Virtual PBX Featured Article

Technology Key to a Successful Permanent Remote Workforce

June 01, 2020

By Laura Stotler - Virtual PBX Contributing Editor

The global shift to a remote workforce due to COVID-19 happened suddenly, and many companies were not prepared. However, early studies have found that a remote workforce has been largely successful, leading many tech companies to look to permanent remote work moving forward.

Within the past month, a number of U.S. tech giants have announced plans to continue remote work even after the effects of the coronavirus have dissipated. And research from McKinsey shows that the shift to remote work has energized workers and has allowed many employees to successfully take on new responsibilities and challenges.

Of course, the shift to a permanent remote workforce comes with many challenges, most of them logistical and technological. We recently discussed some of the logistical challenges and what employees and companies can do to avoid "employee burnout." The technology hurdles are just as important, and companies need to be prepared to deal with the requirements of a permanent remote workforce.

According to Technologent, companies must improve their security technologies to prepare for a permanent remote workforce. That includes handling application access to the network, cloud and data center as well as remote desktop and mobile device setup. This also includes application security along with identity access management.

Wi-Fi and broadband security and issues must also be addressed, as well as mobile and remote device data storage and security. Email and collaboration tool planning and security are also important areas that must be addressed, as well as backup and disaster recovery.

Additional remote technology challenges include access to the corporate VPN, software configurations, virtual desktop infrastructure and services and performance and bandwidth issues caused by large amounts of network traffic.

"Protecting that data via conventional means such as firewall and end-to-end encryption, takes on a whole new meaning when having to scale-up across an entire company," said Technologent. "When bandwidth and Internet Service Provider (ISP) broadband challenges are also taken into consideration, businesses are ideally positioned to embrace remote workforce challenges and reap the benefits."

Technology is also extremely important for fostering collaboration and teamwork throughout a permanent remote workforce. A comprehensive IT strategy that accounts for remote access, security, communication and collaboration will be the key to success.

"Businesses may have to pivot quickly," said Mike McLaughlin, CIO of Technologent. "A support partner for businesses across all these areas will be vital to developing secure network/application access, along with the technology and tools for collaboration with a permanent remote workforce. That's a tall order -- but with the right planning and support partner, businesses and their workforces can be positioned to grow, expand and profit in a post-COVID-19 world."

Edited by Maurice Nagle


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