Ever-changing coronavirus restrictions and lockdown measures have led to businesses worldwide experimenting with remote and hybrid working. But with European governments stating social distancing measures could continue to be practiced until 2022, hybrid working could become the new normal for many businesses and their employees.
With 52% of global employees working remotely at least once a week, technology has become increasingly central to how businesses operate and maintain secure connections with employees. Hybrid working now requires technology to facilitate all users regardless of their location or circumstances.
Here are three tips, based on our team’s experience, that highlight the importance of flexible technology to ensure your team can succeed when working from home and in the office.
Remote workers toolkit
Hybrid working is not effective without the right software and hardware available to your employees, and it could even have negative effects on your organisation if these systems aren’t put into place first. As a result, it’s in everyone’s best interest to ensure employees have the correct equipment to carry out their jobs. Businesses with knowledge workers must consider adopting flexible solutions for working from home, including collaboration and communication softwares. These tools should be familiar, easy to use and mobile friendly, to ensure all employees can engage with their peers and managers.
Providing employees with laptops, chargers and other hardware devices is also vital. By having an idea of what employees need, you can invest in the right hardware to help them work effectively. Once the IT equipment has been allocated, it’s also important to keep a handle on when the devices require updates to its operating system, software and hardware. Not only will this ensure the device is performing at optimal level, but also helps employees stay as productive as possible.
Executing IT security measures
Businesses must also consider the security risks of working from home, in terms of systems access, internal IT infrastructures and bandwidth. Firstly, employees working from home should be provided with basic security advice to ensure they are aware of security risks on the devices they are using to get work done. One of the easiest ways businesses can secure data as it moves from internal systems to external devices is to deploy a VPN. This provides an additional layer of security by hiding the user’s IP address and encrypting data transfers in transit.
It’s also important to make sure up-to-date security protection is installed and active on all devices used by employees. This includes virus checkers, firewalls and device encryption. You may also consider running an audit on employee passcodes, to ensure that all are reset and redefined in line with the company’s security policy. Alphanumeric codes and two-factor authentication are recommended as this applies the strongest possible security protection across all employee devices.
Accessing resources remotely
Once your employees are securely equipped with their remote working toolkit, the next step involves making sure that they can easily access resources from home, to continue working on their tasks or projects. Dongle servers are a popular solution, as it easily allows employees to access their work from home and share USB dongle devices via the network. Not only can dongles be used via LAN connections, but also via VPN, VLAN, and the Internet. This ensures employees can stay productive in the most diverse environments.
With an encrypted point-to-point connection between the user and the dongle server, you can dynamically assign which employee is authorised to access each dongle, ensuring everyone can retrieve everything they need. Users can also request access as soon as a license becomes available, and once the software has been used by that individual, it will be securely relocated to the next in line. The dongle servers from SEH Technology are equipped with SEH UTN Manager software tool for Windows, OS X and Linux, which gives employees access to the dongles as if they were connected directly to their computer. The SEH UTN Manager can also easily be installed on all notebooks, PCs, servers, and terminals that require dongle access.
Managing your IT remotely can seem like a daunting task, and often one that businesses have not had to consider until now. But with the potential extension of social distancing precautions as well as companies realising the benefits of working remotely, working from home could become the new normal. It’s important for businesses to make sure that they have the right software and hardware tools available, in addition to solid security measures and remote access capabilities.