Having a mobile workforce offers tremendous benefits to businesses. Aside from boosting employee morale, being able to work from home or on the go have proven to boost productivity by at least 35% and reduce overhead costs. What’s more, flexible work systems let companies hire top talent by employing staff regardless of their location.
However, there are still some challenges in managing and engaging a mobile workforce. Luckily, there are IT systems you can implement to ensure remote staff remain productive, collaborative, and connected.
Cloud-hosted IT Environment
One of the cloud’s oft-cited benefits to small- and mid-sized businesses (SMB) is cost-savings. With a cloud-hosted IT environment, they don’t have to purchase their own servers or employ full-time staff to maintain them. But it offers so much more, especially to companies with remote work policies.
A cloud-hosted IT environment allows remote staff to access productivity programs and apps, data, and messaging platforms simply by going online, opening a browser, and logging in. Without cloud computing, business productivity rests on staff clocking into work, using computers in the office, and accessing applications and files from an in-house server.
Unified Communication Systems
Communicating with off-site employees is key to keeping them engaged. Whether you just want to keep them informed of company updates or make them feel part of the team by checking in on them, having dependable communication systems is imperative.
The collaboration capabilities that unified communication (UC) systems afford businesses nowadays would be inconceivable without internet telephony. With today’s advanced telecom technology, staff can collaborate in various ways using different communication platforms.
A UC system combines all the messaging tools — including instant messaging, voice call, voice mail, video call, and video conferencing — your business uses in a single platform to make communications more efficient. With hosted VoIP solutions, staff across multiple business locations can easily and quickly connect with colleagues.
The good news is that the efficiency of internet telephony is relatively inexpensive, especially if you compare the costs that would be incurred using traditional landlines. Once a UC system is set up, all it takes is a stable internet connection to make calls, conduct conference meetings, and more.
Based on a recent study, at least 32% of breaches in US companies were caused by human error, while 18% resulted from lost or stolen devices. This just shows that humans are still the weakest link in a company’s IT security.
So even if you invest in a highly secure cybersecurity infrastructure designed to protect both on-premises and mobile workplace, staff who lack proper cybersecurity training would be susceptible to social engineering attacks and other scams that no firewall and anti-malware software can fully prevent.
And since working remotely already presents several challenges — such as establishing a stable internet connection and ensuring the reliability of devices used — employees tend to neglect security. As a business owner, you must create a cybersecurity policy that manages and imposes security measures specifically for off-site workers.
Speaking of policies, you can start by drafting a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) guideline that should include:
- Determining the devices that remote staff can use to connect to company networks and access company applications, programs, and productivity suites
- Adjusting device security settings, which should cover creating, changing, and storing passwords; enabling two-factor authentication; and installing and upgrading system updates
- Outlining the type and extent of hardware or software support that the company can provide
- Step-by-step procedures in case a device gets lost, stolen, or compromised
- Providing the necessary ongoing training on working remotely, covering topics like the risks of connecting to public Wi-Fi, identifying social engineering scams, and reporting possible data or device breach
Dyrand Systems’ IT Support consultants understand your need to stay competitive by allowing a flexible working structure. With our comprehensive IT solutions, our clients in Vancouver are able to reap the benefits of having a fully engaged mobile workforce. If you want the same for your organization, get in touch with us today.