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The coronavirus crisis has prompted companies to resort to remote working on a scale that has likely never been seen before. Across the world, businesses are grappling with the issues raised by their entire workforce going remote. But, with remote working one of the fastest growing trends in the world of work, it’s possible that coronavirus has merely provided an early glimpse of the future.
This may sound the alarm bells for some, who will understandably worry about what this means for business and whether it will lead to a world of distracted, disconnected, isolated, and unmotivated workers. However, that needn’t be the case. Flexible and remote working offer huge potential to create a more satisfied, more diversified, and even a more connected workforce.
Cloud solutions can be the perfect way to unlock these benefits. So, while your short-term focus may be on how best to cope with managing a remote workforce in the current climate, this is also the perfect time to start thinking about how you can use the cloud and flexible working options to plan for the future.
With that in mind, here are some of the crucial benefits the cloud can deliver for you and your remote workers.
The days of remote workers needing to rush back to the office for documents, supplies, or meetings are long over. With hosted desktops on the cloud, everyone with access can have everything they need at their fingertips, wherever they may be working.
With all documents in one place and 24-hour access, every employee can work as before from their home office. This will aid the transition from the office to home massively and should help to ensure that it doesn’t have any negative repercussions for the business.
With co-working and conferencing tools and access to a cutting-edge virtual environment, cloud solutions can provide a seamless move to remote working, giving employees the means to work to the same level as they would in-office.
As everyone knows, meeting face-to-face with your workforce most likely isn’t an option for your business right now. While this will hopefully change soon, meeting virtually is almost certainly something that we will see increase over the coming years.
Thankfully, cloud providers offer numerous solutions to allow your business to continue being communicative and collaborative during lockdown. With the cloud, employees can easily collaborate on shared files, share and edit documents, brainstorm projects, co-ordinate content, and far more.
Cloud providers can also offer a range of options for quick, clear, efficient communication between the employees on a shared system. With easy-to-host video meetings and conferences and the ability to instantly contact any team member, low-quality video calls and phone conferences scheduled days in advance need no longer be the norm.
With such easy, high-quality communication, a cloud provider can help you tackle some of the most common complaints about working remotely, such as miscommunication and employees feeling isolated. You’ll also be more easily able to share feedback, memos and other updates to keep your staff motivated and engaged.
While business owners often worry that remote working can lead to employees being distracted and unproductive, this needn’t be the case. The relaxed, familiar environment of home, combined with the synergies provided by the cloud, can, in fact, be conducive to a more motivated, happier team.
Crucially, having more time at home will improve employees’ work-life balance and reduce their stress levels. It cuts out not only time spent at work itself, but also commuting, which is a major cost and stressor for many. This will have a positive effect on the mood of employees and, with a proper remote working system in place, this can be extended to the quality of their work.
Many will naturally be concerned that moving to a remote workforce may lead to security vulnerabilities. But with cloud solutions, the security measures you are used to on-premise can be extended to every employee’s tablet, mobile, or laptop device.
Measures such as user-specific logins, file encryption, and levels of authorisation are all easily applied, to ensure your files and remain secure. Meanwhile, additional measures can be implemented on an employee’s device. With the cloud, going remote doesn’t mean compromising on security.
The inherent scalability of the cloud can also benefit your remote workforce. As long as they have a device and login credentials, employees can access any internal information on the cloud from home. Most importantly, the cloud can allow you to accommodate as many remote workers as you need, with the scalability to continue adding new users.
Also, as these will generally be workers operating off-premise, with their own devices, the hardware costs you incur will be minimised. A remote workforce also means you optimise office space, allowing you to more easily scale up hardware as needed without worry about accommodating workers.
Remote working is not a fad, nor is it merely an emergency response to coronavirus. It is a rapidly growing trend and this growth is only going to continue. According to Global Workplace Analytics, remote working has grown 173 per cent since 2005, 11 per cent faster than any other part of the workforce.
Coronavirus may have forced many companies to turn to flexible working, but integrating cloud-based solutions into remote work can enable your business to access the full range of benefits it offers, helping you make it more than just a short-term fix.