Why Now is the Time to Optimize Your Remote Work Capabilities

The coronavirus pandemic upended workplaces for millions of employees as they were sent home to continue their responsibilities remotely. And now, a year and a half later, these changes might be permanent for many of them.

According to a survey conducted by Gartner, eight out of 10 business leaders said they will allow employees to work remotely from home on at least a part-time basis—even after the pandemic ends. And nearly half (47%) said they will allow such an arrangement on a full-time basis, grant employees flex days (43%) and provide flex hours (42%).

If you didn’t do it before, now is the time to evaluate and beef up your technology structure and policies for remote work.

Don’t Ignore This Priority

With technology evolving at a rapid pace, optimization must be an ongoing process. As business and employee needs change, the infrastructure supporting them should evolve as well.

By modernizing your systems, your business is better equipped to accommodate increased bandwidth usage. You should also adopt new policies and expectations that cultivate a winning and supportive culture for remote workers.

To remain competitive, your organization will need to invest in sustainable and secure infrastructure as well as updated and flexible cultural norms that keep employees engaged. Here are some steps you can take to modernize your remote workforce.

Commit to Ongoing Network Infrastructure Updates

Network traffic is not likely to decrease, so keeping your network infrastructure updated and secure is a necessary commitment. Higher traffic means network slowdowns and greater threats from cybercriminals. Create both short- and long-term strategies to ensure your systems are sustainable and secure far into the future.

Understand Your VPN Setup

In the rush to maintain business continuity during the pandemic, some companies installed virtual private network (VPN) solutions on personal devices to accommodate remote work. This changed their risk profile considerably since these devices are less likely to have the same security standards as employer-maintained equipment. And the last thing you want is staff attempting their own patchwork solutions to get work done.

If your remote work employers use a VPN setup, make sure they’re using devices issued and maintained by your IT department. Routinely evaluating your organization’s VPN also is a good idea. Be sure to monitor applications, users and content. Know the number of remote connections within your organization as well as the risk profiles associated with the devices used to access your network.

With a clear understanding of your setup, you can increase the capacity of your VPN to facilitate better productivity, protect your business from security threats and ensure business continuity. (It also helps to connect with a technology solutions provider to learn more about telecommuting cybersecurity.)

Consider Cloud-Based Solutions

The cloud offers some good solutions for scaling increased network traffic from remote work. Cloud-based solutions allow home-based employees to access files and collaborate on projects. You may end up paying a little more, but the investment will provide the peace of mind that comes with built-in security and dedicated technical support. By understanding your traffic and its usage levels, you can leverage the cloud for extra capacity, using only what you need.

Don’t Forget to Encourage Relationships

Having an engaged workforce is key to a successful remote strategy. Remote work can make spontaneous collaboration among team members more challenging. Invest in tools they can use to boost teamwork, morale and productivity to get the results you’re looking for. Platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and others can help.

Be sure to clearly define guidance, rules and policies. Train employees on etiquette using these new platforms so staff can collaborate and contribute to their fullest potential. Improving your employees’ experience when using the tools for remote work is a great way to keep them engaged. And high employee engagement leads to better organizational outcomes.

Our HR professionals are ready to provide guidance on a remote work strategy that fits your organization. Begin strategizing now.

All content provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Matters discussed in this article are subject to change. For up-to-date information on this subject please contact a James Moore professional. James Moore will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through this site.