Data from Global Workplace Analytics showed a 140% increase in home workers since 2005, and the current climate sees the figure soaring. In order for remote working to be efficient for a business, however, strong technological infrastructures need to be in place to support an increasingly remote workforce. When whole businesses are forced to operate remotely, that infrastructure is even more important, as the security of the physical premises and onsite data must also be protected from a distance. In an emergency scenario where no one is able to be onsite, every element of business operations should still flow smoothly.
The Security Of The Business
A holistic approach to the technology used in the workplace is the best way to ensure that the whole system works to support remote working, particularly when an emergency means that no one is able to work within the physical building. Structured cabling installation allows the integration of security cameras and alarms with the entire network, allowing the security of the premises to be monitored remotely. When the whole system is connected, both employees and management should be able to access every part of the business digitally from wherever they are in the world — and this applies to physical monitoring as much as business data and the tools needed to support the work.
The Individual Worker
For remote working to be efficient practice, the infrastructure should allow for a multi-device workforce. A combination of computers, tablets and smartphones will be necessary for keeping workflow efficient when workers are on the move, and ideally, all employees will have access to multiple devices. A Mobile Device Management (MDM) policy will allow workers to be involved in device selection and ensure that they are familiar with all the technology essential to their work. A sudden switch to remote working should not require them to learn how to use a new device. The IT department should be able to manage all company devices remotely, but employees should also be able to work securely with critical data.
Communication And Connectivity
Connectivity to the business network is vital, and a digital system must therefore be in place to support this when employees are working remotely. Security is important, but all essential business information should be available to workers, and there should not be critical files that they can only access on the premises. It’s also important that employees can communicate instantly with colleagues, no matter where they are located. Virtual offices like those offered by Slack are useful tools for this, but internal networks can also be established to allow constant communication.
An efficient remote workforce requires a solid infrastructure of connected devices. With an increase in remote working and clear evidence that sometimes circumstances force businesses to operate from home, it’s vital that new businesses are set up to accommodate this. A strong system that employees are familiar with will allow business to continue to flow, even when no one is able to be onsite.