Could your business be working smarter?

Working Smarter

The number of people working remotely or from home has rocketed in the last 10 years to over 4.2million, according to the Office for National Statistics. This number is expected to continue to rise, with half of the UK workforce expected to be working remotely by next year. This provides enormous opportunities for business but also challenges them to find smart ways to help those in the office work effectively with colleagues who are working remotely.

Many businesses have moved complete workloads to the cloud and are seeing the benefits of a more targeted, productive approach to project management – it’s an ideal solution to managing your remote teams. So, could your business be working more efficiently? Here are some ways technology can help achieve this:

Increase flexibility

Moving to the cloud is not only cost-effective but also offers flexibility when on the go or working from home. It’s simple for businesses to store information in one location that is updated in real-time, so everyone is up to date no matter where they are in the world. 

Data storage is almost unlimited – allowing businesses to instantly scale up depending on their needs.  

Collaborate with Teams 

With email no longer the default method of communication, businesses are adopting cloud-based platforms such as Microsoft Teams. Built for today’s way of working, Teams allows workers in and out of the office to edit, share and have discussions around the same piece of work – saving the back and forth of sending documents by email. 

It’s also fully integrated with Office 365 meaning files, emails, calendars and more can be shared. Another benefit of Teams is you can add third-party apps such as Google Analytics, YouTube and Smartsheet – choose from hundreds of options to suit your business’ needs. 

Simplify meetings

Even for those who are able to work on the journey, it can be difficult to be productive while working on the way to and from a meeting. Valuable time lost to travel before and after an appointment can be saved with a cloud-based videoconferencing tool. Skype for Business or Teams keeps meetings efficient – you can see the people you are meeting and share a screen to show documents at the same time. 

If you have staff who work remotely, keep in touch with them this way – perhaps have a meeting at the start of every week to make sure everyone is clear on the week’s goals and priorities. 

Improve data security

A challenge employers might face is remote working and security. People logging in from unsecure networks – in a café or coffee shop, accessing work files from a non-protected device – e.g. mobile, or using work computers for personal use can present risks that threaten your business. 

Cloud solutions such as Microsoft Teams are built to reduce the chance of sensitive data leaks occurring. Teams has the benefit of Microsoft’s multi-factor authentication (MFA), single-sign on (SSO) and automatic encryption of data. You’ll get the same standard of security as Office 365.

Remember, this cannot protect your business entirely – you’ll need further security measures to tighten access to information in the cloud.

Scale to fit

Working in the cloud can accommodate for a large increase in a remote workforce quickly without adding additional costs. This makes it easier to recruit from anywhere – employees can access all the information they will need via the cloud without ever having to visit the office. It’s also ideal when there is restricted physical office space due to rapid growth – some employees might have to start working remotely.  

A cloud-based solution can offer a high level of flexibility, security and scalability to businesses with in-house and remote teams. An element of our managed IT service involves a simplified migration to a cloud-based workspace, so we can work with your business to provide a unique solution that will adapt as your business grows. Contact us for more information.