How Can Atlanta Accounting Firms Make Working From Home Work?
Atlanta and other municipalities have issued “Stay at Home” mandates. Working from home poses a significant challenge for accounting firms and other businesses.
The global COVID-19 crisis continues to put Atlanta residents at risk and cause business disruption. To slow the spread of the sometimes deadly virus, “Shelter in Place” and “Stay at Home” mandates have been issued in hot spots across the nation. The mayor of Atlanta recently issues an order that will require man residents to shift to remote workforces.
“Until we flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections, the city must exercise every reasonable power to slow the spread of this virus,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms reportedly said. “Across the globe, we are seeing a growing sense of urgency, and we must all make some sacrifices to break the chain of infections and avert a worst-case scenario.”
What Does ‘Stay At Home’ Entail?
The mandate does not necessarily mean that working people must shut themselves in until the COVID-19 outbreak subsides. Stay at Home underscores the goal of reducing contact and the spread of the contagion. Essential businesses may remain open, and employees can travel to work, with the understanding they practice safety protocols issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Accounting firms have reportedly been deemed an essential business resource, but working from home remains the preferred alternative.
That being said, Accounting firm members conducting business from home will be taxed professionally and emotionally during the crisis. To support our community members on both fronts, 360 Smart Networks offers five essential things hard-working people can do to ease stress and remain productive.
1: Responsibly Get Fresh Air and Exercise
Walking, hiking, bicycle riding, and other forms of outdoor exercise are permissible under the Stay at Home order. People are asked to practice social distancing during essential outdoor activities. Washing hands frequently for more than seconds with hot water and using hand-sanitizers with 60 percent or higher alcohol content are advised. Do not touch your face after making contact with objects.
2: Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
These are stressful times and maintaining your focus will be crucial to remote workforce productivity. Consider taking time to do yoga, meditate, or engage in mindfulness practices to remain grounded. Mental and emotional health are powerful assets.
3: Configure Your Home Workspace
The COVID-19 crisis could last for an extended period. That means accounting firm professionals would be wise to continue working from home for as long as possible. If you are a first-time remote employee, chances are you could be working at the kitchen table or with a device on your lap. Consider defining your workspace in a fashion that maximizes productivity and minimizes distractions.
4: Set A Defined Work Schedule
Failing to establish live-work boundaries tends to trip up people working from home for the first time. The tendency to sleep late, pause for household chores, or struggle with family interruptions tends to undermine productivity. Consider writing out and posting your work schedule and off-duty hours. During this crisis, we all need to pull together, and many organizations rely on your work getting completed on time.
5: Implement Determined Cybersecurity Protocols
As unsettling as it may sound, hackers are working overtime during the global health crisis to breach business networks. Accounting firms are considered high-value targets because they house valuable client data. Safeguarding financial records, and personal identity records require enterprise-level cybersecurity.
The experienced security professionals at 360 Smart Networks recommend setting up a Virtual Private Network, upgrading home computers and devices to business-grade firewalls and antivirus software, enhanced endpoint cybersecurity, data encryption for wireless transfers, implementing continuity and disaster recovery protocols, backing up data on external hard drives, and taking immediate virtual training about emerging COVID-19 scams.
Although we all face unique challenges due to the pandemic and Stay at Home mandates, consider 360 Smart Networks a community resource ready to facilitate a seamless and cyber-safe transition to working from home. We work with accounting firms in Atlanta, Charlotte and across the SE portion of the United States.