Working remotely: How it can help your business Downtime can make a big difference to all of our businesses. There are many occasions where you or your employees cannot get to the office whether its weather, family or accidents. Problems caused by The Beast from the East and Storm Emma was something unseen by everyone. Many organisations had significant financial loss and operations ground to a halt. This is where working remotely comes into practice. Working remotely Employees working remotely can be found in a number of different industries, however, it is more common in technology. This is due to the nature of most tech jobs—especially jobs for developers and programmers—that require a strong attention to detail and long hours of focus. Working from home reduces the number of distractions these workers face, allowing them to get more done during work hours. Companies benefit from these remote employees by getting projects completed faster with fewer mistakes. How technology can help you With the growing availability of high-speed internet, fibre and 4G, employees do not need to be in the office to work efficiently. Hazardous weather can make working from home essential. Especially from working parents, trying to balance careers with the demands of family life, to millennials with expectations of flexible hours and the dream work/life balance. Companies cannot ignore the ongoing necessity of mobility solutions. Collaboration and Access As long as you have a properly structured and secured network, your business should be able to run efficiently. You will need a cloud strategy for applications and storage. This will help you get more work done when you can’t get to the office. Working offline can help for a while, but eventually, you will need to access certain applications, files and data. As much as you can do offline you need to be connected with your colleagues and customers too. If you have broadband at home, you can get on your corporate network either via a VPN or a hosted desktop environment. Both give you the same tools you need have access to in your office. If you lose power and your broadband disappears with it, you can work off your device’s battery and a 3G Mobile Broadband MiFi device. With hosted desktop solutions, you don’t need to bring your laptop home. If you have a home PC or tablet, you can log in to your virtual desktop and continue from where you left off when last in the office. Communication IP Telephony and Unified Communications mean that calls can be taken and made on your PC or can be redirected to a mobile or home phone. Employees can remotely log in to their profile and continue to operate as if they were actually at the office. A great feature of weatherproofing your communication is to be able to urgently contact all staff and customers. This could be to let them know your premises is closed or other emergency plans. Profitability The barriers to mobile working have disappeared for most companies; the cost of laptops and mobile devices has decreased significantly in recent years, high-speed broadband is more widely available both indoors and outdoors facilitating working on the move. It’s crucial to either provide or make sure employees have all the right tools for remote working. Businesses must make certain that their staff are able to deliver a positive service to their customers while working remotely. There should be no difference in the quality of work, whether employees are at home, in the office or on the move. The flexibility that a ‘work from anywhere, anytime on any device’ ethos allows employees to have an added extra. Due to the popularity, it is now becoming expected in the job description. As much as it increases productivity, efficiency and recruitment, you can risk losing competitiveness. Employees are unlikely to settle for anything less than a digitally enabled and flexible working environment.