A new study by the Texas A&M University School of Public Health has revealed that remote working has improved employee productivity and resilience among the majority of employees who have spent at least part of the last few years working outside of the office.
Whether employees are walking from the office, from home, on the go, or remotely from a shared office space, they need the right tools on hand to be able to easily collaborate and communicate with customers and clients, and each other, as well as be able to access all their essential systems and business platforms.
This is why it’s so important (regardless of whether you plan to allow remote working full-time or part-time, or not at all in the future) that you give your employees access to the right equipment and networks to be as productive as they’ve proven they can be in the last few years.
In this quick guide, we’ll look at the main ways you can get the most out of hybrid working in the future in order to retain a productive workforce while allowing for the flexibility for your team to work from anywhere when they need to.
Building the right connections between teams and customers
With employees working remotely they’ll be more reliant on tools and systems that use a lot of data like downloading or uploading large files, using video conferencing calling or using cloud based platforms so they can access their company documents from anywhere.
All these systems need more reliable, faster broadband speeds to work effectively, and they also require a higher level of security than you might find on regular broadband connections.
Full-fibre broadband is a great option for remote working but dedicated, enterprise level business broadband is a much better choice for a business looking to optimise its remote working model.
Business broadband offers much faster speeds than regular ‘domestic broadband’ not just for downloads, but for uploading documents and files too.
This is important because remote employees won’t just be receiving files, they’ll need to send them too and this is why you’ll benefit from the faster upload speeds.
With a dedicated business broadband connection in place, you can be confident employees will be able to access all their business tools and systems wherever they are.
You could also back this business broadband connection up with faster 5G mobile data plans (but we’ll talk more about that later).
Ensuring collaboration is easy wherever your employees are working
While you might allow employees to work from anywhere, it’s important to retain smooth collaboration so they can continue working together on projects like they would if working under the same roof.
The best way to ensure better collaboration among teams is to implement cloud based platforms.
Cloud systems (which many businesses already use with the likes of Google Docs) enable employees to log-in to their systems or tools on any device as long as they have an internet connection.
All the work completed on a cloud based system is updated in real-time, whoever works on it, so you never need to worry about duplication or employees working on different drafts.
For example, using cloud based applications, your sales teams could simultaneously work on and edit a sales document on multiple devices from multiple locations.
Allow for easy communication everywhere
One of the biggest concerns about allowing hybrid or remote working in a business is that you’ll accidentally create two teams between those working more from home or remote, and those working more regularly from the office.
This is especially true when it comes to communication and whether those who aren’t in the office as often, can remain in communication with the rest of the teams as easily as they need.
In order to maintain effective communication among your teams, you need to ensure everyone has access to the tools that make it easy to stay connected with each other.
This could be as simple as using business mobile phones so teams can simply call each other when they need to.
Or you could invest in video conferencing platforms like Microsoft Teams, which allows teams to carry out calls very easily between teams with features like screen sharing, recording and in-call messaging.
This means teams can hold meetings with each other – and customers and prospects – as easily as they could if they were in the same room, and carry out all the same tasks while joining the call from anywhere.
Increasing data security for remote workers
Another potential issue with employing remote working, is that because you have more people trying to access company systems and tools from multiple locations, it can create a higher security risk.
This creates a potential problem if employees are using their own devices, or are regularly connecting to your business’ network using public wifi (which isn’t secure).
This is why it’s important to consider using 5G connectivity on dedicated business mobile phones and other devices, as this removes the need for employees to join public wifi networks, or use their own personal devices – which may not be as secure.
If you’re investing in business broadband too, you can be assured that business broadband is more secure than domestic broadband, instantly offering a higher level of protection for your network.
On top of this, you could also deploy higher grade internet security on all your business’ devices.
Adapting your business to meet new challenges
We all know that the last few years have changed the way many companies think about the way they work.
While many will return to ‘normality’ in the long run and have people back working from the office more often, many more will continue to employ some form of remote or hybrid working model.
This will require a rethink about the technology and protocols put in place by businesses in order to improve the way they work.
Whether you bring everyone back to the office full-time, or plan to continue with remote or hybrid working, you’ll need the right tools to make it a success, which could mean success in your business’ future.