Since the first widespread lockdown, businesses have been adapting to the idea of handling employees in a remote work environment. At first, it was a matter of necessity. But soon, many companies discovered that their employees thrived in the remote work environment. People who have a home that is welcoming to a home office design can find a great deal more freedom and cut out the challenges of the commute by working from home.
The success of remote work often depends on the capability of the manager and the remote infrastructure they have to work with. Some managers took to handling a remote team better than others. Many learned how to ace remote management along the way. But the one thing determined entirely by your business is the remote workforce structure.
Remote Work Grows From Zoom to Custom Solutions
In the beginning, businesses put together any tools they could find. Believe it or not, Zoom was originally a fairly small platform for private social meetings. It was an alternative to FaceTime, but the tools available made it a great stop-gap platform. It was only after the first wave that Zoom upgraded its platform to professional-grade video conference features.
Today, business solutions to remote work are far more sophisticated than meeting on Zoom and emailing their work product to their manager. Today, there are extensive remote work platforms available. Like Zoom, the tools already existed, waiting for perfection by thousands of remote teams. Online task management programs, collaborative project platforms, and change-by-change version control are all core elements of the solutions available today.
How can you rebuild your business infrastructure to support permanently remote employees, or transition your business entirely to remote team members?
Build a Suite of Cloud-Based Tools and Software
The baseline for all remote businesses is the tools and platforms you choose to work through. You can have custom software built to your exact needs and specifications. Alternatively, you can build a tack of SaaS and licensed software that does everything you need. No matter your approach, the key is building a fully remote-accessible stack of software that your employees can interface with.
Taking your servers to the cloud is only useful for your team if they have tools to work with your assets. The platforms you choose will empower your team to work together and collaborate effectively. They will provide the tools, dashboards, and interactive features necessary to streamline remote teamwork and create the cohesion of a shared workplace.
Most businesses have found when building a remote stack for the team that one platform isn’t enough. Your design and marketing team will be working with software for creatives and data-driven campaigns. Your finance department is more likely to benefit from a cloud-based EMS. The more specific your technical needs based on your industry and business model, the more items you may need in your remote software and toolkit.
Set up Your Team With VOIP Numbers for Remote Work
If you want to keep your remote team in the loop, manage phone services, and ensure each team member always answers the same work number, VOIP is the ideal answer.
With VOIP, each phone number is like the company email address. Team members can take and initiate calls on their own devices but using the company line. VOIP upgrades the desk phone to the anywhere office phone. No longer do employees have to juggle work and personal numbers. The right VOIP app will ring their phone on the business number while also keeping their personal phone number safe from common use.
A virtual number is ideal for remote, hybrid, and flexible work because it can be answered on any device or computer with the app and an internet connection. You can always call your team members, loop them into a phone pool, and stay on work numbers even when working from home.
Transition Your Business Assets to the Cloud
Once your team is successfully working on the cloud, it’s time to complete the migration. If your business still has an on-site location, the only assets to leave in hardware are your actual network router and the computers you work with. Servers and all on-site technology can successfully migrate to the cloud. Cloud migration is now a major push in modern businesses. Those who have not already migrated their servers, backups, and other assets to the cloud are now behind the curve.
Cloud migration means transitioning your current server structure to virtual servers on the cloud. Cloud hosting does eventually link back to real servers in data banks, but the safety is in distributed data. Everything stored on a major commercial cloud distributes so that a copy of your data is on several data banks all over the world. This is part of what accelerates the loading of cloud assets when traveling or serving pages to distant customers. It’s also what makes the cloud resilient. No single natural disaster, for example, could wipe your cloud-based data with backups floating in the other data banks.
You will need to work with a skilled IT team to successfully copy and recreate your servers in a cloud hosting environment.
Redesign Your Cybersecurity for End-to-End Remote Access
Cybersecurity takes on a new structure as well when you transition to permanent remote work. When transferring data regularly between the business servers and private home devices, you need end-to-end security. This means that the data is secured at every point in the ongoing transition process. This was a challenge initially faced by app designers when securing mobile apps was the challenge.
End-to-end cybersecurity starts with encryption. Data can be read from a compromised endpoint. However, some more skilled hackers read it while traveling through the internet communication channels. Your bits can be read in or out of sequence to determine the nature of your content. Encrypted data, however, can be read but will not provide useful information to a hacker without the decryption key, which they will not have.
You will also need to train your staff to maintain strong personal cybersecurity measures, especially when working from home on a residential internet connection.
Create a System of Remote Workflow Policies and Expectations
Finally, your company will need a system of policies and expectations. Think of this as the remote work handbook. Your teams need to know exactly what amount and type of work is expected from them when self-directed at home. Your managers also need to know how far their authority extends in a home working environment.
By building a system of policies, you let everyone know exactly where they stand, how to pursue their goals, and how to reach achievement levels of personal productivity working remotely.
Ready to Transition to Permanent Remote Work?
Is your business ready to make the big transition to permanent remote work? Contact us today to tackle your cloud migration and remote work rebuild.