Utilizing Business Technologies for Remote Working Opportunities

Craig Middleton

Through touchscreens and laptops, businesses have an entire box of tools to use when exploring the virtual workplace.

Businesses need to focus on working remotely now more than ever. With so many people opting for ottomans instead of offices, companies have begun to focus on secure and reliable ways to stay connected with their employees. Socially, many aspects of people's lives are taken care of remotely, including media consumption, grocery shopping and even family communications. The IT world has been shifting towards this direction already and these changes only serve to increase the pace of development.

It is key to maintain strong links between remote staff and the home office. New technologies have made retaining face-to-face interactions and the easy transfer of data as simple as the press of a button. Through touchscreens and laptops, businesses have an entire box of tools to use when exploring the virtual workplace.

The Cloud

Employee interaction is critical, especially for groups working together on a single project. In the past, if one person was out of the office it would set back the entire team. If trends continue, a study by Upwork suggests that up to 73% of teams will have some members working remotely if they have the option. Businesses need to facilitate the free exchange of ideas for their staff to remain successful.

Working in the cloud, or accessing remote servers running virtual machines, companies can create a space for sharing data and files. This lets employees stay up to date with current projects and even interact with and edit data in real-time. With the ability to use a single login on different devices, remote staff can access their work from anywhere. It also relieves some burdens placed on the IT department since servers are located off-site and are maintained by dedicated professionals.

Coalescing Communications

Video conferencing is quickly becoming the norm and for many, it remains the only way to have meetings with other employees. Issues arise when some staff are only familiar with one particular application, or when remote workers use software that isn't compatible with the company network. There can also be data breach issues with hackers piggybacking on feeds through unprotected systems.

Creating a remote conferencing strategy is easier when everyone is on the same page, and more importantly on the same network. Using a global sim card to standardize data use among internet-capable devices is an excellent way to ensure everyone is on the same page. This way video conferencing with employees that may be stuck where access to the internet is limited or unavailable can still be a reliable form of communication.

Constant Chat

Meetings by video are a good way for face-to-face interactions, but having around-the-clock conferences are as invasive as they are impractical. Since coworkers would no longer be able to walk down the hall to ask simple questions, there needs to be an easier way to facilitate these quick and simple exchanges. Other data suggests that encouraging work friendships also dramatically increases productivity. The key is figuring out how to keep that camaraderie flourishing when half of the team is working from home.

Texting and instant messaging may seem like teenage activities but as a method of staying connected it's second to none. Having chat rooms devoted to specific teams and general staff promotes that communication. Many software choices also include private messaging and even video chats, letting staff have those moments of connection that are needed to keep the workday productive. Using programs and applications that employees are already familiar with may also help ease the transition to this alternate form of casual communication.

Tapping into the vast options of virtual communication lets team members work together easily. In some cases, working remotely may even be the more productive option. As more companies are giving their staff the option to work from home, keeping the connection amongst workers becomes increasingly essential to maintain social and professional wellness. While it may take some getting used to, establishing guidelines and setting expectations will allow employees to do their best work, no matter where they keep their desk.

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