Using remote desktop technology to transform your business
Posted 29 Sep 2020
This year, businesses have undertaken greater changes than they could have ever imagined. The ‘work from home’ directive meant that almost every business in the country has had to implement remote working if it was feasibly possible.
Technology has been available to allow seamless remote working for years. However, it has been a huge culture shift for many organisations to switch from office-based work to working from home. Ahead of the lockdown, we spent time with all our clients ensuring that they had the right IT systems in place which would facilitate the ability to work from home. Many of our clients have told us they were surprised by how effective remote working has been.
Remote working is more than simply providing staff with a company laptop.
When it comes to working from home, you should think strategically about what you may need to work effectively. In our view, if your work is computer-based, there should be no geographical constraints. You should be able to work in exactly the same way as if you are office-based, regardless of where you are located.
Companies with effective remote desktop services should be able to benefit from easy access to internal files and servers. They should be able to use cloud-based VoIP phone systems which can be answered anywhere. What’s more, thanks to tools such as Microsoft Teams, it’s never been easier to collaborate effectively with co-workers, even when you’re not sat next to one another.
When it comes to remote desktop services, we work closely with our clients to facilitate this. We can even ensure that each employee has access to a secure internet connection. And thanks to Virtual Private Networks (VPN), you can feel confident that your confidential data remains safe and secure.
Ultimately, remote desktop services are about giving your employees a standardised experience whether they are working in the office, hot-desking, or working from home.
2020: the year that business needs changed
This year, we’ve seen a huge change in the ways that businesses function. We believe that these changes may have long-lasting implications for many years to come. The investment into remote desktop services has provided businesses with the technology to adapt and grow with them as their needs change.
Let’s take a look at a few different scenarios.
Remote technology can blend office-based and home working options
At the moment, the UK government is asking us to work from home where possible. There is the potential that over the next few months, businesses may start to have a combination of office and home-based work as firms look to implement social distancing policies to become COVID-secure.
It’s a difficult juggling act for any company to manage. But thanks to remote desktop services, you can access internal files and folders on your smartphone or tablet as easily as if you were using a computer or laptop. You can use video conferencing tools such as Teams to facilitate virtual meetings and you can use VoIP technology to take your work phone number with you wherever you go.
This means that as a business you can offer greater flexibility to your employees whilst appearing consistent to your external stakeholders or customers.
You can scale up or down as business needs change
An often overlooked luxury of remote desktop services is that they offer quick and easy opportunities to scale up or down.
Cloud-based software are based on subscription models. This means that you can be in complete control of your IT budget without being tied into lengthy contracts. Your work may be seasonal, or you may have experienced an unanticipated period of growth. Equally, you may be looking to reduce your staffing levels. Whatever the scenario, remote desktop technology will allow you to add or remove users to your IT systems quickly and easily. This means that you have the flexibility to adapt to your business needs now and in the future.
You may no longer be bound by geographical recruitment
For many years, we’ve been on the cusp of a digital revolution and the coronavirus pandemic has forced employers to look at how they could facilitate change. Research from The Times found that three-quarters of the UK’s biggest businesses are considering a change to flexible working patterns following the success of home working.
Therefore, it stands to reason that this could have an enormous impact on recruitment practices.
If an employer plans to rely on staff working from home, then it can be much easier to open up the talent pool to new candidates. This is because you may not be constrained by geographical boundaries. Of course, this doesn’t mean outsourcing to other countries.
Instead, it means that you could potentially reach high calibre candidates who may have previously discounted applying for a job with you. They may have been discouraged because they didn’t want a lengthy commute. Or they may have been interested but didn’t want to relocate to a new area. Thanks to remote working, you could consider employing staff who may live in nearby cities, or even on the other side of the country.
If we are no longer bound by geography, then there’s potential for huge societal change to take place. For example, wages could increase in areas of the country outside of London. House prices could stabilise. There could even be more opportunities for those living in rural locations, negating the need to move to a large city to have a flourishing career.
Remote working could lead to the end of the traditional 9-5 working day
Another aspect of working that has changed dramatically this year is the belief that workers should be available from 9am-5pm. If your staff are working from home effectively then you could start to consider offering alternative shift patterns.
Over the last few months, many parents have had to juggle work with home schooling. In some circumstances, many employees have had to alter their working hours around the school schedule. This has led employers to realise that they can employ teams who can work at different times without compromising on productivity. After all, if they are not working in a customer-facing environment and the work is being completed ahead of any deadlines, it’s far easier to log on and complete work tasks in peace at a time that suits them.
Thanks to remote desktop services, you can install technology that could track your employees' output and monitor their working behaviour. It means that you can have a guarantee that they are completing their contracted hours and maintaining their productivity, even if they aren’t working during traditional times.
But why is this important? Well, firstly, it can install a much more effective work-life balance for staff. It can help employees to find the time to spend on the things that they love. It may be that they want to be able to walk the dog before they start work. Or perhaps they want to have time to fit in a lunchtime gym session. Companies with flexible working hours see far more productivity and staff loyalty than those who don’t.
Secondly, this could have an enormous impact on women in the workplace. We know that efforts are being made to reduce the gender pay gap. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on women who have been adversely affected. This is because they may be working in lower-paid roles and have had to take on the bulk of the home-schooling challenge.
If employers have invested in the right technology to enable staff to work from home, there is no reason why they can’t incorporate more flexible working patterns. This means that parents could take on new roles and have the opportunity to work at a time that suits them, whilst still being able to juggle the school run and/or any other school closures which may arise over the coming months. It could be a hugely influential way of addressing the gender pay gap and opening up more opportunities for those with family commitments.
As you can see, incorporate remote working capabilities could help you to transform your business far beyond just technological changes. To find out more about our range of remote desktop services, please get in touch.
by Amy Dawson