Working Remotely in these challenging times.

The Ministry of Health has confirmed a Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case in Nairobi. The case, which was confirmed on the 12th March 2020, is the first one to be reported in Kenya since the beginning of the outbreak in China in December 2019.

With the change of the norms of working comes the need for working at home. Now several organizations were not set up for working at home and I thought id share some guidance of some of the tools that you can use to enable working from home.

In your organizations, you would have to make some fundamental changes in the way you work.

  1. User identity and access It all starts with managing identities. you should have an identity system that helps us both manage and expand existing systems access while using a cloud-based control plane to enable people to work productively and securely. Whether they are an employee, partner, or supplier, every user who needs to access the corporate network receives a primary identity. a good tool for this is the Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). To learn more about our identity and access management practices, check out Microsoft IT`s Showcase covering user identities and secure access.
  2. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) MFA should be required to access any corporate resource while working from home when a user connects remotely to your domain using their work credentials on a device that you manage, MFA helps you to make sure its the right person accessing your resources. To learn more about enabling MFA to support remote work scenario, check out this tutorial.
  3. Managing devices I am sure we all manage a wide range of devices, including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. several organizations are making the transition to a fully cloud-based management environment. As you make that shift and with more employees working remotely and across devices, it’s important to support bring-your-own-device (BYOD) scenarios. Windows 10 offers self-service enrollment so users can quickly and easily join Azure AD and enroll in MDM to access company resources. Once enrolled, MDM then applies appropriate policies, for example, to ensure that a device is encrypted with a strong password and has certificates for access to things like Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and Wi-Fi. MDM can also ensure that devices are adhering to the policy by checking-in the device’s health compliance status to Azure AD as it processes the user’s authentication. For guidance on deploying and using MDM.
  4. Productivity application With this foundation in place, you should be driving your employees to work in the cloud. This is particularly important for our large population of information workers working remotely. Microsoft 365 enables users to access resources and share files with Office apps across the web, mobile, and desktop, storing their content in the cloud by default. Outlook mobile, Microsoft Teams, and OneDrive deployed on all of our corporate devices, so people can access their emails, calendars, and files within File Explorer on Windows, Finder on Mac, and Office apps on mobile devices. Microsoft has made it easy for users to save their files to OneDrive the same way they traditionally saved files to their C: drive; this has been key to getting files to the cloud. your users are also now able to do real-time collaboration, which has proved extremely useful for a distributed workforce.
  5. Meetings and collaboration everyone at Microsoft uses Teams daily for chat, meetings, calls, and collaboration. Now that we find ourselves working remotely, we’ve been able to stay productive because we are accustomed to a digital workspace. Every meeting is now a Teams meeting, often with video. We‘re using features like background blur to block out our kids and our mismatched furniture. As you rally to help your employees prepare for remote work, you will that the ability to record meetings has become essential. All attendees can access recordings of meetings they’ve missed and then listen in to the most relevant parts while ensuring appropriate security, compliance, and manageability are in place. To learn more about enabling remote work with Teams, check  IT Showcase post.
  6. Service monitoring With the increased load and usage from so many people working remotely, service monitoring will prove crucial to making sure everything is operating as it should. you should carefully monitor applications and build product telemetry monitoring into every solution so that you can check reporting for user satisfaction metrics and changes to service behavior.
  7. Culture and change management Remote work can create challenges in maintaining a healthy work culture and managing change. Modern social and engagement platforms can help make sure messages are heard, leadership is visible, and best practices are shared. In Microsoft, Satya Nadella and other executives connect with the organization using live events and Yammer. Our team recently held an 18-hour global live event to drive employee connections, engagement, and learning.

Below are some extra recourses that o thought would help as you transition to working remotely

Other Recourses that can help 

Microsoft 365 / Office 365

Office and Office for the web

Teams

Mobile

EDUCATIONAL

Video Training

NB: The content above is adopted from Practices at Microsoft

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