Tips for Managing Mobile Devices and Remote Employees: Staying Up and Running During a Public Health Crisis

Tips for Managing Mobile Devices and Remote Employees

A public health crisis is a serious matter for more than one reason. While governments and health systems focus on the critical tasks of containing the spread of illness and ensuring accurate news updates and prevention tips are being distilled, individual companies can play a role, too, in keeping the world economy humming to stave off a market crash or recession.

As fears and rumors of the coronavirus (or COVID-19) spread, and the virus continues to proliferate, many organizations are taking steps to help keep their employees safe and healthy, while allowing them to continue to work.

If you’re considering instituting a temporary remote-work policy for all employees, here are a few steps you can implement immediately to ensure that your team is able to stay productive.

  • Ensure remote employees have connectivity.
    • In the event that employees don’t have access to reliable Wi-Fi, ensure you have the right data plans in place to support alternative sources like mobile hotspots.
    • Monitor usage and automate the management of pool plans to ensure low-volume users offset high-volume users and to help avoid overage fees.
  • Get employees the equipment they need.
    • Ensure mobile workers have the right devices to perform their work, even outside the office. If they don’t, be ready to supply employees who are not usually remote with equipment like laptops, tablets, external monitors, hotspots and so on to ensure they can complete their work from their home just as effectively as they can from the office. Asking employees to manage tasks (e.g., spreadsheets, web-based apps, etc.) through their phone can hamper productivity. 
  • Have a plan for device management.
    • Ensure employees across the world know company procedure and how to handle lost, stolen or broken equipment.
    • For enterprises with a unified endpoint management (UEM) platform, make sure you have a container in your UEM through which you can deploy apps into a mobile workforce. Managing the deployment of those apps via some type of groups can control licensing costs.

Bonus tip: Ensure employees keep mobile devices clean!

Sometimes employees don’t think to clean their endpoints like phones, laptops and tablets, but the truth is, they can be breeding grounds for bacteria. They should be cleaned frequently to eliminate the risk associated with viruses and other germs, while protecting the integrity of the device.

Enterprises should remind employees that their individual actions can help keep everyone safe and provide them with the following Apple-recommended procedures for cleaning a device (these instructions work for all mobile devices, no matter the operating system or manufacturer):

  • Unplug all external power sources, devices and cables, and turn off devices.
  • Using a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or disinfecting wipes, gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of a device, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces.
  • If a phone has a case, don’t forget to remove that from the phone and clean it as well.
  • Use only a soft, lint-free cloth. Avoid abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels, or similar items.
  • Avoid getting moisture in any openings, and don’t submerge a device in any cleaning agents.
  • Avoid excessive wiping, which might cause damage.
  • Keep liquids away from the product, unless otherwise noted for specific products. Don’t spray cleaners directly onto the device.
  • Don’t use aerosol sprays, bleaches, or abrasives.