Leveraging communication and collaboration tools during COVID-19
April 27, 2020 – Defence Stories
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to use alternatives to the Defence Virtual Private Network Infrastructure (DVPNI) to communicate throughout the department while working remotely. To facilitate communication and collaboration during this period of limited DWAN access and face-to-face interactions, consider using personal devices and public platforms to effectively keep in contact with your employees, and to help team members stay connected.
We highlight five reputable and popular tools below in a comparative summary: MS Teams (part of Defence O365), Google Hangouts, Slack, WhatsApp, and FaceTime. We suggest that you engage your teams in exploring the depth and breadth of MS Teams as Office 365 - a cloud-based MS suite of tools will soon be accessible across DND with the rollout of Defence O365. Make sure you familiarize yourself with Office 365 to develop skills and get comfortable with new and effective ways of staying connected throughout the organization.
When using these tools, please remember to:
- share only unclassified information;
- respect the privacy of employees, as some may have concerns about the use of personal devices or public services, or sharing personal contact information;
- be inclusive in your communications and mindful that some employees may have limited internet access or connectivity as well as minimal experience using these tools;
- explore different tools to find what works best for the team, and make sure everyone can participate and has the opportunity to learn;
- help employees first learn how to use, and eventually, to optimize tools that may be completely new to many of them.
For more guidance and information on best practices for working securely and remotely, check out the DND/CAF Security Guide for Teleworking during the COVID-19 Response.
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