What’s your plan for flexible working?

What’s your plan for flexible working?

As the world reopens, it becomes apparent that many businesses are reluctant to revert fully to pre-COVID operations. Flexible working is being widely adopted for the longer term, despite governments encouraging a return to the office. Social distancing has been reduced to 1 metre, infection rates have fallen, and a second wave is yet to present itself; yet working remotely is here to stay.

If you’re currently working out a long-term strategy around flexible working, you’ll want to invest in two key areas: cloud infrastructure, and security measures to protect your organisation’s data and internal network. You’ll also want to ensure you know how to expand your digital setup so that, should unforeseen circumstances force companies back into full remote working, you can react quickly and efficiently. At least 90 per cent of companies today currently use cloud services, so little effort is required to enhance a cloud set-up.

The problem is that many companies don’t know where to start with digital transformation. This is either because they lack the skill set to implement enterprise-level solutions (IT departments still using legacy technology), or they don’t know who to go to for guidance on evolving their setup.

If companies are thinking of sticking to remote working, building a complete cloud-based solution with appropriate security measures is really the only answer. But don’t be fooled into thinking that the infrastructure is more important than the security.

Remote working can often mean you are working via a different server location or IP address, presenting huge potential risks to your personal and company data. The use of firewalls and, even better, cloud access security brokers can stop data being breached while ensuring remote workers operate as securely as those in the office. Solutions like Microsoft 365 provide a full cloud-based productivity suite with integrated, enterprise-grade security features to enable businesses to work confidently in the cloud.

Once your company can execute home working safely and securely, it simplifies the opportunities for collaboration that before seemed like too much hassle. Instead of meeting in office rooms, you can have virtual video calls via cloud-based services like Microsoft Teams.

The hardest part, however, is ensuring your staff aren’t falling behind or reluctant to embrace change. Company culture is a mixed bag; some staff embrace the endless opportunities that cloud-based working can offer, whilst others are set in their ways, highly skilled but unwilling to adapt to new working methods. A tailored cloud solution, mapped around your business, can ease the transition for a lot of your staff and offer seamless migration and user-friendliness.

Cloud solutions can also drastically speed up projects that might otherwise have required more time sacrificed in office meetings. Up to a third of IT projects are currently being delayed, simply because IT departments and their seniors don’t have the time for one another. Using Microsoft Teams can allow employees to collaborate quickly, prioritise tasks and schedule focus time to ensure projects run more seamlessly.

Migrating your business to a complete cloud-based solution will always invite some reluctance from your employees. That said, if you take the right steps to ensure a tailored solution that offers staff clear benefits, you’ll have peace of mind that should another pandemic arise, your staff can easily transition to home working. A hybrid solution of home and office working is the optimum option for many businesses long-term, offering flexibility and choice for employees.

Talk to us to understand how easy a tailored cloud solution is to implement. We can support you in developing a complete remote working solution, eradicating the need for on-premise infrastructure and improving your business’ resilience for the long-term.