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How to switch to remote in 1 day

by Alex Yumashev · Updated Mar 24 2020

Most remote work guides I see during these days of COVID-19, are all about optimizing for remote work in a remote company where everyone will keep working remotely forever. I haven't yet seen any realistic, simple, unsexy and "down to earth" guides on how to urgently switch a "traditional" old-school corporation to remote in 1 day.

Ages ago I worked at a company, whose office building had to be urgently shut down and evacuated for 2 weeks - we literally had to switch to remote within hours. We were not at the point when we needed all the fancy time management & motivational tips yet (you know, the "make your bed" or "get a standing desk" type) or Slack/Zoom best practices. We needed to move several hundred people to their homes, so here's what we've done - and you should too:

  1. Set up a VPN at your office and write very simple instructions for everyone. Make it VERY short and non-technical, and optionally save it as an image (!) so people can forward it to each other via WhatsApp etc.
  2. Use a simple protocol for your VPN no time to show off your technical skills and use Shadowsocks or whatever. Use something that's already included with Windows. This way you'll be able to set up a VPN connection with one line of PowerShell.
  3. The simplest way to start working is Remote-Desktopping to office workstations I know it sounds very, very ugly, but if you only have one day - you're out of options. As far as I remember, allowing RDP connections for all office workstations at once can be done via Active Directory group policy.

Once you're done with this part and people can begin trying to learn how to access their office files, emails and documents move on to the next step:

If you have any other simple tips please tweet me at @jitbit I'll add those to the post, keeping your name/link to original.