Posted on June 22, 2020
Estimated reading time 4 minutes
When the UK locked down, we were advised to work from home wherever possible to stay safe. And while this presented challenges in implementing the IT infrastructure necessary to support a remote workforce – our own support team has even located, provisioned and delivered laptops to our customers’ employees’ homes – most organisations have managed to retain some sense of business-as-usual.
Which begs the question…
Why didn’t tech-enabled businesses opt for full-time remote working before?
Despite remote working being one of the top 5 most important benefits that employees want when looking for a new job, 35% are still not given the option. Why?
Security concerns around remote working
Working in the office, it’s easier for an IT team to wrap a big security blanket around your IT infrastructure. By allowing your employees to work from home it’s only natural that you might feel fearful about how exposed that could leave your organisation. In fact, research shows that the biggest struggle during COVID-19 has been striking the right balance between flexibility and security for remote employees
Many organisations have opted for on-premise models in light of data governance concerns, with remote access being restricted.
Has remote working been an HR issue, not an IT issue? It’s often joked that working from home is an excuse to sit in your PJs all day doing nothing. And while you hope that’s not the case, there may be a tiny element of doubt niggling away at the back of your head – particularly if your employees have the added challenge of home schooling to contend with during the pandemic. But rather than trusting their employees to do the right thing, research from Personnel Today shows that 31% of employers have enforced new processes to check people’s output during COVID-19.
When your business is reliant on teams of people working together, how can they ever communicate and collaborate as effectively when they’re not in the office? Well, your employees might agree with you there – according to a survey, 21% of people who work remotely believe collaboration suffers when they’re removed from the office and find it makes communication with other employees more difficult.
There is no hiding from the fact that remote working calls for a new skill set for communicating effectively. From video conference call etiquette to tips on how to stay connected with IM, the devil is in the detail. For some tips on how we’re staying connected here at Atech, why not check out Russ’ article here.
Lessons learned about remote working
Gartner outlines that 74% of CFOs expect to move several on-site employees to remote working situations permanently post-COVID-19, in a move to cut commercial real estate costs.
With the pandemic and the economy pushing remote working higher up the corporate agenda, placing it front and centre as part of our ‘new normal’, we have to consider the lessons learned from the current situation:
A modern infrastructure protects your operations
We’ve seen a huge rise in the number of cyber-attacks during the pandemic, so it’s understandable that organisations are fearful about adding a remote workforce into the mix. But a report from PwC shows that organisations that have invested in cybersecurity prior to lockdown have faired the best.
By modernising your infrastructure and ensuring your team is fully trained on privacy and security, you can easily enable your remote workforce without compromising security.
By leveraging cloud platforms with native security features you don’t have to compromise on data control. Thanks to data access controls that are tailored to your compliance requirements, you can ensure that the right devices and individuals have access.
What’s the best way to enable and protect your remote workforce?
Book an IT assessment and our specialist team can advise on the best way to secure and protect your remote workforce.
Not sure where to start?
Digital transformation is individual to each organisation. Talk to our team about what you need to deliver the ‘new normal’ and we’ll help create the next version of your business. Think about what digital transformation means to you and talk to us about how you would like to achieve it.
Take a two-stage approach to collaboration
In the first instance, you need the right technology that’s going to enable your organisation to gain the flexibility it needs to support a remote workforce – providing a seamless experience whether your team is working in the office or at home.
But then you need to consider the cultural changes required to adopt a more prominent remote workforce. It’s important to consider that while some people have adapted quickly to the change in work environment, others have struggled. Encourage your team to consciously plan moments for virtual coffees, video after-work drinks and a quiz down The Zoom Arms so they have emotional support too.
How to achieve this
We’ve supported many clients with their digital transformation, creating the operational efficiency and achieving profitable growth to retain their competitiveness in a digital world. Discover the steps to delivering a secure, modern workplace.
Never underestimate the value of support
Making sure that your team feels connected, even when they’re not together, is key to delivering a remote and modern workplace. The last thing you want is stressed employees who feel alone or unable to work because of an IT issue. For you to feel confident about remote working, your team need to feel confident about their tech. They need to know that if something goes wrong they can pick up the phone or raise a ticket and someone like José is going to be there for them.
Support for your remote workers
Stop your team from worrying by making sure they always have the support of a specialist team to overcome their technical challenges and get them back online asap.