Working from home has moved from the exception to the rule for many organisations and while it certainly has its benefits, the challenges we face cannot be underestimated.
One of the key aspects of any company’s efficiency and by extension its competitiveness in the marketplace is how well it can utilise its human resources, or put more simply, optimising productivity levels.
Interacting with our clients on the matter we have realised that the break in communication from the office and security risks arising from remote working are two of the most prevalent issues in a WFH environment.
Both can curtail an employee’s ability to work efficiently and effectively, but there are a number of often cost-effective solutions available to resolve these issues. The absence of a reliable and quick way of communicating between employees and clients is an issue that can be extremely frustrating for all involved and aside from reducing productivity levels, it can lead to lost business too.
Thankfully, programmes like SharePoint allow multiple users simultaneous access to shared documents and the Shared Office application files give both internal staff and external users the ability to work collectively on a file.
Teams and Outlook can be a great way to maintain digital face-to-face communications, and while many of us are using some or even all of these methods, proper setup and implementation is key to extract the most out of the software.
For example, setting up Azure Active Directory Seamless Single Sign-On (Azure AD Seamless SSO) enables users to automatically gain access to their corporate network without having to enter their credentials every time.
Security protocols are a slightly different threat as they are often seen as a necessary evil rather than a crucial component of the WFH office.
Many urgent deadlines and client requests can often result in the use of personal emails and computers to ‘just get the job done’, but interacting with other employees and clients in this way not only makes the entire organisation vulnerable to cyber-attacks, but effectively sidesteps the security systems already in place at the office.
Regularly cycled passwords and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) should already be part of your security setup but there are many more challenges to consider.
Issuing employees with new hardware is not always the answer, as the underlying software systems and security protocols are often far more important in safeguarding data.
For example, backups are just as crucial in a WFH environment as they are at the office but if the data needing to be backed up is stored in multiple locations (personal devices and office servers) then concerns about security breaches should be addressed first.
End User Device (EUD) Security is clearly a vital aspect to consider, and once again, a number of software-based solutions are available. In this case, using a hosted application that is accessed through a secure internet channel sidesteps the problem of where the files are stored and adds another layer of security, too.
While many of the solutions to WFH issues are relatively simple to implement, they need to be done in the context of the organisation as a whole, we may all be working remotely but to achieve peak productivity your company needs to function as one interconnected team.
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