- Managed DaaS
- Happy End Users
Despite some major companies announcing an end to remote working programs in 2017, the fact remains that more flexibility and mobility are in high demand from employees. Not only do employees want the ability to work from anywhere, they feel the practice makes them more productive and leads to a better work life balance … and they’re increasingly willing to change jobs for the perk.
It’s no wonder that, overall, remote working is a growing trend – 37% of US workers telecommuted at least part time in 2015, compared to the 43% last year.
This is a workforce shift that companies won’t be able to ignore for long. Between the employee productivity, satisfaction and retention gains associated with allowing remote work, organizations that resist the shift will soon be at a competitive disadvantage.
This leaves organizations of all sizes, across all industries looking into how to feasibly support a remote working program. Planning and execution fall largely into two categories: Remote employee management and technology enablement. Management approaches depend primarily on company need and culture, but IT and technology support is a bit easier to plan and execute on a repeatable level.
IT should plan for:
These pieces are likely in place for in-house instances, but can change dramatically when IT needs to support remote employees and their devices.
Technology Best Practices for Enabling Remote Workers breaks down each of the above categories into best practices and key questions to help organizations properly plan for remote working programs.
Provisioning devices and desktops is a fundamental task for IT, but how it’s achieved can become much more complicated for remote programs. While some employees may still primarily work from an office or be within driving distance to pick up equipment, forward-thinking companies are embracing the hiring potential of not geo-limiting employees. This means teams have to securely support 100% remote desktops and devices.
Example Best Practice: Discuss the desired time requirement for provisioning a new employee. Having a benchmark of how long the task should take will help you measure potential solutions.
As employees spread out, so does your data and intellectual property. Setting up proper user controls and ensuring remote devices are regularly patched and updated may be more difficult, but it’s also never been more important. Security is often cited as a major reason organizations are hesitant to allow remote working, but solutions and best practices are available.
Example Best Practice: Understand the challenges of ensuring security in a BYOD environment.
Troubleshooting can be difficult and time consuming in the best of circumstances, but providing support if you can’t see the desktop and have to rely on issue descriptions from a user that isn’t as technical can drag the issue out further, leading to increased frustration and more lost productivity. Supporting remote employees doesn’t have to be a major undertaking, it just needs a more comprehensive approach with better built-in tools.
Example Best Practice: Don’t rely on end users to be able to adequately explain the issues they’re experiencing. Capabilities like remote sessions and real time monitoring are key to troubleshooting remote devices.
Allowing employees to work remotely is a major business decision and business leaders are going to want to make sure the program is working. This is an opportunity for IT to be the heroes by providing valuable business insights into remote working KPIs like productivity, application usage, resource utilization and areas for improvement (i.e. optimization and cost savings).
Example Best Practice: Regularly revisit the success and challenges of providing tech support to remote workers and address any outstanding issues to make the program more effective.
Implementing a remote working program requires some major changes from IT, but it’s not as impossible as it may seem at first. For more best practices, business considerations and key questions regarding these four planning areas download Technology Best Practices for Enabling Remote Workers.
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