As countries and cities begin to look at easing lockdown restrictions, this checklist for reopening businesses can help you jumpstart your return.
You and your employees have been quarantined in your homes for the past few days weeks months, and now authorities are looking to lift restrictions and open up. You may be thinking, “We’ll be back soon, and I can get out of this house!” The problem is, if you just pick up and go, and don’t prepare for having people back in the workplace, you may run into issues that could have been easily avoided. Now is the time to prepare.
This checklist is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but it can help provide guidance as you look to reopen. It’s organised into four sections: People, Workplace, Technology, and Your Customers. Everyone’s situation is unique, but evaluating your plan with these components in mind can help you get organised and anticipate obstacles.
Office 365 is a security-hardened service, designed following the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle. Microsoft bring together the best practices from two decades of building enterprise software and managing online services to give you an integrated software-as-a-service solution.
At the service level, Office 365 uses the defense-in-depth approach to provide physical, logical, and data layers of security features and operational best practices. In addition, Office 365 gives you enterprise-grade user and admin controls to further secure your environment.
24-hour monitoring of datacenters.
Multi-factor authentication, including biometric scanning for datacenter access.
Internal datacenter network is segregated from the external network.
Role separation renders location of specific customer data unintelligible to the personnel that have physical access.
Faulty drives and hardware are demagnetized and destroyed.
Lockbox processes for a strictly supervised escalation process greatly limit human access to your data.
Servers run only processes that are whitelisted, minimizing risk from malicious code.
Dedicated threat management teams proactively anticipate, prevent, and mitigate malicious access.
Port scanning, perimeter vulnerability scanning, and intrusion detection prevent or detect any malicious access.
Encryption at rest protects your data on our servers.
Encryption in transit with SSL/TLS protects your data when it’s transmitted between you and Microsoft.
Threat management, security monitoring, and file/data integrity prevent or detect any tampering of data.
Exchange Online Protection provides advanced security and reliability against spam and malware to help protect your information and access to email.
Office 365 Message Encryption allows users to send encrypted email to anyone, whatever email service recipients may use.
Data loss prevention can be combined with Rights Management and Office 365 Message Encryption to give greater controls to your admins to apply appropriate policies to protect sensitive data.
S/MIME provides message security with certificate-based email access.
Azure Rights Management prevents file-level access without the right user credentials.
Multi-factor authentication protects access to the service with a second factor such as phone.
Data loss prevention prevents sensitive data from leaking either inside or outside the organization while providing user education and empowerment.
Built-in mobile device management capabilities allow you to manage access to corporate data.
Mobile application management within Office mobile apps powered by Intune provides granular controls to secure data contained in these apps.
Built in antivirus and antispam protection along with advanced threat protection safeguard against external threats.
Office 365 Cloud App Security provides enhanced visibility and control into your Office 365 environment.
Business teams today are often distributed across the world, working at various hours with a variety of devices. Employees value flexible work environments that support real-time collaboration and remote access to all the information required to get their job done. And you need peace of mind that your business data is protected wherever it goes.
Technologies designed for a cloud-first, mobile-first world can empower a modern workforce. Enable your team to share documents, edit files simultaneously, and access company networks from different devices and locations. With the right cloud solution, you can foster team connections to ensure your staff stays productive. And, you can be sure your business data and devices are safeguarded against modern threats – even outside the office.
Boost productivity across your workplace by employing integrated mobile and cloud solutions from Microsoft.
Work better together
Provide anywhere access
Protect data wherever it goes
Support teamwork and communication across your business from multiple locations.
Enable your team to get
things done effectively – on
Safeguard business data
from unauthorized access and modern threats.
How Microsoft solutions can boost productivity in your business
Collaborate in real-time across the organizationWork simultaneously on documents with a dispersed team – and store and save your work in the cloud with Office 365. It works on any device – Windows 10 Pro, Android, iOS.
Enable employees to work how they wantProvide easy access to familiar Office apps on the devices your staff prefer – Windows, iOS, or Android – using cloud-based Office 365.
Get better device protection and security managementSafeguard and manage Windows, Android and iOS devices – and protect your operating system, files, and thousands of SaaS apps – using Enterprise Mobility + Security.
Network across the globe – virtuallyMeet online across locations. Use HD video and voice meetings, plus transmit content on the device of your choice, with Skype for Business in Office 365.
Store data cost-effectivelyEnable personalized service by accessing, sharing, and updating customer information in real-time with Dynamics 365.
Safeguard against security theftStrengthen identity protection with multi-factor authentication, including fingerprint and PIN, in Windows 10 Pro.
Enable rich, insight-based decision-makingGet automatic security and feature updates delivered from the cloud – without interruptions to users – with Office 365 and Windows 10 Pro.
