Tech companies extra busy setting up work-from-home systems

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Health officials are urging everyone to self-isolate and practice social distancing whenever possible to keep the coronavirus at bay. For many, that means working from home, and it's keeping many IT companies busy.

NPI Technology is helping their 25 clients in Vermont, New Hampshire and upstate New York implement an incident response plan.

They say many companies weren't prepared to tackle a change like this, so they're extra busy setting up brand new systems that allow workers to access their company's server remotely on a laptop or desktop at home.

They say one of the biggest learning curves has been teaching how employees can communicate with one another efficiently.

"If people are staying in the office but need to maintain social distance, rather than walking into that next person's office and talking to them, do a screenshare, a teams chat or a teams meeting, pick up the phone, talk to them on the phone. It seems odd given that you're in the same office, but that's obviously the way to be safe and of course, if you're at home, that's the way to work from home," said Eric Hart, NPI's CEO.

If the business is having trouble with a server and a technician has to enter the office, they're taking extra care to clean every surface they touch before and after.

Technicians say there are plenty of options out there like Google Chat, ZOOM and Slack that can help employees work remotely.

You may have noticed watching Channel 3 that we're interviewing most people through video chat. We do that through Skype, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger or ZOOM.

We spoke with a local IT company that says all of this is a perfect example of how technology is keeping society moving right now.

"Imagine this had happened 20 years ago. What would we be doing without the internet, without remote collaboration tools? It feels like technology has a huge role to play in getting us all through this crisis," said Hart.

Hart says he's supporting those small businesses by giving them the tools to work from home like remote desktops.

He encourages you to work closely with your IT departments to prepare for when officials say working from home isn't an option, but a requirement.