Working from Home: Remote Access Capability to Address Coronavirus Concerns

Scanning electron microscope image of the  coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (blue) emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. Image credit: NIAID-RML

COVID-19, as the new human coronavirus is now known, is spreading around the world and that means that individuals and families – and businesses – should prepare.

The Centers for Disease Control has said that it fully expects community transmission in the United States and is asking families to be ready for the possibility of significant disruption to our lives. This shouldn’t be a call to incite panic and doomsday scenarios, but it also isn’t something to be taken lightly.

Business need to consider how they will help keep their workforce working as symptomatic individuals quarantine themselves and others look to reduce their exposure in public.

Being at risk personally isn’t the only reason to prepare. Many will feel that the risk to them is small, recognizing that the disease is quite mild in most of those that become infected. But the primary reason to prepare is to help lessen the risk for everyone. Taking preventative steps to limit the spread of the disease is essential for everyone.

Prevention means doing more of what you should already be doing to help prevent the spread of any communicable disease…

  • Wash your hands
  • Cover your mouth when coughing
  • See a doctor if you’re sick
  • Avoid other people if you are infected or showing symptoms

This means staying home from work if you are even a little bit sick.

Look at what’s happening in Japan, a country known to promote spending long hours in the office as a crucial element to success. Authorities there are urging companies to break with that long-standing belief system. They are encouraging businesses to have their employees work from home to help limit the spread of the virus, yet most businesses aren’t prepared at all to handle a remote workforce.

Panasonic, NEC, and Mitsubishi are among the growing number of firms that have mandated or recommended remote work for tens of thousands of staff. The change is testing the ability of the nation’s companies to embrace a more flexible work style—overturning a workplace culture that dates back decades and values physical presence and endurance of long hours over productivity or efficiency.

This is where cloud hosting services can be a big benefit for the business. Migrating the desktop and networked applications to a cloud-hosted platform allows the business to continue using the software and systems already working in the business, but to run them from a cloud platform that enables workers to access from anywhere… including from home.

Rather than trying to convert to web-based applications, requiring retraining of employees and conversions of data, businesses find great success in simply moving their in-house systems to an agile, scalable cloud platform that can be accessed via the Internet. Particularly when it comes to enabling remote offices and at-home workers, a cloud hosting approach is the way to rapidly move critical IT infrastructure out of the office, providing a means to support remote workers almost immediately.

Businesses find great benefits from hosting their applications and data in the cloud every day and without the pressures of global disaster and pandemic facing them. When the need to support remote and mobile workers becomes a work-from-home mandate, the business is already poised to meet the demand and still get the work done. It’s just another form of prevention for the business.

Make Sense?

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