Modernizing your remote workforce capabilities is a priority that your business cannot afford to ignore. By modernizing your systems, your business is better equipped to accommodate increased bandwidth usage, which enables employees to be agile so they can see around corners to challenges that lie ahead. Modernization also includes the adoption of new policies and expectations that cultivate a winning and supportive culture for remote workers.
To remain competitive, your organization will need to invest in sustainable and secure infrastructure as well as updated and flexible cultural norms that keep employees engaged. Here are some steps you can take to modernize your remote workforce.
Commit to Ongoing Network Infrastructure Updates
According to a recent report*, more than 75% of companies surveyed said that their employees are now working from home. For some, the shift to remote work has resulted in increased network traffic on systems that were not set up to accommodate the surge. According to that same report, roughly a third of organizations said they were not sufficiently prepared for such a rapid shift from on-premises to remote work. With around 84% of US organizations expecting remote work to expand after the coronavirus pandemic passes, keeping your network infrastructure updated and secure is a commitment that cannot go unfulfilled. Plan to make initial improvements but realize that your work is not done. You’ll need to create both short- and long-term strategies to ensure that your systems are sustainable and secure far into the future.
Understand Your Network Traffic
More remote workers means more network traffic. If your system isn’t prepared to handle the higher traffic level, you are likely opening yourself up to additional security vulnerabilities. In the rush to maintain business continuity during the pandemic, some companies have resorted to installing VPN solutions on personal devices – which changes the risk profile considerably. The last thing you want is staff attempting their own work-arounds in order to get work done.
Taking a close look at your organization’s VPN is a good place to start. Begin by monitoring applications, users and content. You’ll need to understand the number of remote connections within your organization as well as the risk profiles associated with the devices they are using to access your network. With a clear understanding of your network traffic, you can increase the capacity of your VPN to facilitate better productivity, protect your business from security threats and ensure business continuity.
Consider Cloud-based Solutions
The cloud offers some good solutions for scaling increased network traffic and can be used in tandem with VPN updates. You may end up paying a little more, but the investment will provide several rewards, including the peace of mind that comes with built-in security and dedicated technical support. By understanding your traffic and its usage levels, you can leverage the cloud for extra capacity, using only what you need.
Don’t Forget to Encourage Relationships
Having an engaged workforce is key to a successful remote strategy. Working in isolation can take a toll on your employees. In addition, remote work makes the spontaneous collaboration of team members more challenging. Invest in tools they can use to boost collaboration, morale and productivity to get the results you’re looking for. Platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and others can help. Be sure to clearly define guidance, rules and policies and train employees on etiquette using these new platforms so that staff can collaborate and contribute to their fullest potential. Improving your employees’ experience when using the tools for remote work is a great way to keep them engaged. And high employee engagement leads to better organizational outcomes.
Our technology professionals are ready to provide guidance on a remote work strategy that fits your organization. Begin strategizing now. For more information contact Carly Devlin or learn more about the services provided by Clark Schaefer Consulting.