The rapid spread of Coronavirus has led to an unprecedented number of people working from home, either because their employer has closed offices or due to self-isolation, or just to avoid unnecessary contact with others. 
For many self-employed and small business owners, this is business-as-usual as they were already working from home most, if not all, the time.  
For others, this is a new experience. 
The employee must set up a suitable working environment, so they are able to carry out their job (or a good proportion of it) to the best of their ability. Communication with customers and colleagues can be managed via many different methods – Skype, Teams, GoToMeeting etc. Video conferencing can make online meetings more “real”. 
Try and avoid interruptions from partners, children and pets. Work as if you were in the office – but enjoy not having to commute. 
From an employers perspective, there are different considerations. 
• Do your employees have suitable computer equipment, or are you supplying laptops? 
• Are your systems designed for remote access? 
• Can your IT/support staff diagnose and fix problems remotely? 
• Data Protection – a new way of working needs careful planning to avoid greater risks. 
While GDPR was implemented almost 2 years ago, the increase in staff working from home will bring new considerations to many employers. GDPR is not just about “sending emails” – it covers access to data and loss of data. 
By implementing cloud-based solutions you reduce the likelihood of data falling into the wrong hands by an employee inadvertently leaving paperwork around, losing memory sticks or leaving a laptop somewhere. 
Security of both the data and the device is essential in maintaining compliance with GDPR. Each user must have a separate login and password giving access only to the data they require in order to carry out their job. 
In addition, implementing security of the physical device such as Bitlocker and encryption on laptops can protect your data in the event the device is lost, or against hacking or malware. 
Using systems based around the Microsoft Power Platform provides many benefits, and if your business is not currently using these, maybe this is the time to consider migrating to ensure future working from home can become business as usual. 
The Power Platform connects Power Apps, Power BI and Power Automate which along with Office 365 and Dynamics 365 connect to hundreds of other apps to build complete end to end business solutions – cloud based! 
Dynamics 365 CE (for Sales, Marketing and Service) has a role-based security model which ensures each user has access only to the functions and data they require. Combined with good database design, data management (such as duplicate detection rules), and clear opt-in rules for marketing, Dynamics 365 can provide a GDPR compliant, flexible and user-friendly environment for working from home – not just now during this pandemic but in the future. 
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