Back in the 1980s, mobile working meant having a giant word processor, dot matrix printer, and wired car phone. Compared to what we have available today, that seems more like a nightmare than progress. Today, you may be concerned about how you can effectively manage your employees in a remote environment.
For the past decade or so, more businesses have been moving to mobile workers. This allows for flexibility, creates an always-on (or always-accessible) workforce, and eases national recruiting. Once the recent pandemic hit, much of their day-to-day operations continued without consequence. Those that hadn’t considered mobility were quickly forced into finding a way to send employees remote. Since we don’t know how long the current crisis will continue or what the future may present, the current COVID-19 pandemic is an excellent example of why it’s best to consider creating a virtual office.
If you can work from home or on the go, you’re free from the office and can work wherever, whenever. Have a doctor’s appointment? Keep up with your clients, so you don’t have to take personal time. Did last night’s weather make the roads unsafe? Run your reports from your home office while not putting your life at risk. It’s no secret that employees who have the option to work from anywhere are happier employees who often stay at their company longer.
AN OFFICE IN YOUR POCKET
Here’s an important question: why do you go into work at all? Some people have to be at a location to do a specific task. For example, you won’t find too many jobs as a carpenter working remotely. If a particular job requires that a person is on location, there isn’t much you can change.
However, many of us come into the office every day just to sit at a computer and use commonly available software to do our job. Other than meetings (that can usually be an email) or for workplace gossip at lunch, there’s no reason you have to go to that office to sit at that computer.
If a portion or all of your workforce fits into that category, why bother wasting all that money on a large workspace? Many companies find that even if a few employees have to be in the office, they can still cut down the size and location of facilities significantly. It’s not uncommon to see a company with 100+ employees using an office with less than a dozen offices or workstations.
A REAL SOLUTION
Up to this point, we’ve only talked about this concept of a mobile office in the abstract. What exactly is a mobile/virtual office?
You can log on to any system mobile, desktop, laptop, or otherwise and have the same experience as you would have on your desktop computer. All of the apps are there, in full functionality, all with single sign-on and secure multi-factor authentication.
Besides being as secure as a bank vault, this style of virtual office gives you the ability to work at any location on any device. Just a generation ago, no one could have dreamed of this kind of freedom or flexibility! Start your day off on your desktop, run a quick errand while connecting to your smartphone, sit on the back porch with your laptop, then end your workday lounging on your tablet – all while connected to the “office.” What happens if your device gets lost, damaged, or stolen? Nothing. Your data isn’t stored on the device itself and logging in requires multi-level authentication, which we routinely monitor.
While it’s true that other types of systems have existed in the past that allowed remote access to systems, they were rather clunky, slow, and nonsecure. Luckily, this isn’t the case anymore!
So bring your operation into the 21st century! If you can move some or all of your workforce into virtual offices, doing it while you’re already updating your business IT is a perfect time.