Remote workforces. Telecommuting. Working from home. Twenty years ago these were golden carrots that were dangled by employers to entice the top candidates, or pie in the sky dreams for ambitious employees to shoot for as their careers progressed. But as technology and communications have become more reliable, secure, and affordable, a mobile workforce has become a reality for many growing businesses.
That was true even before the recent public health issues impacting the global markets, but with social distancing and quarantines now being the new short-term norm, more businesses than ever understand the value of remote working. In this new marketplace, leveraging the latest technology to keep your workers connected and engaged will be the key to minimizing business disruption. We’re going to take a look at some key technologies that can help your team remain as productive as possible while they work from home.
Virtual Private Network
Virtual Private Networks (VPN) are frequently used by businesses to ensure their sensitive data is thoroughly protected, even when employees are accessing the network on business property. A VPN prevents data from being intercepted by hackers, something which is a very real risk when transferring data via the internet. However, the added benefit of using a VPN is that it makes it easier than ever to access data securely when employees work from home.
With a VPN in place, members of your team can connect securely to your business network from anywhere in the world, just as long as they have an internet connection. They can continue to access the essential data they need to keep working with complete peace of mind that sensitive information will not be vulnerable to interception. Data security is one of the biggest concerns for many employers when considering telecommuting for their teams, but by implementing solid security practices in the form of a VPN, you can keep your employees working at home while keeping your business safe from intrusion or disruption.
Microsoft Office 365
Despite being released back in 2011, Microsoft’s Office 365 platform continues to be one of the best and most popular business software systems on the market. The subscription-based system allows businesses to give their teams full access to the entire suite of Microsoft tools, including Outlook, SharePoint, Word, Excel, Skype, and more. The Office 365 suite is available for both desktop and mobile, which means it can transform almost any internet-connected device into a dynamo for productivity.
A significant benefit of Office 365 is that it makes collaboration between team members incredibly easy. For example, SharePoint allows employees to access shared documents all in one place, while Outlook has calendar and task management features to enable users to coordinate their schedules. With video conferencing ability available with Skype, teams can even continue to conduct meetings and keep one another up to speed with their projects.
VoIP Telephone Systems
Modern business telephone systems can do far more than just let your receptionist forward calls, mainly when they are VoIP Phone systems. VoIP transmits phone calls via an IP network instead of a traditional telephone exchange. As a result, it allows for a much wider variety of features that can make it easier than ever for teams to take calls at home.
With VoIP, it is possible to reroute business calls to personal cell phones or landlines so that employees can receive customer calls on their usual business phone numbers. Interactive voice response systems allow you to redirect phone calls to the right people at the right time. Plus, call recording and analysis systems can help you to monitor client phone calls no matter where they are received. Nomerel Cloud PBX, our cloud-based VoIP telephone system, is scalable to thousands of users, so even large corporations can ensure their employees are available for calls when working from home.
Long-term benefits of a remote workforce
The current health crisis may be forcing you to explore telecommuting solutions for your business, but as you do so, you’ll probably be surprised at how cost-effective they can be. Just like all things that were new ten or fifteen years ago, as the capabilities of remote workforce technology go up, the prices of such technologies come way, way down.
The big upside of remote workforce technology is the increase in productivity and the reduction in business disruption during situations such as the COVID-19 crisis. These may be unprecedented circumstances we’re living in, but having the flexibility to enable telecommuting could have huge benefits for your business in the years ahead. Once you have systems in place for remote working, you can rest easy in the knowledge that your business will continue to run no matter what stops your team from reaching the office.
Contact us about remote working
Wondering how to enable your crew to work from home? We can help. Get in touch to arrange a consultation; we’ll go over your business’s unique needs and help you to choose IT and telephone systems that will allow your team members to remain productive no matter where they work.