Message from the President: Coronavirus and Working Remotely as Language Professionals

12 Mar 2020 1:07 PM | Anonymous

COVID-19 is top of mind for nearly everyone in the world, including

our members and our collective clients. A number of translation firms are offering free services for coronavirus content, including some AILIA members - and the requests are coming in quickly. As language industry professionals, we are very lucky to be able to work remotely at times like these. But how do we stay connected securely if we are used to working in an office outside of the home? Here are a few tech tips for those who may have to work remotely for more than a few days.

1. Make More Use of Microsoft Teams or Install Slack

Slack is a communications tool that allows for easy collaboration on projects as well as water-cooler style chats. While Microsoft Office 365 has Teams, which can also be used as a collaborative team tool, Slack has less of a learning curve and can be made easily accessible to clients and subcontractors. Slack and Teams can act as a conduit for those small interactions that usually only take place in an office, such as quick questions or ideas about how to do something better. On Slack, you can also arrange various projects in different channels to keep everything organized and on-task.

2. Secure Your Logins

If staff or subcontractors/Freelancers are working remotely, there’s a chance they may have to work in a coffee shop or other public space where hackers are known to lurk. Consider forcing two-factor authentication for Microsoft, Google, and other important account sign-ons to protect your company data. Two-factor authentication requires both the password that you are used to providing and another piece of data, which is usually an SMS code texted to the user’s phone. Physical devices, such as USB dongles, can also be used as the second piece of identification and are more secure than using an SMS code.

3. Upgrade Legacy Systems

If there are systems or programs that you absolutely can’t work remotely with, now is the time you will find out about them. Consider upgrading them to cloud solutions that you can work with outside of the office.

4. Make Sure Your Employees Can Be Productive and Recognized

High performers may be concerned that their work may not be noticed, and some people may not thrive outside of an office because there are too many distractions at home. Make sure to keep in touch with everyone through weekly phone calls and/or video chats, and offer to solve any issues you can solve for employees working from home, technological or otherwise. It’s easy to see the volume of work being produced, and you will likely notice if anyone’s usual volume goes down and you can address it with them directly. There are also non-invasive monitoring programs, such as Prodoscore, Teramind and Time Doctor if you feel they are necessary.

On behalf of AILIA we encourage our members, their staff and families to use health precautions, stay safe, we will get through this together, if you have any questions or if you would like to chat about a specific situation don’t hesitate to let us know.


Robin Ayoub



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