One of the biggest trends in offices over the past 10 years has been employees working remotely. This trend has tracked along with the growth of cloud services, which allow anywhere/anytime access to work data and productivity tools like Office 365.
Internet service for home and office networks has also evolved, delivering faster speeds with fewer lag time problems, making it just as efficient for people to work from home as in the office and stay connected to the tools they need.
In just the last decade, the number of remote workers has grown 91%. Between freelancers, part-time remote workers, and full-time remote employees, the number of people telecommuting to work continues to grow each year.
Some of the reasons for the growth of telecommuting include:
- Companies save money
- Workers save money
- Companies expand their available talent pool
- Increased productivity (by about 65%)
- Better employee morale and less stress
- Business continuity and location flexibility
It’s predicted that by 2028, 73% of all teams will have remote workers.
Remote work is about to see another big boost due to the fears brought by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Governments, schools, and businesses are evaluating their options for remote workers in case things get worse and people need to stay home rather than risk exposure or spread.
What do you need if you’re going to work from your home remotely? What safeguards does a company need to ensure their workforce stays productive when not onsite?
We’ll go through the technology options for remote work and tips on how to ensure it’s done successfully.
What Tools Need to Be in Place for Remote Work?
Thanks to cloud computing, many people already work remotely in addition to at the office via their mobile devices, checking email from home or taking work home with them. But successfully working remotely full time if you’re an employee or freelancer, or deploying remote workers part or full-time, if you’re a company, takes certain tools and planning if you want it to be successful.
Secure Wireless Network Connection
The foundation that needs to be in place to access cloud-based company applications and data is a secure wireless connection. Your home Wi-Fi should be password protected with a strong password and your router updated regularly for any security patches, just like your computer and office device.
Companies that are planning to implement remote workers can ensure a secure connection by the use of a virtual private network (VPN), which is an application that provides an encrypted internet connection, even when on public Wi-Fi.
If you’re moving from an office to working in your home, your employer may or may not allow you to take your desktop workstation with you. You’ll want to ensure that your home computer is up to the task and won’t run out of storage or memory, slowing you down. Consumer computers are not built the same as business computers, so that’s something you’ll need to take into consideration.
One thing that a business owner might want to consider if you’re planning to have multiple employees work remotely, is moving to Windows Virtual Desktops.
This makes a computer desktop and all it’s files, settings, and software available virtually from any PC or mobile device. This would make a part-time remote worker’s life much easier by allowing them access to their main desktop workstation from anywhere.
Team Messaging with Video Conferencing
When workers are no longer in the same building, it’s vital to employ tools that can keep them connected throughout the day. Programs like Microsoft Teams can be very helpful for allowing your team to chat in real time or place a quick video call to make them feel connected and additionally ensure all your communications are kept securely in one place.
VoIP Phone System
When you’re not at your desk, how do you answer your work phone? VoIP phone systems make it simple to keep all the same extensions and other phone features, like hold music, voicemail, call transfer, etc. and the caller won’t be able to tell whether you’re answering from home or work.
VoIP also is an important part of a good business continuity plan to ensure your phone lines never go down due to an outage at your office.
Cloud Productivity Tools
90% of companies use at least one cloud-based service. Cloud applications are what make working remotely so fluid. So, any companies that are looking to incorporate remote workers into their operations, should ensure that they’re using cloud tools that will enable workers to access the same information and work processes from outside the office as they can at the office.
Web and Virus Protection
The last thing you want to do when working from home is to get a malware or virus that infects your company’s network remotely.
Your home computer and network will most likely not have the same type of protection that a business network has, so you need to ensure you have tools that manage and monitor the security of your home network, such as WebGuardian.
Remote Technical Support
When deploying remote workers, it’s important that they have the technical support they need to handle any device or software issues that may come up. Since remote workers won’t be able to just walk down the hall to get help, remote support is an important component to a successful remote working experience.
Most issues can be resolved quickly by a support tech logging in, and remote support saves both time and money, whether you’re the employee or employer.
Need Help Setting Up a Successful Remote Work Connection?
Two River Computer has the tools and expertise to help you work remotely successfully or set up several remote workers at your business. We’ll ensure your connections are secure and you have what you need to be productive.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call 732-747-0020 or reach us online.