Remote working, or working from home, is a way for your business to continue outside of your premises. With remote working your company is able to carry on operating as usual, regardless of where your employees are in the world. With just a little setup, your staff can connect to the internet and access every file, document and program that they can in the office.
What are the benefits of setting up remote working?
COVID-19 is a perfect demonstration of why remote working is important. Social distancing meant that, for many companies, business had to cease altogether. For companies that could implement remote working, projects could continue with far less disruption.
Although the pandemic is just a single example, there are a number of occasions where working remotely makes sense. An issue with your premises, bad weather conditions and even a difficult commute can delay or completely inhibit an employee from getting to the office. If your staff are ready to work remotely, it doesn’t matter where they are; they can get to work and your business can operate as normal.
Remote working is also attractive to prospective employees. Companies that allow staff to work from home demonstrate a willingness to put their employees’ needs, and often their safety first. Like with COVID-19, remote working reduces the possibility of contagious colds and flus being passed around the office. Allowing employees to work from home may reduce unplanned absences, allow for flexible working hours and even lead to higher productivity.
Is my business equipped to work remotely?
There are a couple of aspects to consider when you’re thinking about setting up remote working for your business; how to equip your employees physically, how to keep your staff communicating and collaborating with each other.
To get your team set up working from home, you’ll need to be using cloud computing. The cloud is the term used to describe a network of remote servers that store your files and programs, which is hosted on the internet. This means that all of the data stored on your computer is now stored on a remote server, allowing you to access it whenever there is an internet connection. You’ll also need each member of staff to have their own laptop. Staff should be encouraged to take their laptops home each day, so that they always have the tools with them to work from home if required.
Next, you’ll need a VPN. A VPN is a Virtual Private Network, and it is essentially the link between your employees laptop, and your company’s data, files and documents in the cloud. Employees connect to the VPN through their laptops, and they can access everything that they’d be able to in the office. Finally, you might need to set up VOIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol. With VOIP, employees can load up a virtual handset on their smartphone, effectively allowing clients and customers to contact them without needing the physical phone in the office.
To keep everyone communicating and collaborating on projects, we’d recommend Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams. Microsoft 365 is a monthly subscription service which allows your employees to access the Microsoft suite from anywhere, on almost any device. Through Microsoft Teams staff are able to collaborate on projects, set and complete tasks and also hold video conferences with other members of staff and clients alike. If you’d like to find out more about how Microsoft Teams works, we’ve written an article all about it. If you want to find out how Microsoft Teams can help your staff hold meetings remotely, we’ve got an article on that too!
How easy is it to implement remote working?
How easy it is to implement remote working really depends on how much of the infrastructure your business already has in place. For companies that are already using Microsoft Teams, and are well accustomed to cloud computing, making the transition to remote working should be fairly simple. For businesses that are less experienced in these areas, it might be that you need a little extra help getting started.
How can Transcendit help?
Our IT support engineers are well accustomed to helping businesses who are new to remote working. We’re happy to talk you through working remotely, and will take a look at your current systems so that you’ll know exactly what infrastructure you’ll need to get started. We’ll also be able to discuss with you the kinds of options you have in regard to cloud computing, VOIP and physical equipment like laptops.
If you’d like to set up remote working for your business, give us a call on 0191 482 0444