Deliver familiar, intuitiveGive your team the experiences they want – like touch, ink, or voice – across a range of compelling, productive Windows 10 Pro devices.
Keep data safe and containedShield data from leaks or unsanctioned actions, such as unauthorized printing or forwarding of documents, using Windows Information Protection in Windows 10 Pro plus Rights Management Services in Office 365.
Overwhelmed trying to achieve Inbox Zero? Folder Clean-up can help.
From your Inbox (or any other email folder), select Home > Clean Up. You can Clean Up Conversation, Clean Up Folder, or Clean Up Folder & Subfolders. Outlook will automatically move redundant, read messages to the Deleted Items folder. Folder clean-up will never remove unread messages.
Why send a copy when you can send a link instead?
Collaborating with colleagues on a report or project? Don’t send copies. Send a link instead.
The trick is to upload files to OneDrive and then send everyone a link to the files. Your recipients can collaborate on the same file at the same time, and you don’t have to scour your inbox for multiple copies.
Select Attach File>Browse web locations >OneDrive. You can tell you’re sending a link to a OneDrive file because the attachment icon will have a cloud on it.
Smarter meetings with Skype and OneNote
Before sending that meeting request, make it a Skype meeting and set up a shared space for meeting notes.
Before you send the meeting request, select Skype Meeting. An online meeting link will be created automatically and inserted into the meeting request. For shared notes, select Meeting Notes. Create a new OneNote notebook or select an existing one. A link to the notebook will appear in the meeting request.
Use the Quick Analysis tool in Excel to easily apply conditional formatting, create charts or tables, or display sparklines next to your data.
In Excel, select the data you want to visualize.
Select Quick Analysis in the lower-right corner of the selected data (or press Ctrl+Q).
Point to the formatting options to preview them, and then select the visualization you want to create.
Quickly predict future values based on historical data
If you have historical time-based data, you can use it to create a forecast. A forecast can help you predict things like future sales, inventory requirements, or consumer trends.
In Excel, select a series of date or time entries and the corresponding values.
Select Data > Forecast > Forecast Sheet.
In the Create Forecast Worksheet window, select the line chart or column chart icon.
In the Forecast End box, select an end date, and then select Create.
Collaborate in real time on an Excel workbook
You and your coworkers can work at the same time on the same Excel workbook. Save time and avoid countless revisions.
Sign in to Office 365, select > OneDrive, and then select the folder where you want to create the workbook. It’s always best to create documents online first.
Select New > Excel workbook, and then select the Book box and rename the file.
Select Share, add the email addresses of those you want to share with, and select Send.When other people open and edit the workbook while you’re working in it, a notification appears at the top and colored flags show where they’re working in the document.
Securely share files with colleagues
Email a link to an Excel workbook stored in SharePoint or OneDrive for Business to ensure that everyone is viewing and working in the same file.
While composing a message in Outlook, select Message > Include > Attach File on the Ribbon.
Select the file you want to share from the list, or select Browse Web Locations and browse to the file. Then select Insert.
If the file is on SharePoint or OneDrive for Business, select Share as OneDrive link in the How do you want to attach this file? box.
Select the attachment arrow, select Change Permissions, and then select the permission level for the message recipients.
Microsoft Teams brings together the full breadth and depth of Office 365, to provide a true chat-based hub for teamwork and give businesses the opportunity to create a more open, fluid, and digital environment. Microsoft Teams is built on existing Microsoft technologies woven together by Office 365 Groups.
Out of the box, Teams leverages identities stored in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) and integrates with the other services within Office 365, to create a SharePoint online site and an Exchange Online group mailbox for each team created.
The Teams persistent chat capability is provided by a chat service that interacts with the Office 365 substrate, surfacing many of the built-in Office 365 capabilities, such as archiving and eDiscovery to the data being exchanged in Teams.
Teams also provides a calling and meetings experience that is built on the next generation cloud-based infrastructure that is also used by Skype and Skype for Business. These technology investments include Azure-based cloud services for media processing and signaling, H.264 video codec, SILK and Opus audio codec, network resiliency, telemetry, and quality diagnostics.
To extend Teams capabilities, use Connectors, Tabs, and Bots – available as apps, to bring external information, content, and intelligent bot interactions to Teams.
Microsoft Teams and Office 365
Different groups have various needs, based on their functional role and workstyle. Office 365 is designed for the unique workstyle of every group and includes purpose-built, integrated applications, including:
Outlook for enterprise-grade email, now with groups functionality
SharePoint for sites and portals, intelligent content services, business process automation and enterprise search
Yammer for driving company-wide connections
Skype for Business as the backbone for enterprise voice and video
And now, Microsoft Teams, the new chat-based workspace in Office 365
We spoke to Directors Nick Readett-Bayley and Richard Newling Ward about their award winning architecture firm, BayleyWard.
