Archive for March 19, 2020

Zoho Launches Small Business Emergency Subscription Assistance Program

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 19, 2020 by itnerd

Zoho Corporation is launching its Small Business Emergency Subscription Assistance Program (ESAP) to help Zoho customers worldwide weather this global crisis. A recent study by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business has found that half of Canada’s small firms have already seen a drop in sales due to the economic effects of COVID-19, with 4 in 10 of those affected businesses also reporting a decrease greater than 25 per cent1. ESAP is one way Zoho is committing itself to helping its small business customers. For up to 20,000 qualified paying customers with 25 employees or less, Zoho is waiving the cost of every single application they currently use, for up to three months.

Zoho is a 24-year-old, bootstrapped, privately held company with more than 50 million users located in over 180 countries. Since the beginning, Zoho has owed its existence to its small business customers. While Zoho now has grown significantly upmarket, serving mid-market and enterprise customers in addition to small businesses, the company believes that for the broader economy to stay healthy, SMBs must first stay healthy and viable. ESAP is intended to lighten the financial burden put upon our small business customers during this chaotic and difficult period.

Earlier this month, Zoho launched Remotely, a virtual productivity platform of 11 collaboration applications, provided to businesses of all sizes around the world for free, so that companies could effectively make the transition to remote work. Since its release two weeks ago, more than 5,000 new companies are running on the platform, and that number is increasing every day. We have seen an average of 500 per cent growth in usage of our collaboration apps and 1,000 per cent growth in daily new users of Zoho Meeting.

Between this global program and the no-cost availability of Zoho Remotely, a full virtual collaboration platform, Zoho is committed to helping as many businesses as possible. We are encouraging other companies in a position to help businesses survive to join us in supporting the small business ecosystem.

Please see a video announcement of the Small Business Emergency Subscription Assistance Program from our CEO Sridhar Vembu: https://youtu.be/ZxSrdGeEG1M   

Guest Post: Remote.co Offers Insights From 140+ Remote Teams and Companies

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 19, 2020 by itnerd

To help contain the spread of COVID-19, remote work has been advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and companies worldwide across all industries and sizes have implemented working from home as a temporary workplace policy. As the definitive resource on remote work, Remote.co offers insight and advice on critical topics and challenges that businesses transitioning some or all of its workforce to a remote environment may face.

Remote.co’s Q&A section features direct feedback from 140+ remote-forward teams and companies on key topics impacting virtual work environments.  Each section below is elaborated on using extensive interviews from fully virtual companies/or teams.

FlexJobs, Remote.co’s sister site, has also created an Emergency Preparedness Section to supplement these resources and is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, March 24 at 12pm ET: How Employers Can Prepare for Remote Work. This will be recorded.

Remote.co’s section featuring insights from remote workers themselves may also be useful to employees who are new to working from home.

 

Guest Post: NordVPN Has Tips On Secure Remote Working During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 19, 2020 by itnerd

The coronavirus has triggered the world’s biggest work-from-home experiment. Millions of people have been asked to self-isolate to stop the virus from spreading. Entire regions in China and Italy were put under full or partial lockdown. With the virus spreading, major companies in the US and Europe, including Facebook and Amazon, are also asking employees to stay at home.

The current situation has reignited the discussion on the effectiveness and security of remote work. While many modern workplaces allow and even encourage working from home, opponents argue that remote work is less effective or even risky for business, as companies face many challenges. They need to ensure that employees have all the right access to the required documents and information. Besides, staff connecting from out of office may make mistakes that could cost companies millions. While working remotely, often on public Wi-Fi and on personal laptops, employees pose a severe threat to companies’ cybersecurity.

“According to Google Trends, the search term “VPN” has drastically grown since the beginning of March all over the world. The interest in NordVPN Teams services has increased by 165% as well. We can see that companies are exploring various cybersecurity options to ensure both safe and productive work from home. Security is crucial, as hacks and data leaks don’t only bring financial loss — they may also mean lost customer trust and, in some cases, even bankruptcy. It’s important to note that employees’ errors are usually not deliberate. When working from home, people tend to be more relaxed and browse personal sites, which might not be secure,” says Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN Teams.

Technological advancements have also made working from home more accessible across all sectors. “Nowadays, compared to 10 years ago, it is a lot easier to access emails, cloud-based filing, dial-in to calls and video conferencing remotely. All that makes work from out of office more accessible,” says Daniel Markuson from NordVPN Teams.

Need to work from home because of the Covid-19 outbreak? Here’s a brief rundown of the tech tools you might find useful to replicate your office.

  • Video conferencing software. Regardless of the benefits that remote working brings, it also might seem quite lonely. That’s where video conference comes in handy. Face-to-face meetings are much more productive than emails or chats, and video conferencing is an effective alternative.
  • A webcam and a microphone. Essential tools for effective communication, most likely already installed on your laptop.
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPNs, such as NordVPN Teams, encrypt the traffic and allow employees to access company servers.
  • Messaging platform. Professional messaging platforms, such as Slack, make it quick and easy to communicate with coworkers. They also make file-sharing more instant and straightforward.
  • Other necessary office software. It is essential to ensure that employees have all the essential tools such as Microsoft office. By providing that, it will prevent people from downloading illegitimate software.
  • PC/laptop. It’s best to use company-provided PCs and laptops. However, it might not be possible in all industries. Therefore, employers need to make sure that the employees have the required antivirus, firewall, and other security software.
  • Time management tools. It’s very easy to lose track of time in an informal environment. Many useful tools help the user organize the time and use it effectively.