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At the point that we’re working remotely because it’s part of business continuity plan, then we are already on Plan B.  So what comes next?  How do we build contingency into remote working?

Disaster Recovery plan – review your existing disaster recovery procedures. Are they up to date? When were they last tested? In the event that offices are closed and empty for long periods security may become a risk. Is your data securely off site?

Where might your tech fail?

Stress test your remote connectivity. You may have several users that already have Private Network (VPN) or other methods to remotely access your internal network – but how many people will it sustain simultaneously? Cheaper SMB routers will struggle to manage more than single digit number of connections. The slightly more advanced and commonly found Draytek 2860 router for example will support 32 simultaneous VPN connections.

Similarly, your remote software may have limitations on licensing for the number of simultaneous users.

Ask your IT provider/administrator to check your hardware limitations and software licenses. Whilst they’re at it, check the router configuration is up to date and supported – VPN and security standards are updated regularly so ensure you’re confirming to the latest specifications.

Your office connectivity will also need good, high speed connectivity to support many remote working tools such as remote desktop. Consider that a remote desktop connection requires approx 1.5Mbps to operate well. Typical modern Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) lines run at a maximum of 80Mbps download and 20mpbs upload (data FROM your office), many SMB connections are slower than this. If you’re limited by a 20Mb upload speed you will be able to support a maximum of 13/14 full screen remote desktop connections, less if each of those users is also using the internet on their machine in the office. Check with your IT administrator what your maximum theoretical bandwidth limit is to determine how many users can be supported.

THOUGHT: Things to consider

  • Remain agile – policies are helpful but when technology fails help people make sensible choices that allow them to continue to work.
  • Offer Help – employees will be struggling with technology; ensure you’ve got enough resources ready to help people use and fix their technology
  • Stay close to your board and executives – they may be struggling more with technology than anyone else and they may need a lot of hand holding. Consider allocating 1:1 support

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