How did you get into Architecture?
Richard: I was in hospitality for a number of years, and I came to recognise that I just had a passion for creating exciting and engaging spaces for people to enjoy. I suspect you’ll find that most architects have a very different answer, many would likely talk about the built environment, whereas interior designers’ focus tends to be more micro.
Why did you choose to start your own business?
Richard: There comes a point in your life when you want to write your own destiny. To drive your own designs rather than being told what to do whilst working in service of someone else’s ideals.
I get out of bed every day because I know I have the freedom to design things that I’m passionate about, coupled with the personal freedom that working for yourself provides. I also love that creatively, I can build something out of nothing on any given day.
You work hard, celebrate the wins, manage the losses, and it all balances out.
What is the biggest IT related hurdle you have faced?
Nick: Initially, working with start- up budgets means that there are periods where it is necessary to fulfil IT needs in-house – simply to save money. Although this choice did save a small sum of money in the early days, the decisions that were made, and the solutions they provided were only temporary.
Solutions were not tailored for the long-term, and did not cater for the business’ future IT requirements. Therefore, we were not properly set-up – with servers, internal graphics cards, ram, etc – to achieve long-term efficiency, agility and delivery.
How did SSDL help you along the way?
As a new business, we often tried to source and upgrade our hardware and software in-house. We took advice from other businesses and design-related peer groups. Although our choices were good, they were not good enough. SSDL helped us to identify better solutions, that would save time and drive better efficient outcomes in communication, storage and speed.
We now only make our IT decisions after consulting with the professionals at SSDL. SSDL have helped put us on the right IT on track by making our day-to-day IT activities run smoothly, confidently, and efficiently.
What’s a great IT related lesson you’ve learnt so far?
If you seek advice, you will find the answers with the Professionals. Those with real IT experience will make the critical difference for your business.
Finally, we’d love to see one of your favourite designs from 2017?
This is the recently completed “Barney” project on St Georges Road.
We had a chat to Jason Robinson, one of the Directors from clients RBK Advisory.
What does RBK do?
RBK is a new age accounting and advisory firm born out of frustration with the old ways and systems of accounting practices. Below are a few of our differences:
We up front quote the years worth of work
We package the yearly services up and invoice by direct debit monthly
We provide free phone & email support to clients
We focus on the client relationship first – everyone receives the partner’s mobile phone number and the partner is always the first point of contact
We conduct tax planning meetings with all stakeholders are mandatory pre 30 June
Our clients feel comfortable to call and liaise whenever they have a problem as they aren’t “on the clock”. We find this allows us to provide better service. The more we liaise, the more beneficial the relationship will be for the client. There is no ‘bill shock’ for want of a better word. The more organised we are around tax planning, the better the outcome is for the client, it also helps adhere to ATO legislation.
Overall we are a young, technology driven firm who are eager to provide great service to our clients. We understand this is a very personal relationship and we treat it with the respect it demands.
Why did you start RBK?
We’ve all worked at large and small firms alike and found there was a real disconnect between the fee structure & value provided by the majority of accountants. On top of that, many firms were promoting technology as an enabler but were barely using technology themselves (think old servers on site, standard working hours at the work location, inefficient processes that were billed to the client). We also didn’t like punching the time clock in 6 minute blocks and sending out invoices to clients that they weren’t expecting. It drove us to come up with our own model, one that has proven to be very successful having from a few hundred clients initially, to now serving over 2000.
How has IT played a role in your business?
For RBK Advisory, we have a lot of sensitive information. So immediately, security was a huge priority for us. Really early on we moved from Google to Microsoft 365 due to the added security setting and additional power it offered. On top of that, we wanted to be mobile, everything needed to be in the cloud (when we launched the business I was doing tax returns in Bali by the pool).
How has SSDL helped with your business?
We grew and we grew fast. We needed to be able to scale. In the past 12 months, we have added more than 1 new team member per month. This has meant thousands of dollars invested in new hardware, however we’ve barely noticed the software side of things. We up our subscriptions with each new team member, their devices are easily setup and added to our IT system and before we know it the new team member is ready to fire! SSDL advised us from day one on the software and systems we had to have in place to allow that growth to happen and without SSDL investing that time and energy into learning what our plans and ambitions were, I don’t think it would have gone as smoothly, so we have them to thank for that.
Finally, favourite app right now and why?
It’s so hard to pick just one so I’ll give you my categories:
Accounting – Xero (we live our lives on this and it connects us to our clients crucial financial information in real time)
Bookkeeping – Hubdoc (it connects us to our client’s financials documents through an easy to use app, receipts, bank statements, invoices etc.)
Personally – Trello (task management, to do lists, reminders and so much more)