Cybersecurity has rightfully been an area of concern for many business owners, especially regarding network safety and work from home security. According to a study by IBM, human error is the leading cause of 95 percent of cybersecurity breaches. And with Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, estimating that 70 percent of our workforce will shift to telework by 2025, this leads to even greater concern for employers following suit.
So, what can companies do to protect their business against cyberattacks, even with a remote workforce? In this blog, we’ll cover just how you can move forward to secure your company and ensure your work from home security is up to par to battle against an array of cyberthreats.
The Concerns Surrounding Remote Data Security
Remote workforces create a lack of visibility, control and awareness for employers regarding the daily digital practice of their workforce. This leaves not only the employees open to potentially malicious activity, but the employer and their clients as well. And hackers are fully aware of this! More and more, we see businesses falling prey to a number of business privacy and data breaches, including:
- Phishing Scams
- Password Attacks
- Session Hijacking
- Business Email Compromise (BEC)
- And More
Every cyberthreat has the potential to cause long-term damage to your reputation and profitability. So, with risk looming around every digital corner, what can businesses do to halt hackers in their tracks?
#1 – Educate Your Team
The adage, knowledge is power, is a cliché for a reason. Educating your remote workforce on what role they play in protecting the company as a whole is vital to ensure costly mistakes are avoided. Train your team regarding what recent cyberthreats are floating around and clearly define protocols they should implement should data breaches occur.
An additional measure you can take is to provide employees with password policies that require strong, unique passwords and mandatory updates. This ensures that business privacy is never sacrificed over a simple mistake.
Another valuable policy to implement and share with your employees is a data loss prevention (DLP) plan. DLP strategies aid employees in spotting potential risks, active threats and ensures vital information is consistently backed up should the need to retrieve said information ever arise. These easy steps could save your business’s reputation, companywide data, client information and profitability down the road.
#2 – Equip Your Team
Even though providing your team with equipment may seem costly, breaches into your company’s data can be catastrophic. When introducing personal devices to your network, you create easier access points for hackers to retrieve your data. One fix to this is to implement virtual private networks (VPN) and network security measures. These act as gateways to extend private networks across public ones and secure access from any device to your network. As a bonus, you can also better isolate data breaches from your private network.
Having cloud security is another way to ensure data being transferred between remote employees stays protected against cyberthreats. In general, a great rule of thumb to improve work from home security is to implement tools and software that can be regularly updated internally across any number of remote devices. Cloud-based software provides access to those who need it, and security against those who don’t.
#3 – Expand Your Team
Because cybersecurity technology is always evolving to stay ahead of sophisticated cyberthreats, technology updates and clever hackers, it’s best practice to hire an individual or team of IT experts to assess internal and external threats, conduct and evaluate cybersecurity reports, update security hardware and software and ensure downtime remains minimal. However, IT support and cybersecurity roles are notoriously difficult to fill and oftentimes, the hiring process can drag out while you hunt for qualified candidates.
By hiring an external IT support team to manage your services, you’ll get all the benefits of a full-stack team of IT experts at a fraction of the cost of an internal hire. We provide benefits like ongoing support, IT consulting for in-office and work from home security tools and data loss prevention techniques. To learn more about how our expertise can benefit your business, contact us today!
As we have learned, telework and remote work collaboration offer undeniable perks to businesses. Although reduced overhead and improved worker satisfaction are great advantages for any company, telework also introduces a lot of challenges. Most remote workers feel isolated. They can’t connect with their team as easily as they would like. They also experience burnout.
The good news is that there are ways you can address these challenges and keep your team connected. With the right remote collaboration tools, your team can work smarter, faster and improve communication. What technology do you need? Let’s discuss five tools that improve collaboration so your remote workforce can thrive.
1) Personalize the Meeting Space with Live Video Chat Technology
We all know about the tremendous rise in popularity of video chat software. In April 2020, Zoom saw over a 60 percent increase in their consumers’ spending. The reason why is simple. Zoom, Slack and Google Hangouts offer face-to-face interactions that increase engagement. Remote workers initiate team collaboration instant meetings, screen-share important resources, record valuable information for future use and stay informed in chat rooms.
With video conferencing software, teams can host teleconference meetings quickly and effectively. They can invite unlimited participants. People can stream from pretty much any type of device. This allows employees to foster teamwork and collaboration. Whether you’re hosting a companywide meeting, one-on-ones, training course, client meeting, or virtual event, live video chat technology facilitates a creative work environment that brings teams closer together from anywhere.
