Working from Home - How the Cloud can help your Business
The past few weeks have been yet another whirlwind. Starting from today, there’s another lockdown here in the UK which will leave many people either furloughed or working from home once again. Maybe you never stopped working from home, or perhaps, much like Microsoft, there’s been a change-up in your company and now you’re working from home more often. Whatever the reason for you working from home is, we know what it can be like and that’s why today we’re discussing the important facts and figures about the cloud you should be aware of if your team are working from home.
The first lockdown led to most people working from home. Despite the initial worries that it would decrease productivity and cause issues for business, the opposite has proven true in most cases. Due to ‘workplace mobility’ many employees and employers have found that working from home has increased productivity and for some, job satisfaction too. The statistics speak for themselves.
A survey of 1000 firms from the Institute of Directors showed that 74% of the firms asked said that they planned on maintaining the increase in home working and over half of them planned to decrease the long-term use of the workplace.
Furthermore, it seems that across the board, everyone is on the same page with home working. Other surveys have shown that smaller companies are also looking to make the decreased use of the office a permanent feature as it is proving more and more effective for working as time goes on.
Home-working is here to stay, at least for a while, so with that in mind here’s what we think you should know about secure remote access solutions.
How the cloud can help your business when the team is working from home:
Are your employees using company devices or their own devices when they’re working from home?
If they are using company devices, then you’re all set, just ensure your acceptable use and care and use policies are up to date and fresh in people’s minds. However, if your team are using their own devices when working from home, issues are not certain but they are more likely than with company devices.
Local saving to personal devices can be a nightmare for businesses and it’s tough to control. Chances are it wouldn’t be an issue for your business, but there is always the risk further down the line if an employee left the company with a sour taste, or if someone was subject to a privacy breach on their device. For this reason, as a business owner, you need to ensure that your employees are aware of what they can and cannot do when working from home. Whilst employees saving potentially sensitive data locally may not happen, it is always best practice to be upfront with the rules as a proactive, preemptive step, not as a reactive measure.
This is where Cloud services come in. You should be up to date with all of your policies relating to working from home, but without a smooth and simple to use Cloud solution, your employees may struggle to stick to your guidelines. Cloud computing has a plethora of benefits to businesses large and small, and the upsides go much further than just helping you out when you're working remotely.
Benefits of the Cloud for Business
When first switching over to cloud computing, the initial costs can put many people off as initially it can be expensive; however, once everything is installed and up and running, the cost can be cut massively. The cloud tends to become a worthwhile investment. Over time, operational costs which add up can be practically eliminated with the cloud, and you only have to pay for what you use. In short, despite the initial outlay, the cloud can give you a significant return on investment in time and work out to be extremely cost-effective.
Despite appearing like a security nightmare, using the cloud is one of the most secure things you can do for your business. Using cloud computing means that you’re signing up for full-time security monitoring which is far more effective than relying on your usual in-house IT as they cannot monitor your data 24/7. Plus, as we mentioned previously, internal data theft can be an issue that is then exacerbated by working from home. Storing data offsite and using cloud servers alleviates this risk almost entirely in addition to a myriad of other security issues which may crop up.
Working from home means that collaboration is paramount, and assuming that your business consists of more than just you, it should be a priority. Viewing and sharing information is seamless with the cloud, as is co-working. All of the things that are easy in the office can be taken online and carried out with ease if your cloud service is running smoothly. Some cloud services even have capabilities for remote social spaces so that you can boost morale with a virtual coffee catch up whilst boosting the productivity of your workforce. All of these things are possible without the cloud, but they are far easier with its help.