Working from home can be a dream for one person, or a nightmare for the next. But despite that, remote working has become the reality for many businesses worldwide, and it seems to be a trend that will stick around even after the global pandemic has subsided.
With that in mind, it is essential to ensure that you are keeping your productivity high among your remote workforce. Without the right tools to maximize productivity while working from several different locations, it’s easy for your team to experience disruptions.
Here are some actionable steps that your business can take to ensure those disruptions are kept to a minimum and your workforce can stay on task:
1. Enhance Your Cybersecurity
Working from home means there is more data being used outside of the typically more secure onsite network. Unprotected conference calls, documents stored on personal devices, sensitive information being sent across chats, and emails can put your data at risk.
Any vulnerabilities that you have right now could be magnified by the fact that many employees are using insecure devices or Internet connections. If anything were to happen to the data that you use, the ramifications for breaching data protection by not implementing the right measures would be catastrophic for many organizations.
It’s important that you take precautions to prevent security incidents, both in the policies you implement and in the networks you establish. This will keep uptime and productivity high by preventing threat actors from infiltrating your systems, causing significant periods of downtime and data access issues.
Some of the security measures you should establish include the following:
- Data encryption
- Two-step authentication
- Remote access protocols (see VPN below)
- WFH and BYOD policies for personal device and Internet use
A managed service provider can create a secure remote working environment by helping implement each of these security features and more.
2. Set Up a VPN
A Virtual Private Network or VPN is ideal for businesses who typically rely on in-house servers to access, store, and secure data.
A VPN works sort of like a secure tunnel that is created between two locations—in this case, your onsite servers and each of your employee’s devices. No one outside of that tunnel can see the information being transmitted across it because the files are encrypted.
There are two VPN options:
- Connection to the Internet via a VPN subscription service
- Access to a single VPN server
With a single VPN server, your team can access their work desktops, making remote work even more efficient. A VPN is great for maintaining uptime as it keeps unauthorized users from accessing sensitive data or shutting down your systems, as well as provides an effective way for your employees to easily access any data they need.
2. Require Stable Internet Connections
Remote working in almost all cases will need a stable Internet connection to keep data safe and to keep uptime high.
If you expect your staff to be able to maintain viable productivity levels, Internet connections need to have the proper download and upload speeds. Not only should their Internet connection be stable, but it should be secure, too, to protect threat actors from interfering with it.
There are several ways that you can help your team maximize their Internet speed:
- Check Router Settings: The wireless router (access point) provides a signal with limited channels. These can suffer from nearby interference. Each channel is a virtual pipe where the data is transferred. Your device is designed to avoid interference by swapping channels when needed. Checking the router settings ensures your Wi-Fi connection is optimized.
- Wi-Fi Extender: Switching from 2g to 5g is a good start, but some households may need a Wi-Fi extender to maximize Internet stability. A wifi extender can increase your coverage by boosting and extending the signal.
- Increase Internet Bandwidth: if your employees are on a limited Internet connection, they may struggle with video calls during peak hours. Increasing the bandwidth can be a simple way to stabilize their connections.
3. Invest in VoIP Phone Systems
Voice over Internet Protocol of VoIP allows voice data to be sent in digital form rather than requiring a traditional wired PBX system. VoIP systems have taken advantage of the advanced high-definition codes that have improved voice quality, meaning that VoIP now has better connections and sound than the standard landline.
Cloud VoIP systems also remove the requirement for onsite hardware and software, allowing your team to access it from anywhere with a standard Internet connection. These systems reduce your overall expenses and deliver ease of implementation, increasing uptime and productivity among your staff.
Keeping your team connected and supported when remote working is a must, and should be a priority for all businesses. By implementing these tools, you can increase productivity and maintain the high uptime levels needed to succeed as a business during these uncertain times and in the future.