2) Connect Through Communication Solutions
Internal emails are no longer a thing. All in-house messaging can now be performed with communication tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack. Remote workers can have private conversation threads, organize group chats or align projects into specific group channels. They can also take advantage of integrated file sharing, easy search features and video conferencing capabilities that make working on projects easier.
Although chat rooms are often seen as a workplace distraction, this is a misperception. Team communication tools allow teams to assemble in one place, organize their workflows and get across the information they need quickly and clearly. Team communication solutions speed up work on projects and make certain everyone is on the same page.
3) Prioritize Tasks with Workflow Management Tools
To get your team working together from anywhere, you need a workflow management tool that can help you coordinate projects, prioritize tasks and streamline operations. With a project management tool like Jira, Trello, Basecamp, Monday or Wrike, you have access to in-depth planning features, project tracking applications and a clear visual presentation of task flows. There are also tools to assess employee productivity, get status updates on projects and more.
Remote collaboration and workflow tools help your employees set priorities, meet deadlines and share resources. These applications also provide managers with transparency around productivity and the statuses of projects. With the right workflow management tools, your remote team can enjoy their flexible work schedule and still have the guidance they need for assignments.
4) Use Microsoft 365 for Complete Team Collaboration
For complete collaboration solutions, Microsoft 365 checks off all the boxes, especially for remote work. With a multi-purpose application, remote workforces can use the same applications they have used their entire career on a cloud-based platform. They can work on projects together, share worksheets instantly, reduce overlap, miscommunication and other issues that impact productivity.
Microsoft 365 allows teams to work smarter and faster in a shared workspace. Companies can coordinate everything they need, including internal and client-facing meetings with shared calendars. Teams can also collaborate seamlessly with access to team chat messaging sessions, video conferencing meetings and shared worksheets.
Download Our eBook for More Tips
With the right people, processes and technology, you can collaborate at your best and make remote work easier. If you are interested in learning more work from home collaboration tips, download our Ultimate Guide to Empower Your Remote Workforce.
According to a Harvard Business Review study, 71 percent of the managers surveyed believe that employee engagement is one of the most critical factors in overall organizational success. Considering that most organizations shifted to remote work in 2020, it’s fair to say that every organization could use more work-from-home motivation.
In today’s fast-paced environment, it can be challenging for businesses to keep their team focused and connected. But suppose you can find creative ways to increase your remote team’s engagement. In that case, you will see increased productivity, improved work quality and a higher retention rate of top talent. If you are interested in boosting remote workforce engagement, review these three creative ways to motivate your remote team. For more ways to empower your remote workforce, download our Ultimate Guide.
1) Encourage Face-to-Face Interactions
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we can have face-to-face interactions from anywhere. Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack can boost engagement and help create a workplace culture that everyone loves. Daily meetings on video are now part of the new normal. There are several other ways that video conferencing technology can increase workforce engagement, including:
-Send Quick Video Messages: Every interaction doesn’t have to be live. Break up the monotony of the video call by sending remote employees prerecorded video messages. Keep them up to date on projects, offer training tips or thank them for their hard work.
-Hold One-on-One Meetings: The perception is that remote workers want to be left alone. The reality is that most remote workers wish to have personalized attention. Hold bi-weekly one-on-one meetings with each member of your team and listen to what they have to say.
-Host Virtual Events: Successful companies have shown an incredible amount of creativity to boost engagement through fun virtual events. Whether it’s a virtual lunch-and-learn, happy hour, trivia game or holiday party, help your team facilitate ways to interact with one another outside of work.
2) Keep Them Connected from Anywhere
To fight off feelings of isolation, remote teams want to connect with their colleagues. Closer communication can also lead to a happier, more productive workforce, so it’s a win-win for employers and remote teams alike to stay connected. With Microsoft 365, remote teams have access to communication tools like Microsoft Teams. This cloud-based platform keeps them engaged in a centralized location for all their communication needs. They can message each other, organize group chats, schedule video calls and share documents in real time.
Team communication tools improve your project workflow, and they can also help team members build relationships. Employees can chat through messenger, celebrate special events in group channels and hold one-on-one video meetings all in one convenient application. The latest technology keeps teams connected and collaborating at their best — and it also increases worker satisfaction.
