Many companies had to shift to remote working during the pandemic and this has shifted the way businesses operate and function.
There are many tools, tips, and support to help businesses that transition to a remote or hybrid environment.
Here are some common ways to ensure your business is ready for remote work.
The Challenges of remote working
Over the last 5 years, remote working has grown 44%. With the pandemic hitting us out of nowhere, and stay at home orders being implemented, businesses had to scramble to stay up and running with little time to make any preparations.
Remote work has encouraged overall job satisfaction for many people because of the flexibilities it allows, however the hasty transition has left businesses with questions such as:
- Do we have sufficient IT support or workers?
- Do we have the be necessary hardware and software for a remote environment?
- Do we need tightened security measures, tools, and processes?
- How will we stay in constant communication?
- Will this transition affect company culture and morale?
For some businesses, this remote environment was never a possibility for many reasons. But because it became essential, arrangements were necessary to continue business operations, raising issues of IT security, support, and communication.
IT Support challenges for workers in remote environments
Business face hurdles with support for the remote staff such as:
- Keeping devices and software updates up to date
Having company owned devices in remote environments require frequent security patching and updates. Managing employees with their own cellphones, laptops or tablets is an added security risk and is also very time consuming if there aren’t enough resources to do it seamlessly.
- Timely support
Addressing issues in a timely manner can be a struggle if there aren’t enough resources available to go around. Ensuring that someone is there to deal with all incoming issues is critical to avoid a long list of unaddressed problems.
- Securing remote devices
This is one of the biggest challenges with the constant threat of phishing, ransomware, and credential theft. Keeping all remote devices secure has never been more critical.
- Open lines of communication
Finding the right tools to keep the flow of communication open can help maintain camaraderie and collaboration. Keeping the lines of communication open is critical for making remote staff feel like they are still part of the team, since without it you may see a drop in productivity and team participation.
Offering reliable, and timely IT support comes with several challenges. You consider implementing the following tips for your remote staff.
Here Are 7 Tips to Support Your Remote Staff
1. Accessible IT Support
Depending on the hours of operation in which your business runs, having accessible and reliable IT support is essential. If a late shift worker has an issue after hours, they should not have to wait until the next business day to have it resolved.
If you have remote staff working 24/7, your IT support staff also needs to support them 24/7. If a late-night worker has an IT issue but must wait until regular business hours to resolve it, they could lose valuable work time.
2. Accessible Remote Devices
Some business owners do not realize that their employees may not have the adequate equipment to work remotely, and 52% of workers are using their own devices.
Company owned equipment is always best since it allows for greater control of security and offers better accessibility when users need support.
If most of your remote employees are using their own devices, it puts your company information at risk. Having a BYOD or MDM Policy can help to protect your business and its sensitive data since it ensures that inventory, security, and software is managed efficiently.
3. Leveraging the Cloud
Moving your business to the cloud can improve workplace productivity and increase overall security. Other benefits of the cloud include cost savings, disaster recovery and backups and being able to access your data and software anytime, anywhere.
4. Stricter Security
Remote employees are usually the most susceptible to cyber threats and they are often the cause of many security incidents that infiltrate a business. Ongoing employee training is critical for everyone in your business in addition to enforcing strict security policies. The use of strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, antivirus software, spam filters, phishing protections and malware tools are all vital to defend against cyber-attacks. Your employees should be your first line of defense instead of the cause of a cyber breach.
5. Secure Virtual Private Network
Virtual Public Networks are becoming quite common among employees who work remotely since they protect their devices and retains the same security and functionality of a company network. If there are any files sent over the VPN, they are automatically encrypted, which makes it harder for hackers to access sensitive information.
6. Remote IT Support
Having the ability to use outside control of your remote workers is helpful to be able to fix any issues from any location. Employees that are new to working from home may run into more issues compared to when they are in the office especially if they are not tech savvy.
7. Keeping Communication Open
Using email as the only form of communication is very limiting and employees should have different methods of communication available that they are comfortable with.
Using apps like Microsoft Teams or Slack can provide an instant messaging, calling, and collaborating for businesses who operate remotely. Video chat may also provide a more personal touch especially since it can get isolating and lonely being away from the office.
Friendly & Reliable Support for Remote Workers
Has the transition to a remote environment been challenging for your employees and business? If yes, then you are not alone. Many other companies struggle with this, and the good news is that there is help. PACE Technical has the knowledge and experience to give your GTA business the sufficient remote support it needs.
We do all the heavy IT lifting so that your workers can focus on their day-to-day responsibilities.
Book a meeting with us here to find out how our proactive IT services can help your remote or hybrid workplace thrive.