In its early stages, working remotely was a privilege given by organizations to their mature employees. Over time, employees and employers alike began to see the perks of this remote work model. It allowed employees the freedom to work at their own pace and from a place and time of their convenience. Employers were happy as long as working from home did not negatively affect employees’ productivity or work quality.
Fast forward to today, and working from home (WFH) is the new norm. The coronavirus pandemic forced organizations to adopt the otherwise optional WFH remote work model as the standard norm. What could otherwise prove challenging made a smooth transition because of technology. Managers can stay on the pulse about what their reportees are up to because of technology. Employees can collaborate with each other on projects because of technology. Thanks to digital technology, organizations adapted to working from home relatively smoothly and quickly.
WFH and Remote Connectivity
One of the biggest challenges that companies face with workers WFH is unpredictable internet connectivity. The pandemic forced companies to accept that not all employees have access to stable Wi-Fi connectivity. The only logical way to go around this issue is to make alternate plans to stay connected. For instance, maybe send a MOM mail after every virtual meeting so that employees who had problems logging in because of connectivity and other issues get a download of what’s going on.
Another thing with WFH is that staff don’t have instant access to IT professionals. Typically, they can directly walk up to the persons in charge in case of any tech-related issue. In a ‘work from home’ scenario, this is a luxury that they cannot afford.
Working remotely also poses a challenge for information security. In a standard office setup, personnel work in an environment where there are necessary security measures in place. In a remote working model, this blanket of security is clouded.
Companies switching from desktops to laptops proved to be one of the smartest moves. The relatively sudden disruption of everyday working life would have been difficult for many employees without a work-supplied laptop. Facilities such as improved telecom infrastructure and smarter digital solutions helped people transition into WFH more smoothly than expected.
Listed below are some of the most effective methods to give personnel more access to your company’s resources.
Remote Desktop Services
Here, employees are to connect to a terminal server that imitates the local network. There are different ways to go about hosting a Remote Desk Server – on public cloud, in Datcom’s Private Cloud Platform, or on your company’s physical server hardware. One server is capable of hosting up to 30 connections for users. Because there will be multiple users on a single server, the apps should be compatible with each other. It’s also important to understand that such a setup’s connectivity will not be as customizable or smooth compared to having your individual laptop.
Once connected to this server, workers have direct access to your organization’s resources. In this type of setup, users receive data and images displayed on the server. It is especially helpful for workers who are working with unreliable network connectivities. The best part is that because the server belongs to your company, its policies regarding web filtering, antivirus protection, and encryption apply here.
At its core, the role of Remote Desktop Services is to eliminate the need for an employee to be physically present when logging into a system. It is hugely advantageous for companies because employees often work around the clock in today’s world. They may not always be working from the office location. Remote Desktop Services enables them to continue accessing their company’s resources even when they sign in from their homes.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
VDI involves the hosting of several desktop environments on a single central server. It is another type of desktop virtualization, meaning it runs specific desktop images with virtual machines (VMs). Clients receive these images over a unifying network.
VDI is similar to Remote Desktop Services. The only significant difference is that in VDI, every user has an individual copy of Windows 10, and that remains constant regardless of where and when they log on. VDI allows the kind of customization as a personal laptop. Another striking difference between VDI and Remote Desktop Services is that in VDI, apps don’t conflict with each other.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure offers a smooth experience and security to users. For a cost-effective set-up, try incorporating a mix of Remote Desktop Services and Virtual Desktops. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) offers the following benefits – it allows employees to work from any location, heightened security, increased agility, more expansive control, and better flexibility. Plus, the pricing on VDI is transparent – there are no hidden fees, so you get an accurate bill of exactly what you are paying for.
Microsoft SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams
OneDrive and SharePoint play the role of virtual file servers. They allow you to access files as long as you have a web browser or a device. OneDrive synchronizes all files to your company’s local PC and among users on your network. OneDrive and SharePoint do well with PowerPoint, Excel, static file types, and Word.
Microsoft Office also has tools that facilitate multiple users to work on one file at the same time. To ensure the security of Microsoft Office documents, try the Azure Information Protection (AIP). What this does is it gives your company complete control over documents. This even if the documents are on non-business devices. Azure Information Protection (AIP) protects your documents by ensuring that they are only accessible via your Microsoft 365 credentials. It prevents ‘predators’ from copying documents or even taking screenshots of them.
Azure is a cloud platform that has over 200 cloud services and products. Choose your unique tools and frameworks to build, manage, and run various applications across multiple clouds. Azure grows with your business. Applications here are available as clusters that assign a web application to one specific set of processes. This eliminates the need for your applications to run off one server, which means you will never fall short of server capacity.
Azure also offers plenty of data benefits, such as reliable data storage, easy-to-use solutions, data security, and integrated data solutions.
Other Helpful Digital Solutions to Help Productivity When Employees Are WFH
Internal Communication Via Cloud
Communication among team members or with reporting managers can continue via the regular email system. VoIP solutions are also hugely popular for such situations. It not only helps companies streamline their businesses, but is also an excellent tool for carrying out web conferencing even in remote areas. It’s also good to have the required remote access tools in place in case your staff has to troubleshoot IT issues.
These tools ensure total security. They come with end-to-end encryption for messages. Some even allow you to encrypt calls. Having a secure and reliable communication platform is crucial for any business when employees are working remotely.
Employee Tracking Applications
There are plenty of employee tracking software solutions for various purposes. Employers typically install them on employees’ systems to monitor their activities. With a system of this kind in place, you can monitor your personnel’s browsing history and record their number of working hours in real-time. These applications also allow GPS tracking.
Tackle Security Concerns
Data security is something that companies fear the most when their workforce is working from home. You can tackle this issue by installing a firewall or antivirus software on employees’ systems. Setting up a multi-factor authentication process for official emails, chats, sites, and the software will help prevent unauthorized access
Working in a regular office environment and working alone at home have their own set of advantages and drawbacks. One crucial aspect of WFH is that it forces individuals to seek out solutions to problems themselves. Typically, they could directly walk up to a colleague and ask for assistance in case of an issue. At home, he or she has to do so himself/herself. This is helpful in a way because it nurtures a group of working professionals who are self-learners.
Working from home (WFH) also eliminates the need for your personnel to travel to work. This gives them more time to get ready for work, so they are more focused and energized to tackle tasks. With all these positive aspects in place, working from home should be hugely beneficial for employers.
After everything is said and done, the only major thing that is likely to diminish employees’ drive to work is an ineffective communication portal. Trying to work around a system where there is no proper solution for team members to communicate can hamper anyone’s productivity. Ensuring that every employee has access to your company’s resources is non-negotiable if you want your company to continue thriving under the WFH remote work model.