3) Show Them You Appreciate Their Hard Work
High performers expect to be recognized, which can be a little more challenging when your team is working from home. Fortunately, several technology tools can help you reward your team how you see fit. Sending virtual gifts through email to your team never goes out of style, but if you want to increase company-wide visibility, give praise through a cloud-based HR tool like Bamboo HR or Zenefits. Another option is to invest in an online rewards program like Bonusly to gift your hard-working employees some additional perks. Regardless of how you reward your team, the goal is to show appreciation, improve your company culture and motivate your team.
Reach Out to a Technology Partner You Can Trust
When you drive work-from-home engagement and properly motivate your remote workforce, you can improve employee satisfaction, increase productivity, reduce overhead and reach your business goals. We hope this blog has helped you learn a few creative ways to motivate your team with the newest technologies. If you are interested in leveraging technology to improve the way your remote team works together, download our Ultimate Guide to Empower Your Remote Workforce to learn more.
2020 has been far more educational than most organizations realize. This past year’s events have set the stage for how all business will be conducted moving forward. The strongest and most dynamic companies adapted their communications and collaboration technologies to work efficiently from any location. This change enabled them to have the foundation necessary to compete. Will you be among them?
The road ahead still has blind corners, but making the right changes now will prepare you for any twists and turns in the professional world moving forward. Discover how your MSP can help you take the lessons learned in 2020 and adapt them for future success.
The Latest Tech is Essential
There’s a good chance that some or all your staff switched to remote work at some point in 2020. This was a headache for many businesses because of the numerous unknowns. Business leaders found themselves asking:
- What is the best video chat and phone application?
- How will my staff collaborate on projects?
- Is there a way to protect my data during remote access?
While it may have been a hectic few months, the businesses who found the answers to these questions got back to work before the rest. With a reliable VoIP solution, your team will be able to video chat and call internally and externally from wherever an internet connection exists. Additionally, a cloud file-sharing software like Microsoft’s SharePoint can provide secure and efficient storage. With a robust suite of cybersecurity software, your data will remain safe no matter where it’s accessed. When you have the tools necessary to deal with the unexpected, you can compete more easily.
Fewer Headaches, More Success
Downtime is the enemy of any business. There are a lot of incidents that you expect and plan for by investing in technology. According to The Business Journals, the top three causes of downtime are:
- Cybersecurity threats
- Power or Internet outages
- Hardware failure
This doesn’t consider the likelihood of natural disasters or workspace disasters, like a tornado or building fire, respectively. When your organization is prepared for anything, you stand a much better chance of decreasing downtime and getting your team back to work. No matter if you’re facing a flood, the next pandemic or you simply want to open up your remote staff options, you’ll be free to plan your next steps.
Your MSP Can Make It Happen
Investing in the latest tech to maintain communications and mitigate downtime is a must, but you still have a business to run. Are you prepared to ensure your investment is set up correctly and maintained so your staff could communicate and collaborate at all times? With Communications as a Service (CaaS), you don’t have to worry about it.
CaaS allows you to hand off the planning, deployment and maintenance of your communications concerns from the very start so that you can stay focused on your daily tasks. When you partner with a managed services provider, this becomes your reality. They take the time to understand your current needs and future goals to ensure you have the communications services you need.
We Can Get You There
With the right technology in place, you and your team won’t waste valuable time troubleshooting communications tech. As your technology provider, we want you to know how to best use your IT. This way, you can unite your entire staff with communications and collaboration technology that fully integrates with your existing systems. Allow our expert staff to prepare your business for what comes next with the best communications and collaboration technology available.
Get the conversation started when you meet with us. Contact us today!
“Communication is key” may read as cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Whether you’re aiming to grow a business relationship or strengthen an internal team’s ability to collaborate, clear and concise communication will always unlock success.
Whether your employees are returning to the office, continuing their remote work or a hybrid of the two, technologies that increase efficiency and improve internal and external communication are vital to what your organization can accomplish. With the right technologies supporting your organization’s communication and collaboration efforts, you can better position yourself to compete in your channel.
How the World Works
No matter your industry, the working world has changed. Many businesses still aren’t sure if their entire staff will return to the office by the first quarter of 2021. Either way, you need solutions in place that will increase productivity and make your work easier. The right communication and collaboration technologies can aid:
- File Sharing
- Data Storage/Backup
No matter if your staff is separated by feet or miles, before next year begins, your need for dependable and efficient communication technologies remains quite real. With the right solutions in place, you can adequately take on the above-mentioned tasks and boost productivity.
