Managing Remote Employees: An IT Services Perspective

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Pros and Cons of Working From Home and How Teams Can Help

Employees want more opportunities to work from home. According to Global Workplace Analytics, they predict that 25-30% of the workforce will be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021. Not only can working from home boost productivity, but it can also help concentration. However, managing the challenges of working from home can come with a cost, inefficacies, and unavailability.

Many small businesses pay for or use multiple collaboration tools from different vendors, but few of these tools are designed to work together. That leaves you with inefficient resources and can require costly IT support. Microsoft Teams helps small businesses keep costs under control and offers an array of features that can help solve some of the common issues that arise, like effective communication, when you don’t have the capability of going into the office.

Here are some of the pros and cons of working from home and how Teams can make your workers more effective now and into the future.

Pro: There are fewer interruptions from coworkers and unsolicited phone calls.

Con: You can’t pop into someone’s office to ask a quick question or brainstorm.

How Microsoft Teams Can Help:

  • Chat
  • Auto Calls
  • Whiteboard

With Microsoft Teams, you can instantly communicate one-on-one or as a group with your coworkers, boss, and even clients. As long as the person you’re trying to reach is at their computer, you can send them a quick message and get a reply right away. If you’re missing face to face collaboration, Teams offers Whiteboard which allows you to collaborate with select people or as a team. In this feature, you can draw, sketch, and write on a shared digital canvas. You’ll be able to keep up with the water cooler talk, share ideas, and stay connected with your coworkers from the comfort of your home.

Pro: You have more independence to go about your day in a way that suits your needs.

Con: When face-to-face interaction is required, not everyone is present.

How Microsoft Teams Can Help:

  • Video Chatting and Screen Share

Video chatting has gotten a lot easier and more advanced, thanks to Microsoft Teams. You can host everything from a one-on-one conversation to a company-wide meeting or live event on this video platform. Not only will your employees be able to see each other and chat, but you can also share your screen during presentations so that even those who are remote can view your slides. Additionally, you can record the meeting. Recording the session allows you to look back at comments or slides you may have missed the first time.

Pro: You’re able to get your work done and collaborate with teammates on larger projects.

Con: If you’re not in constant communication with your coworkers, it can be challenging to know how busy they are or the status of a particular project.

How Microsoft Teams Can Help:

  • Participant Guest access
  • More than 250 Internet apps and services
  • Office 365 Integration Apps

Not only can you collaborate internally through Teams, but you have access to external sharing as well. You’re able to grant external users guest access to your Team, where they can access your resources, share files, and join a group chat with other team members. Plus, you can integrate Teams with Office apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. All of your files will be in one place, so you stay in your workflow and seamlessly collaborate with your coworkers.

Computer Security

Aside from missing daily office interactions, your computer may be more at risk of a virus or cyberattack when you’re working from home.

Pro: As long as you have a strong WiFi signal, you can work from anywhere in the world.

Con: Your privacy and security can become compromised if you’re using an open network, or your antivirus software is outdated.

Tools That Help:

With ransomware, botnets, and phishing scams at an all-time high, remote workers need to take extra precautions to ensure they’re protected from a cyberattack. You need to make sure that all the security features on your computer are enabled and up to date. It’s also best to use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication so that you’re aware if someone is trying to hack into your account. Microsoft Teams offers enterprise-level security, compliance, and manageability. Work with your IT provider to ensure that you’re taking all the necessary steps to protect yourself and your company.

The Future of Working Remotely

If your company is leaning towards offering employees more opportunities to work remotely, you need to ensure that your team is connected and protected. A solid security plan combined with company-wide use of Microsoft Teams will enable you to run your business as smoothly as possible while working from home now and in the future.

At ConnectOn, our private cloud services can also enhance how your company works remotely. With our cloud hosting, you don’t need to constantly manage your servers. We handle the uptime and upkeep of the infrastructure and manage the backups, so you don’t have to. You can also host certain applications in the cloud, like Hosted Email and SharePoint, which simplifies your network and reduces the total cost of ownership. We can also use our Microsoft Cloud Services to help you decide what you want from the cloud, whether it’s a website, email system, data storage, or other business application.

If you’re ready to learn how the modern workplace can help you control expenses in your business, contact a ConnectOn expert to discuss how we can help your business reduce costs through Microsoft Teams.