Small businesses across North America have faced countless challenges over the last 18 months. Navigating the ups and downs of an unprecedented global pandemic isn’t easy—especially when it’s accompanied by a corresponding philosophical shift in the workplace.
At the beginning of 2020, most of us went to the office every morning and performed our jobs in person. Now, many of us are working at least part of the time remotely—and fully aware of the pros and cons of that arrangement.
Last year, many organizations had to quickly implement a telecommuting model that worked for employees, managers, and IT administrators alike. With plenty of time to reflect on what works and what doesn’t, now is the perfect time to reassess remote work protocols, enhance device management, and review data security.
Of course, productivity is important, too. Juggling too many logins for too many different applications cuts into an employee’s focused work time. If meeting platforms don’t function properly, engagement can plummet. If data doesn’t properly sync between office computers and personal laptops, critical projects can’t be finished.
Cybersecurity is an even bigger concern. Ransomware attacks continue to escalate, striking more industries and negatively impacting businesses of all sizes. Phishing scams and data breaches have also become common as multiple devices present more opportunities for cyber thieves to exploit weak defenses.
Employees need to understand the need for virtual private networks (VPNs) and password-protected Wi-Fi connections. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) might seem annoying, but it can boost security for every single login. Single sign-on (SSO) takes that a step further by centralizing authentication and protecting credentials, giving each member of your team a single digital identity to use across a plethora of portals and apps.
Keeping systems running on a day-to-day basis. A trusted IT provider can help with these critical steps:
- Automated security patches that ensure all systems (in the office and home) are up to date
- Software updates that push out to home devices during off-hours
- Full disk encryption to protect data at rest (in the office and at home) and in transit between two points
- Mobile devices integrated into your company’s overall security umbrella
- Extra layers of perimeter-based security built around your business
- Internet traffic monitoring and access protocols for remote logins
The right tools can help foster cohesion, clarity, and collaboration among your staff, no matter where they’re working. Without the regular interactions of the office, many of us feel more isolated and disconnected from our colleagues. When everyone’s working remotely, it takes extra effort to be clear about team goals, individual outcomes, and project management.
Interpersonal relationships contribute heavily to everyday morale, which makes videoconferencing platforms so important. In addition to face-to-face meetings, everyone on your team can benefit from regular chat conversations, which should come built into most collaboration tools. This can help to recreate the connection you might have with an office friend simply by swiveling around in your chair.
If we spend less time struggling with a screen share or trying to find a file, we get more time to actually perform our jobs. At CMIT Solutions, we’ve spent the last 18 months helping our clients take advantage of the new remote work reality. In fact, that’s been our standard for 25 years: solving short-term problems for businesses of all sizes while focusing on long-term planning and business growth.
No matter the tool or the situation, we know how important it is to increase productivity, boost cybersecurity, and focus on overall efficiency. We can help your business identify the most successful strategies for remote work while also finding ways to save money on costly equipment and on-premises maintenance. Ready to empower your remote staff to work smarter, not harder? CMIT Solutions provides responsive, professional IT support and technology services to ensure an efficient, safe, and reliable IT environment for your business. Contact CMIT Solutions today to find out more.