With businesses returning to the office over the next few weeks, it’s worth preparing for what your computer systems will need.

If you’ve shut down your offices, furloughed your IT staff, or not kept up your IT support payments during the crisis, your IT systems may not have had the same routine maintenance carried out while you’ve been away.

Things to consider:

  • Powering on equipment – faults often happen when you switch systems on or off – blown fuses, failed components etc.
  • Windows updates, including the latest Windows 10 “20-04” major update – you’ll have a backlog of each month’s routine Windows updates to apply, which will take some time. And there are reports of the 20-04 update taking many hours to install.
  • Anti-virus updates – you’ll have a backlog of definition and engine updates to install, and until those install fully (which might need a restart of your system) you’re still vulnerable to the many new threats since you were last in the office.
  • Many computers all downloading updates at the same time may saturate your internet connection and make internet usage slow.
  • Check that your software licenses (especially for industry-specific software) haven’t expired.
  • Ensure there are no version inconsistencies in documents. Your staff may have been saving documents on their laptops whilst working at home, and when everyone returns to the office, you may all have slightly different versions of the same file which could lead to data loss.
  • Communications, network or internet faults which may have occurred during the shutdown and gone un-noticed.

Any faults or issues could mean that staff who do return to work are unable to use their computers for significant amounts of time on their first days back.That means lost productivity and wasted money for your organisation.

Our advice:

  • factor in the time to get your infrastructure up and running. Don’t just assume your employees will be able to walk into the office, turn their PC on, and be able to start work immediately.

  • Let your IT team or service provider know in good time that you’re starting to return to work, and on what days. Ensure they have enough personnel available to support you if needed.

  • Have one or two people return to the office a day or two early to open up, switch everything on and check the basics like email and internet access – modern operating systems and anti virus will start to download and install updates automatically, so you could leave this running overnight.
  • Ask your IT team or service provider to do a health check of critical systems before the majority of staff return to work.
  • Send in one person from each department to test their software and systems, and report any issues to your IT team or service provider so they can be worked on before your staff go back to work.

Taking some time to consider the return to work process could save you hours or days of lost productivity and staff frustration.

If you want any help with this, please contact us.