Remote working is becoming more common among small businesses and start-ups, increasing the flexibility of workers hours and increasing the productivity of the individual. Though some may disagree that working from home can be more beneficial than working from the office, it cannot be denied that cloud computing has helped drive the increase in demand for remote working.
For most workers, email is the most crucial communication tool. With over 7 billion emails being sent in the UK every day alone, or 144.8 billion worldwide, email is one of the most important assets needed for efficient remote working. With users who sync their email to multiple devices, i.e. Smartphone, Tablet, Laptop etc. it is vital that their email account has a high availability from wherever they may be, delivered safe and sound.
In some cases, email isn’t enough. Some remote workers require proprietary or specialised software such as Sage or QuickBooks all the way up to more demanding programs like Photoshop or Maya – theses would traditionally be stored on the users’ work computer which would only be able to be accessed on premise.
For that type of scenario, virtualisation would be the preferred option – and it’s been catching on with businesses. As the technology we use regularly becomes more and more portable, people are changing the way they utilize it. Providing that the business has the correct infrastructure, they can virtualise pretty much anything they want from software application layers to fully fledged operating systems such as Microsoft Windows or Apple OSX. These can be limited or disabled for certain users, privilege levels can be raised or lowered, depending on the needs of the user, and files can be stored, shared and edited from within the cloud without the need to download anything to the device that the user is on.
As everything is stored in the cloud, the data is safe behind firewalls and advanced antivirus applications to ensure that data does not leak to unauthorised users. Furthermore, the data can be backed up and restored easily if an accident, such as accidental deletion, occurs. By bringing these kinds of security precautions in place, the cloud can ensure business data integrity and give you peace of mind to know that your important data is safe.
Over the course of 10 years, technology has advanced on a dramatic scale with major changes in form factor and power. Modern mobile phones and tablets are more powerful than some laptops or even the desktops of 2003-2004. It’s not surprising that people are beginning to use their mobiles and tablets for traditional work tasks such as creating Word, Excel and PowerPoint presentations.
In response to this, more and more businesses are adopting BYOD (Bring your own device) practises by allowing their employees to use their own smartphones and tablets to help them with their daily tasks. In addition, this has migrated people away from their desks as they can work from wherever they need to be.
Though not everyone likes the idea of remote working. In February of 2013 Yahoo’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, banned remote working for all of its employees which resulted in a major uproar both internally of the company and publically. She said “To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices.”
Collaboration is key to small businesses for them to operate well. There are some businesses where home working is simply not possible due to a lack of communication or simply the roles involved. For most businesses, remote working is possible and can bring a vast amount of benefits including improved productivity in works and higher efficiency.
Field sales representatives embrace both cloud and mobile technology on a regular basis. As their job role involves a lot of moving from place to place, it is crucial that they remain connected to their business. With cloud services like Lync and Hosted Exchange, they can do. They can collaborate with other team members and focus on what is important even when they aren’t in the office.
When combined with cloud technologies, remote workers have the flexibility they need while remaining synchronous with the internal workings of the business. They can work from wherever they want to, whether they have an internet connection or not, and keep on track of all the tasks that they need to get done. The cloud is designed for remote workers and the freedom of availability and flexibility and businesses are embracing it.
Does your business allow remote working? Have you got right tools at hand? If not, why not try remote tools driven by the cloud?