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Remote Working: Access

Happy young businesswoman using computer sitting at office desk

The New Normal…

Working away from the office has always been a contentious issue for employers and employees alike for many years.  Covid-19 has forced many businesses hands into trialling working from home and it is suggested that it has accelerated the movement by a number of years. It has proven that people can be productive outside of the office setting.  So much so, that big tech companies are already advising their staff that they don’t have to return or are offering flexible home working options indefinitely. A post-COVID-19 world is likely to look much different with far more people swapping rush hour traffic jams for a slow meander to their home office in their dressing gown.

Higher productivity and lower overheads make flexible working just as attractive to business owners as it does to employees who can save several valuable hours a week in commuting or work around a busy family life.

Remote working is here to stay – are you ready for it though?

“Access”

The very first consideration with remote working is whether you can get access to the systems and data you need from where ever you are.  Even if you are not planning on extending remote working options for your staff, I am a firm believer that it should still be something you can do.  If Covid-19 has taught us one thing it’s that you never know what is around the corner! So if for no other reason than business continuity preparations, you should be making sure your critical systems can be accessed from anywhere.  This will be vital should another pandemic hit or in the more likely events of fire, flood or simple snow days!

Almost all good modern systems are designed to be accessible from anywhere anyway.  It has been the result of the ‘cloud’ movement that has been slowly happening over the past decade.

One system to look at is Office 365.  Many of you may already be using parts of this, others may not.  Either way, there are so many aspects of it that can help with remote working that it is the first thing you should consider.  Some of the features it offers:

  • Business-grade email – allowing you access to your mailbox from anywhere (the feature most may already be using)
  • SharePoint Cloud Storage – Providing a synchronised and centrally stored cloud storage area
  • Microsoft Teams – Like a business WhatsApp on steroids. This allows you to have quick informal chats, project-based discussions, collaborate on files or video call with customers.
  • OneNote – An electronic, cloud synchronised notebook. If you are the type of folk that write a million notes on paper…update your world to a cloud-based notebook and be able to access your notes from anywhere
  • Microsoft Intune – Historically you would have a server to control the security of your network. Slowly moving away from a physical server, InTune lets you fine-tune the security of your IT systems allowing for pinpoint control of who can access what and from where.
  • Microsoft ToDo – A simple tool for managing all of your tasks as either part of larger projects or just standalone daily/weekly tasks.
  • Many more great tools to explore….
Man is working from home on his sofa, using laptop, during Coronavirus or Covid-19

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