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Fix these common and costly remote workforce mistakes to increase productivity of your remote and hybrid office employees

How to fix 5 biggest and costly remote workforce mistakes

The new reality of COVID pandemic-enforced changes is now a major contributor to an increase in the remote workforce. The major changes in business operations are something that companies large and small have in common around the globe.

At the height of the pandemic, an estimated 69% of workers had to change their in-office hours to working from home. Even now when people are returning to their offices, many are still working from home to some extent.  92% of employees still expect to work remotely to some degree

Many businesses and organizations had to adapt to the fact that not everyone is present in the office and had to make decisions about the tools they use to run the operations, which led to changes toward managed IT security, as well. Cloud-based and hybrid workspace solutions gained even more popularity.

Benefits of remote work:

Even though pandemic-driven changes have been troubling many businesses, they brought on additional benefits, including:

  • Overhead and travel cost savings
  • Enhanced work/life balance
  • Improved morale
  • Boosted productivity
  • Flexibility in service offerings

Risks and challenges of remote work:

But, as every with every coin, there is another side to the transition to a digital workplace. It also came with risks and challenges, such as:

  • Team members feeling disconnected
  • Communication challenges
  • Complications with tracking productivity
  • Blurred lines with employees accountability
  • Neglected or poorly implemented security policies
  • Vulnerability of endpoints and networks
  • Increased danger of data breaches

In America, 70% of employees don’t understand cybersecurity.

Taking advantage of digital workspace benefits is easy, but overcoming its challenges takes education, time, and effort. Many organizations fail in taking proper steps to ensure the safety and efficiency of their hybrid workforce, and often face these 5 common remote work failures:

  1. Keeping poor cloud file structure
  2. Lack of proper communication
  3. Use of unauthorized apps
  4. Not securing access points
  5. Using inadequate technology
Need help with the setup or productivity improvement of your hybrid workforce?

Taking the help of a trained IT and cybersecurity experts goes a long way in preventing biggest and costly remote work issues.

1. Organize Your Cloud File Structure

When cloud-accessible workforce environment is not organized or secured properly, it becomes a problem. It can be difficult for your staff to find the data they need, and they may not use the best methods to handle the data in the virtual environment.

According to Igloo State of the Digital Workspace report, over half of remote employees avoided sharing a file  with a team member because they thought it would be too hard to find, or were not able to locate it. This is a serious problem for any business, and it may be getting worse.

Here is what you can do to keep shared cloud storage files organized for better accessibility:

  • Create a consistent structure hierarchy
  • Avoid creating a structure deeper than 2-3 folders
  • Don’t create a separate folder for just a few documents
  • Keep a uniformed file naming convention
  • Reduce file clutter by archiving older files on a regular basis
  • Delete residual copies and unwanted files

2. Keep Remote Employees In the Loop

Many organizations, especially SMBs are still struggling with remote communication challenges. In fact, nearly 60% of remote workers who are used to in-person communication  say they now feel missing out on important information.

No one likes to be kept out of the conversation. When your employees realize they are lost when people have a meeting discussion they may feel disappointed, betrayed, or neglected. Even when it is just a result the deficit of communication options during remote work, and not an intentional exclusion of the communication loop, the individual employee and the team morale may suffer, not to mention the overall efficiency of the team efforts.

Old habits are hard to overcome, that is why business owners and executives must adopt the new virtual communication methods and cultivate the mindset of improving hybrid and remote team inclusive communication.

3. Include Shadow IT Measures in the Cybersecurity Assessment

Shadow IT is the use of IT applications, devices, and services without explicit approval of IT department or Managed Services provider who handles organization’s information technology. Since the pandemic it escalated when people started working remotely. Working from home often means using their personal devices, that come with apps not overseen by IT department at work.

According to Sisco report, 60% of organizations to not take Shadow IT into consideration. When employees use unauthorized cloud apps such as messaging, stream services, and other insecure applications, businesses are exposed to some serous risks, including:

  • Cost increase due to apps use overlap
  • Sensitive and private business data exposure
  • Loss of access to data when the employee leaves or is unavailable
  • Data being leaked from unsecured apps
  • Violations of data privacy compliance

20% of businesses suffered a network breach during the pandemic due to a remote employee.

4. Secure and Monitor Remote Points of Access

Remote employees do not have a uniformed, controlled systems environment. They may not always work from home or another single point of access. Sometimes they connect from public locations, such as a café, an airport, or a hotel conference room, often relying on the 3-rd party Wi-Fi.

Businesses that do not take every step needed to secure their data accessed by remote workforce risk a breach. Public networks are notorious for vulnerability to a “man-in-the-middle” attacks, where data can be accessed by hackers.

We always recommend using a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) for all businesses with remote workers handling sensitive data. VPN should be enabled on all devices used to access your network and cloud services. Doing so allows data to be routed through secure, encrypted servers, keeping it safe from unauthorized use or a breach.

5. Use Efficient Communication Tools

Do you let your employees pick and choose the software for online discussions? Are virtual meetings frustrating your team? As many as 85% of remote workers say that they’ve had trouble connecting or having meetings interrupted by technology.

Communication is key – especially now, when the world is turning to digital workplace. Effective cloud-based tools for work-related video or audio calls, presentations, and chats ensure a smooth and efficient experience.

That is why it is important to evaluate and test communication tools to be used by your in-office and virtual workforce across your organization. Once you have decided on the tools you think would be best, ensure the software settings optimization to facilitate your virtual communication. Don’t forget about appropriate hardware to go with the software. Choose reliable  headsets, VoIP devices, webcams, and so on.

Let’s talk about how our Secure Global Network service allows organizations to have:

  • Inter-Office Connectivity
  • Secure Remote Access
  • Business Continuity
  • Distributed Teams and Shared Offices
  • Comprehensive Security-as-a-Service

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