to own or enroll devices, while ensuring stringent security and compliance practices.
    5. Mobile Device Management- Fully managed devices with pervasive security and compliance policies, inventory management, updating, and remote wipe abilities.
    6. Bitlocker- Full data encryption with centrally managed access keys and administrative control.
    7. Data Loss Prevention- Create policies and leverage automation to help prevent the accidental or malicious leakage of organizational data.
    8. Information Protection- Encryption, access restrictions and more protections that travel with data wherever it goes, even outside your network.


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