Great Tech Makes It Happen
The easier it is for your team to share ideas, data and documents, the easier it will be for them to complete their tasks with greater quality at higher speeds. Most organizations have some form of internal office instant messaging system and use a video conferencing service. However, if these systems aren’t operating as a unified solution, you and your team are wasting time and money.
With a centralized system like Microsoft Office, you can work with greater efficiency. Microsoft Office is much more than spreadsheets and a word processor. It allows you to securely store and share documents internally, and with clients via SharePoint. Moreover, the Teams application enables you to communicate via instant messaging, phone, and video with greater reliability than the independent competitors.
When you connect everyone in a unified data system, you will reach new levels of success beyond your initial expectations.
In-Service of Your Success
While these solutions sound great on paper, migrating your entire business and its data over to the Microsoft Office suite is a challenging hurdle to clear. The most straightforward solve for most companies is to invest in Communications as a Service (CaaS). This service places the burden of unifying your phone, video conferencing, messaging and data collaboration on the shoulders of a technology partner.
They will work with your team and internal technology professional to move you to the solution you want with little to no downtime. Run your company on the best technology available without stopping its progress when you allow a team of professionals to provide CaaS.
How We Can Help
Without the right technology in place, you and your team could be wasting valuable time on troubleshooting inefficient programs that don’t communicate with each other. With the right technology provider, you can unite your entire staff with collaboration software that is fully integrated. Allow our expert staff to prime your business for 2021 by bolstering your communication and collaboration needs.
Get more work done from anywhere when you meet with us.
Before the arrival of COVID-19, less than five percent of the U.S. population was working remotely full-time. A Gallup poll conducted in early April 2020 determined that over 60 percent of employed Americans worked from home during the crisis. This year, remote work became a necessity. With social distancing guidelines, government restrictions and serious concerns over a health crisis, businesses worldwide have had to adapt to the times, including allowing all non-essential employees to work from home.
Naturally, transitioning your workplace to remote capabilities at the drop of a mask has presented its challenges. Cybersecurity concerns, an isolated workforce and communication issues are a few of the most pressing issues facing businesses with teams suddenly removed from their everyday work environments. Fortunately, leveraging technology is one solution that can help mitigate many of these issues. With the right people, processes and technologies in place, your entire team can work together from anywhere in a secure, connected, flexible workspace.
Collaboration and Technology
In its most fundamental sense, collaboration is the process of motivating employees to work together toward a shared purpose to reach a collective goal. With the right resources in place and the right technology experts in your corner, you can enable more employee interaction, spark collaboration and increase productivity. Several innovative technologies are available to businesses of all sizes that can maximize workplace collaboration — even during a pandemic.
Let’s discuss four ways your business can thrive in 2020 and beyond.
1) Trust in the Cloud: According to Cisco, cloud data centers will process 94 percent of workloads in 2021. Cloud computing technology gives businesses direct access to the information they need. With workers in the office and at home, file storage applications are secure and allow employees to instantly access and share information. With more flexibility and easy remote access, your team’s productivity will go through the roof.
2) Upgrade Your Software: Cloud technologies do more than store valuable information. When you integrate the cloud with Microsoft Office 365, employees work smarter, more efficiently and improve communication. Teams have access to all their familiar applications. They can work on projects simultaneously, share worksheets in real time, and reduce overlap, miscommunication and other issues that bog down productivity levels.
3) Use Team Collaboration Tools: Microsoft Teams and Slack are two forms of team communication platforms that provide an entire team with a secure, centralized place to communicate and streamline their workflows. Employees can instant message, share files, set up virtual conference calls and collaborate on projects from anywhere. Filtering out the fluff of a traditional email system saves the workforce time and increases productivity.
4) Engage Your Team With Video: Video conferencing software like Zoom and Skype can help your team stay connected and accelerate the decision-making process compared with an email or phone call. Video conferencing tools enhance meetings with recording features, chat messaging, and screen-sharing options for visual engagement. Virtual conference rooms can be an engaging way to assemble your team during a time when they may feel isolated.
The Future of Collaboration
Although many businesses are moving to the above technologies out of necessity, they can become a constant and reliable component of any business model moving forward. Considering that flexible working has become the “new normal,” companies that continue to invest in collaborative tools that increase productivity will work seamlessly in the present day and thrive in the future. We can help your business develop a reliable and affordable IT technology infrastructure that can increase team collaboration and productivity.
Get set up for success with the best collaborative tools. Contact us today.