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How to reap the benefits of remote working

During these challenging times, remote working has become the new normal for businesses across the globe. The number of employees working from home has risen sharply over recent weeks and organisations have had to rapidly adapt their IT strategies to enable remote working on an unprecedented scale.

However, while the current requirement has been thrust upon businesses, there are a huge number of benefits to enabling home working, including higher employee satisfaction rates and much reduced real estate costs. To realise them, bosses must create conditions that foster productive home working environments. In this article, we’ll discuss the areas employers need to consider – and how integrated software and hardware solutions can help.

Enabling maximum productivity

There are certain common requirements all remote workers need to be fulfilled if they are to be productive. Firstly, it’s crucial that businesses invest in the right devices. Choosing robust, lightweight laptops that don’t compromise on computing power will mean a single device can fulfil both office and home working requirements. Device connectivity and performance are also critical considerations, as employees must be able to access office networks and apps quickly, and seamlessly connect to a multitude of web-enabled collaborative tools – e-mail, instant messaging and video conferencing, for example. While HD webcams and dual microphones will ensure problem-free video conferencing, high performance WiFi and optional 4G will provide fast and stable network connections in a variety of locations.

Best-of-breed security

It’s important that employees working remotely are afforded an office-like level of IT security. A solution that allows for mobile devices to be integrated into the enterprise network, in compliance with security regulations, can help boost security for all types of businesses – particularly those in high compliance areas, such as finance. Devices should have protected ports and built-in encryption, with technologies such as Trusted Platform Module 2.0 and two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorised access. They should also have advanced boot control, so they can be immediately and remotely disabled if lost or stolen.

Class-leading capacity

It is challenging for businesses to add so many connected devices and solutions on to busy enterprise networks. A huge amount of data is going to be generated by this spike in the number of remote workers, much of which will need to be securely managed and processed by businesses. To support them in doing this, edge computing drives new ways of gathering, analysing and redistributing data and derived intelligence. Processing data at the edge of the network reduces network strain, as users can be more selective of the data they send to the network core.

Easing network strain is just one change among many that IT teams can make to support resilient and effective remote working. In the current situation, businesses must be flexible and consider a comprehensive portfolio of tools that will make remote working as easy as working from the office – so they can ensure productivity is maximised, and the longer-term opportunities presented by remote working are realised.

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