Over the past decade, there has been a clear, dramatic shift to more people working from home. Cloud-based platforms, video calling, and collaborative software made it simple for freelancers and contract employees to work from anywhere with wi-fi. In 2019, around 14 percent of the U.S. workforce worked remotely. However, once COVID-19 hit and businesses shut down, that number jumped to 60 percent. As life returns to a semblance of normal, some people are returning to the office, but a majority are continuing to work from home, and those who were laid off or furloughed are now seeking to jump back into the workforce remotely.
As an employer, you now have a hiring pool that stretches across the United States. To ensure your operations continue to run smoothly and securely, no matter where your team is, we’re sharing the steps you need to take.
Provide Remote Access Software to Improve Security
Having data stored on a central computer doesn’t do much good when your employees are not physically at the office. However, if you need to keep data on office computers, or you have employees who work a split schedule – part time in-office, part time remote – being able to connect to the office systems from home can be highly beneficial, improving the ability to share screens, monitor devices, and troubleshoot easily. To do this, you’ll need to provide your employees with remote access software.
The software is installed on the office computers to which the employees need access, whether it’s a central computer or their own in-office setups, then it will be installed on their at-home device. This creates a remote connection that allows you or your employees the ability to access the system from everywhere.
To keep access secure, we recommend using two-factor authentication and using a secure Virtual Private Network.
Increase Security with VPNs for Remote Workers
If your employees are working remotely and accessing company information or an internal network, it’s important to provide them with a virtual private network, or VPN. This encrypts all data transmissions and safe guards them from external threats.
There are two types of VPNs: IP security (IPsec) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). IPsec VPNs are manually installed on the employees remote device and require them to enter details like the gateway IP address of the company network and a security key to get access. SSL VPNs are a bit newer and more user friendly in which you or a network administrator publishes the VPN client to within the company firewall and makes it available for employees to download from a target landing web page.
Set Up a Structured Cabling System at Your Central Office
Structured cabling is a scalable cabling infrastructure that allows you to increase your system availability and connect more devices and minimize outages and downtime. With your team working remotely, everyone can access data and not experience lag or crashes because the infrastructure will be able to handle the added traffic and strain.
Voice Over Internet Protocol Phone Systems
The number one tool to improve how your remote workers stay connected is a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone system. Rather than having your employees rely on their cell phones to take work calls or video conferences, they can use their laptops or computers to access cloud-based software to make calls, join conferences, and collaborate easily.
This creates a seamless experience for your team because everyone will be using the same software platform, making it possible to access group voicemail, transfer calls, and answer calls to the main office line from anywhere in the world. It also provides a more professional means of communication – team members can dial out from their office number and extension, send texts using the company number, and take calls to a direct dial or main office number.
VOIP saves money, improves communication, and offers added convenience to your employees, making it an overall win for your organization.
Schedule a Consultation with Strategic Connections Today
From connecting you to high-quality audio/visual equipment and VOIP phone connections to installing secure structured cabling systems, the experienced team at Strategic Connections has everything your team needs to stay connected. Schedule a consultation today to learn more by calling us at [phone] or filling out the form below.