There are many benefits that come from creating a remote workforce, including aligning your business with social distancing guidelines, enabling a healthier work/life balance for employees, saving on building overhead costs, and saving employees time and money on commuting costs.
However, working remotely comes with its own challenges, such as staying in contact with teams, accessing data, and making sure your systems are secure. Thankfully, a Managed Network Service Provider can assist your company in finding the best solutions for minimizing these struggles and maximizing productivity as you adapt to a remote work environment.
Here are some tools your remote workforce needs to keep operations running smoothly.
Both internal communication and communication between employees and customers are more important than ever when your team is working from home. There are many solutions that can help you communicate effectively, but some may be better suited to your business needs than others.
External Communication: VoIP and Business Lines
For example, many businesses are taking advantage of VoIP phone systems, which give businesses greater flexibility than traditional business phone lines. Using a VoIP system, employees can connect to your business phone system remotely from a computer or cell phone.
But there are several types of VoIP systems to choose from: PBX, which is the system most commonly used by businesses; PRI, which is BrightStar’s smarter, more efficient version; and SIP, which allows access and customization for a greater number of employees, are three options you may want to consider.
Small businesses that don’t utilize VoIP generally choose to use a business line. We can help you evaluate your options and choose one that best suits your business needs.
Internal Communication: Video Conferencing and Chat Capabilities
One of the biggest drawbacks of working remotely is that teams can lose their sense of camaraderie and teamwork, as well as the ability to instantly communicate. Video conferencing can help bring some of that personal connection back, and can be a great resource both for internal meetings and for speaking with clients.
Instant messaging is another great tool for communicating in a less formal way, and it can encourage a more spontaneous method of communicating that helps innovation and creativity.
BrightStar Communications is skilled with setting up the advanced communication solutions you need to maintain efficient, productive, and secure communications, no matter where you or your team members are.
Constant, Reliable Internet Access
Reliable internet access is inarguably the most important factor of remote work. If employees don’t have access to a high-performing internet connection, productivity quickly plummets, and internet downtime can result in substantial losses in terms of both employee productivity and revenue. Remote workers need high-speed internet access with 100% uptime, which is only possible through constant, real-time monitoring.
WANs, or wide area networks, are becoming an increasingly popular choice for network access for businesses with teams functioning in different locations. A WAN enables members of your organization to securely connect to your network over a wide area.
For those who need more security, a VPLS, or virtual private LAN service, creates your own private network. This gives you the secure communication capabilities of a VPN, but with a much broader range.
Studies suggest that more than half of all small businesses that suffer a cyber attack will go out of business within six months. With the stakes that high, it’s impossible to ignore the importance of your network security, especially for remote teams with increased risk.
Even if you have robust security measures in place in your office, transitioning to remote work will often open up holes in your protection as adjustments are made to systems and equipment.
When an organization transitions some, or all, of its staff to remote workstations, they should have a security audit completed to analyze potential security weaknesses. Every organization should use robust firewalls, virus protection, and anti-malware to keep business systems safe. It’s also important to keep backups of all essential data.
Taking a proactive approach to security when working remotely will help you identify any weak points in your system and to address potential problems before they develop. And installing multiple forms of cyber protection will ensure that your business is protected, even if you have remote workers accessing your system from their own homes.
You can set your remote workforce up for success by equipping employees with efficient communication channels, high-bandwidth internet access, and comprehensive network security, and an experienced telecommunications company can help you with that process. Contact BrightStar Communications to give your remote team the capabilities they need to thrive.