As the demand for remote workforces continues to climb, small and medium sized businesses are facing new challenges when it comes to the efficiency and security of their organization. Often this means managing several new areas such as security, data, and employee productivity. Here are the top areas to consider when deploying and supporting remote workforces for your business.

Maximize Employee Performance, Reduce Tech Issue Instances

As businesses adopt a remote working culture it is important to factor in the capabilities of your employees when working outside of the office. Not only can employee efficiency affect your operations costs, but it can hurt your existing customer relationships with inconsistencies in your service.

When deploying your remote team, here are some efficiency and IT considerations to think about:

  • Are your employees empowered with the same level of technology and access that allow them to work their best as if they were in the office?
  • Do they have access to the same level of reliability when it comes to technology that keeps them up and running during their work day?
  • Do they have support outlets to minimize downtime in the event of an IT problem that prevents them from working?

While working from home does come with many benefits, it also comes with its fair share of distractions for remote workers. Recurring tools outages, extended periods of downtime due to failed technology, or connectivity issues can all be detrimental to employee efficiency.

IT issues with no immediate remedy make room for distractions to take up valuable company time. Even worse, your team may be focusing on the resolution of IT issues regularly instead of focusing on the key strengths you hired them for.

Here’s what you can do to avoid this common issue:

  • Ensure employees have access to tools and resources that match the capabilities of the office
  • Provide a clear process to resolve IT issues for critical work tools, software, and access points before problems arise

Having an IT process is a fundamental first step in being prepared for unexpected technology challenges. Now we’ll take a look at ways you can reduce IT risk for those connecting externally with considerations towards managing employee workstations.

Be The Gatekeeper and Standardize Workstations

As employees are adapted to working remotely, there are several considerations to think about when it comes to their workstations and connectivity.

Standardizing your work machines can be an important step to enabling your remote teams to do their best work while limiting risk of one-off security or tech challenges. This is true because you can reduce complications with external networks, home systems and multi-user configurations while remotely managing the stability of machines accessing sensitive client files.

But standardizing doesn’t have to mean a “one-size-fits-all” type of solution for your workforce. Instead, focus on standardizing software solutions and capabilities while being cognizant of the specialist roles within your organization that may need specific hardware to work their best.

With the use of remote IT management tools it is possible to make sure workstation machines stay up-to-date and are patched for the latest security threats and technical bugs.

Implementing this strategy can have many benefits which will help reduce downtime and keep employees focusing on the bigger picture.

  • Reduce tech support needs by standardizing remote workstations for employees
  • Build a predictable process for maintaining and updating work machines being used to access business files and information outside of your office network
  • Manage which machines are accessing company files and ensure only secure and up-to-date systems are accessing it

Security For External Networks

With remote work machines organizations are introduced to a myriad of external networks and various security factors to consider. Whether working with client emails and files via web or mobile applications, there needs to be a process to reduce data mismanagement when connecting outside of the office. Simply having a virus protection solution is not enough and ultimately won’t prevent user error or phishing attacks from occurring.

Managing secure data via online databases is convenient, but it should also be guarded with password management best practices that encourage complex passwords and the use of (2FA) 2-Factor Authentication. This helps implement additional layers of security towards online databases and web-based tools needed for day-to-day operations.

Mobile security is also another consideration often overlooked when it comes to data and email management. Data plans make it easier than ever for workers to access email and files through SaaS solutions and web portals. This is where including added layers of security can help reduce risk and act as a deterrent for basic attacks to occur.

  • Implement strong password best practices across your organization
  • Implement the use of 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) with web-based tools and online databases such as Google drive and other cloud storage applications.
  • Consider implementing a policy for company workstations regarding use of public WIFI and internet access

Security Process and Training

Implementing security processes and training within your organization isn’t just a good idea, it’s essential in today’s technological age. Businesses both small and large are being targeted with malicious attacks such as malware and more commonly phishing schemes via email.

Phishing attacks are masked as vital information to socially engineer the recipient and focus on exploitation through human error. Training your employees to identify the warning signs and avoid potential security risks will help prevent security breaches that circumvent standard security software.

Attackers are generally unbiased towards the size of the organization as they automate their attacks and target businesses en masse to look for vulnerabilities. This means that even small business owners should take extra care to implement and manage security processes within their organization, especially for remote teams.

  • Implement training for employees to know the warning signs of malicious attacks and emails
  • Implement a security process that ensures all employees are following best practices for security, file management and connectivity outside of the office
  • Audit your security process and your employee’s consistency in execution and create training opportunities for improving security awareness

With all these considerations in mind, business owners often ask themselves if they can afford IT services or actually need IT for the size of team they have. Often what is not considered is the costs incurred for being down, or remedying a data breach. Can you afford to be down for extended periods of time or clean up a data breach after the fact? Some losses simply can’t be monetarily recovered such as time lost and reputation lost as a result of security issues.

The good news is quality IT support for your expanding company doesn’t have to be out of your reach! Schedule a complimentary consultation with our IT specialists and learn about how to take advantage of our CompleteCare managed IT services for small businesses. You’ll never face unexpected labor costs with our fixed monthly fees and full-service support of the essentials to keep your office running, that’s our CompleteCare guarantee!

Take the First Step Toward High-Level, Affordable IT.

Willits Technologies

16821 Buccaneer Ln Suite 101 Houston, TX 77058
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