Making working remotely work : how do you do it?
Isn’t technology wonderful? We can accomplish things that yesterday were thought impossible. While it has brought us an array of new opportunities, we have yet to come up with something that allows us to be in two places at once. But that doesn’t stop us from trying.
The need for a technological solution to this problem is especially evident in the world of work, which has long required us to travel from point A to point B. Nowadays we’re expected to get to point Z via all the letters in between. This is particularly the case in these difficult times, brought on by five other letters: COVID, plus two figures for the year when it was discovered: 19.
Doing business beyond the company’s four walls has become a major trend in how we work, and ensures the continuity of service whatever happens. Since the advent of broadband internet, this practice has become more widespread, and working from home has become a firmly established habit within companies.
Employees in many firms have become accustomed to working remotely now and again where the sector allows, but now it has become the norm, and even mandatory, in times of crisis and isolation periods. And since there’s no other choice than to go digital during times of crisis, making remote working possible for your workers is simply a must.
But it doesn’t stop there. Your employees’ remote working environment needs to be optimized, as an internet connection alone won’t remove all obstacles of being away from the office.
Keeping the professional activity flowing
With nearly everyone having a broadband internet connection at home nowadays, employees can more or less access their company’s network remotely as they would on-premises. Accessing work email from a personal computer can also be done with ease. So, staying in touch with colleagues and ensuring communication between team members is simple. A more difficult obstacle to overcome when working on a project is when multiple internal and external partners are working toward a common objective. There is also the issue of how confidential corporate data is when it is shared using a personal computer, particularly when dealing with sensitive data.
So, remote working does address a range of concerns about the continuity of communications between employees on the same team. But to ensure productivity, you need to go further, making sure collaboration is efficient and information is shared securely. Optimizing remote working involves making as many processes digital as possible.
Go electronic with internal decision-making and validation
Working from home has one notable disadvantage for an employee, in that they cannot sign documents manually, because that requires them to be physically present in the company office. The only alternative is to postpone validating documents until the employee can get into the office. But what if the document is critically important? And in an economy where everything is moving faster and faster, this break in the decision-making process causes delays with a knock-on effect that companies can no longer afford. What’s more, relying on hard copies of documents comes with its risks. A manual signature does not make it easy to validate decisions quickly, and it doesn’t help to make processes secure.
Making the validation process digital, on the other hand, eliminates a company’s exposure to the risks of a physical signature. An electronic signature not only allows processes to be validated without the employee being on the company’s premises, but it also means everyone is working with the same version of the document. It can be relatively easy to forge a manual signature, but the same cannot be said about its electronic counterpart. This is where digital identity comes in – because document validation now requires authentication. An electronic certificate meets this need by assigning a unique component to the signature that securely proves the signatory’s identity. The highest level of certificate requires the authentication key to be issued in person, after verifying the applicant’s identity.
Once equipped with an electronic authentication key and electronic signature software, a remote worker can securely sign documents from home or while traveling, without compromising the company’s security. Working from home no longer puts a brake on the internal and external validation process. And while we might have no choice other than to use electronic solutions during a crisis, they are still a useful tool when we return to normality, if only to maintain confidentiality in communications or reduce paper usage in companies.
No need for collaboration to slow down
Even when none of the team members are in the office, online collaboration is always a possibility. During times of isolation or any other event favoring remote working, online collaboration can still help you to make headway on projects. You can drive your company’s projects forward with to support you. A single place to store and use data, which can also be accessed by external providers if desired by assigning them access or editing rights. Content is accessible from outside the company’s four walls, but it is preserved in accordance with the company’s security policy.
Whether employees work on or off the company’s premises, continuity of projects is guaranteed. An online collaboration solution such as helps maintain performance while meeting the highest IT security requirements.
Maintaining central access to meeting data
Getting down to zero paper usage is becoming a goal for most companies. And if employees have to be contained in their homes, the need to go paperless in processes is clear. Reports must be accessible on a single medium, backed up securely, so that critical data can only be shared with the right people. This makes it easy to get ready for meetings, hold them, and report on them, whether on desktop or tablet, whether in the office or off site.
While we used to rely on paper, email, or other media to keep track of decisions made in meetings, a secure digital platform renders these redundant. No longer do you need to risk jeopardizing the confidentiality of decisions taken in management board meetings. Remote working once again helps to ensure seamless collaboration and decision-making.
Remote working was once associated with less productivity, but mentalities have since evolved, notably thanks to the rise of highly secure online collaboration tools that boost your employees’ productivity.
COVID-19 might well be confining employees to their own homes, but you needn’t run the risk of decreased efficiency. With the right tools under your belt, you can make sure your company data is leveraged efficiently and securely.