Using technology to truly embrace working from anywhere.
In the new age of working from anywhere, technology is key. From the physical hardware you use everyday to the connectivity solution that supports your communications, it’s almost impossible to do business remotely without reliable technology.
But when your teams aren’t in the office, their technology is no longer centrally managed by IT, meaning you can be faced with challenges you are not equipped to deal with.
When your teams work in an office, they rely on business connectivity, designed to support the demands of the business in order to maximise productivity, but you probably can’t say the same for a home worker’s broadband.
According to research carried out by Zen Internet, home workers lose an average of 30 minutes each day due to unreliable broadband and more than 80% have reported dropped connections or low speeds, preventing them from working efficiently.
In the home environment, the business doesn’t usually own the connectivity relationship, meaning you trust your business productivity to any number of retail ISPs with whom you have no relationship. This means that when your employees have connectivity issues, there is little you can do to fix it.
All working-from-anywhere businesses should have plans in place to mitigate the impact of poor connectivity for home workers. Without a reliable internet connection, the platforms on which you rely are rendered unusable. Not only are employees unable to access email or browse the web, they are no longer able to use VoIP or UC solutions to communicate with colleagues or customers, which can not only have a negative effect on efficiency but could potentially result in lost business.
IP telephony and Unified Communications has transformed the way businesses can work, enabling flexible workforces and becoming essential solutions for many businesses this year. Provided your teams have the bandwidth to support VoIP, you could see an increase in productivity of up to 20% as your employees have the tools they need to work from anywhere.
When choosing a VoIP solution, you need to find an experienced provider that can support the scalability that you need while offering guaranteed reliability and hands-on support for when things do go wrong. Dropped calls and poor quality can mean loss of business, unhappy customers and frustrated employees, so make sure your teams are equipped with a dependable IP communications solution that enables them to do business smoothly, without fear of loss of service disrupting their day.
Security should always be a priority, but it’s even more important in a working-from-anywhere business. Home working exposes data to external forces which could compromise your business and potentially result in financial losses. According to SecureTeam, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses and the average cost of a security breach for an SMB is £6,000, and that’s not accounting for lost company time or any impacts on business reputation or customer loyalty.
A security breach can not only have financial ramifications but can also affect how your teams work day-to-day. As reported in the CISO Benchmark Report 2020, malware and malicious spam are the two most significant causes of downtime for businesses. Think about how much time you spend clearing out your inbox each day, whether it’s 20 minutes in the morning or a continuous task throughout the day, an enterprise-grade spam filter can help you make better use of your time while protecting your business.
Since the UK went into lockdown and much of the workforce began working from home, 46% of companies have experienced a cybersecurity breach but only 15% of SMBs say they have the resources to support remote working. If you haven’t already invested in enterprise-grade web and email security, now is the time as you’ve never been more at risk.
Of course, remote working has been around long before 2020 and has been largely facilitated by mobile for many years. If you have teams out on the road, they’re probably using company mobiles to enable them to keep in touch with the office, but are they getting the most out of their mobile?
If your teams are using VoIP when they’re at their computer, encourage them to download the mobile app for Fixed Mobile Convergence. FMC allows you to start a call on your desktop and continue on your mobile while on the move, enabling true agile working.
Mobile connectivity can sometimes be more reliable than your home broadband, how many of us have switched our phones from WiFi to mobile data in the evenings because our connection is just too slow? By equipping your teams with smartphones, you may be able to mitigate the risks of unreliable broadband as employees have mobile data to fall back on. Additionally, the rise of 5G is presenting more opportunities to businesses to embrace mobile connectivity and further enable the remote workforce.
Another benefit of mobile for flexible businesses is the ease with which you can manage your mobile business. We’ve already highlighted the challenges that WFX presents for IT management, but with mobile, it’s much easier. With a Mobile Device Management product, you can manage all your company mobiles from one application, monitoring and securing devices remotely.
So whether you’ve been forced to operate remotely this year, or have always had an agile working option, now is the time to review your technology and identify how you can improve productivity and security for your business. None of us know how the next few months are going to pan out, but we can be prepared for whatever comes our way by kitting out our business with the technology we need to work from anywhere, whether that’s the home, the office or on the road.