If yours is the type of company that can offer employee housing near work premises, then more power to you. However, the majority of the workforce has to trudge through horrendous traffic every day. Commuting eats up their precious hours, and almost everyone can’t escape carving out time off for bank runs, visits to government offices, and other errands.
Point is, time is an invaluable resource, which is why employees highly appreciate the flexibility that remote work provides. While we’re often advised not to take work home with us (because we didn’t have enough time at the office), working at home or any place with an internet connection grants us more pockets of hours to accomplish non-work related tasks and to enjoy our lives a little bit more.
The challenge lies in making your remote work policy work for your business and for your invaluable employees. Here are some of the best mobility solutions that will help you meet that challenge.
Cloud-hosted productivity software
The cloud is the backbone of any mobile workforce. Cloud-based productivity suites such as Microsoft Office 365 allow users to create documents and resume working on them by just going online. The cloud even enables staff to collaborate on files at the same time, making needless waiting for file handovers a thing of the past.
To help keep proprietary files and confidential data from falling into the wrong hands, cloud software vendors also offer tools such as rights management and mobile device management programs to go with their productivity apps. These tools can prevent users from electronically disseminating or printing out documents, apply password protection or identity verification gateways for apps and documents, and can even go so far as to grant you the ability to remotely wipe company files from a user’s device.
While there are web-based programs that are fine to use on tablets and laptops, these may not be optimized for mobile phones. Instead, use mobile apps if they’re available. Popular software providers such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft all offer mobile versions of word editors, spreadsheets, presentation programs, and the like. These work amazingly well on touch screens and never require users to save their work using a different file extension. Users can open and work on their files alternately on their desktops or their smartphones with ease.
Virtual private networks (VPNs)
Data is easier to keep safe within in-house networks, but once employees are outside of your firewalls, things can get very dicey. Hackers abound in the outside world, lurking and waiting around unprotected networks such as public Wi-Fi spots in airports and local cafes. There, they can launch man-in-the-middle attacks — attempts at intercepting data while it is in transit between a user’s device and a local router.
Additionally, unlike the internet service provider your company employs, the ones your staff have at home are unvetted. To enjoy a desirable measure of security and control, use a corporate VPN. The VPN will reroute traffic to a secure server, encrypting it so that your data is protected and users’ identities are kept anonymous to outsiders’ eyes. You can also implement user identity authentication gateways with your corporate VPN. This makes your cloud-based resources exclusive to your employees and keeps these safe from interlopers.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony
When it comes to establishing communication lines with your employees, nothing beats the immediacy of a phone call. With this in mind, VoIP is perfect for remote workers. A cloud-hosted VoIP solution is device- and operating system-agnostic, which means your staff can use it regardless of the machine or OS they’re using.
And because communications are carried over the internet, VoIP is cost-effective. Enjoy inexpensive audio and video calls with parties who are in disparate locations. Moreover, VoIP is so powerful as to let remote staff engage in video conferences where they share and work on files with one another in real time.
Many companies talk about espousing work-life balance, but some don’t actually walk the talk. Be among those that do by instituting a remote work policy. For more information on how you can implement and reap the benefits of the solutions in this article, contact our consultants at SimplyClouds.