According to a May 2020 report from the research firm Valoir, productivity while working from home went down. What was the staggering drop they uncovered? 1%.
What does that mean? It means that remote work only has a tiny impact on productivity while still having wide-sweeping benefits for most people. That’s why more than 40% of individuals surveyed want to continue working full time remotely even after things go back to normal.
Here’s something the report doesn’t overly account for—the mass disruption of COVID-19. A study found that before the pandemic, the average person worked an extra 1.4 more days per month compared to colleagues.
Any veteran remote worker will tell you that working from home not only reduces stress from not having to commute or deal with office politics but also eliminates a huge number of daily distractions.
The most important factor in successful remote work is having all the right tools in place. Here are three essential and cost-effective features that will optimize your company for both secure and productive remote work.
1. Equip Your Team With The Right Technology & Software Tools
The internet is the glue that makes remote work possible. The great thing is that nowadays, you can keep the hardware and software you need with minimal investment.
Naturally, all staff must have a well-functioning laptop. It doesn’t have to be a MacBook, but most models in the $500 range will have more than enough power for most tasks.
Likewise, you can take advantage of inexpensive/free tools like Microsoft 365 and Google Drive.
Since remote work relies so much on collaboration, you also need to have the right security tools. Cybercriminals target remote workers all the time because of the valuable corporate data they have access to. Since these workers are outside of the office, it makes them easier targets.
To cut your risk of a cyberattack, use a VPN. It encrypts and anonymizes your IP address, making it much more difficult for hackers to track your activity.
If you’re managing a large staff, you should also consider an enterprise-grade VPN that gives you additional tools like team management and secure remote connections.
2. Embrace Cybersecurity As A Key Principle
Cybersecurity and productivity go hand-in-hand. The more you invest in the right training and tools, the better prepared you’ll be to prevent cyber-attacks and find new opportunities for growth.
Let’s take one of the most essential aspects of cybersecurity—having encrypted backups. Encrypted backups are the best defense against ransomware attacks. At the same time, it also ensures you have access to your files should hardware or software errors occur.
Other forms of cybersecurity are likewise equally beneficial. Whether it’s using a VPN for SEO research or using password managers to share login data, focusing on cybersecurity helps you have your cake and eat it too.
3. Focus on Communication
Communication is essential for all businesses. But it’s even more important for remote workers. Remote workers should take advantage of all the different modes of communication they have at their disposal.
Here are some easy guidelines for how to use them all the best way possible:
- Email: official correspondences, introductions, and initiating projects
- Messaging: asking and answering quick questions or giving brief updates
- Phone calls: whenever a conversation is faster than writing an email
- Video calls: bringing teams together and getting everybody on the same page
- Screenshare: walking through presentations, onboarding, explanation, fixing software errors
Likewise, take advantage of project management apps like Trello and Asana to better plan, execute, and collaborate on everything. It’s much more organized and effective than email.
How to Optimize Your Company for WFH Success
Nobody could have predicted how much COVID-19 would disrupt everything in our lives. However, working from home was nothing new. Worldwide, 56% of all people have a job they can do either part-time or full-time from home.
And there are so many benefits. Whether it’s the commute, the distractions, getting dressed up in business clothes, or anything else. As with anything WFH is a transition and one that most people will embrace. You just have to have the right tools and strategies in place.
It all boils down to building cybersecurity into everything you do. It will not only help you achieve greater productivity but also prevent harmful cyber attacks.
Are you ready to telecommute like a pro? Start integrating these strategies into your daily routine.