Updated: Dec 9, 2019
We’ve heard a lot recently about the growing trend for traditionally office-based employees working remotely, thanks to changing attitudes around flexible working.
Historically, having employees based out of the office has presented some logistical issues, but thankfully this no longer needs to be the case. Whether it’s out of choice or by necessity, advances in technology have made remote working easier than ever before.
One of the most useful technologies that any business with remote or field workers should consider is cloud computing. For businesses considering making the switch to cloud computing, here are three of the key benefits for remote workers:
Without cloud computing, remote workers are forced to save any digital files directly to their own laptop or device. These files can then only be transferred to the company’s server when the employee is next in the main building and connected to the network.
Alternatively, they may rely on paper forms and reports while working out in the field. These often very important documents must then be stored safely until they can be returned to the head office. Only here can the information then be manually inputted into the computer system, and the paper documents either filed away or discarded.
In both of these instances, confidential information is rendered vulnerable as a direct result of workers not being able to access the server remotely.
If an employee’s laptop is misplaced or stolen before company files are transferred to the server, they could potentially be accessed by malevolent third parties which would represent a serious data breach. Equally, it is incredibly easy for paper documents to be lost or damaged before they can be filed away.
With cloud computing, security measures can be put in place, such as user-specific passwords and encryption of files.
Additional security measures can be implemented in the event of mobile devices or laptops being lost or stolen, helping to ensure the highest level of security and offering protection against compliance issues.
Cloud computing allows mobile access to corporate data via smartphones and other devices. This is particularly useful for remote workers that don’t just work from home, but are constantly on the move throughout the day, such as drivers, who therefore have limited access to a PC or laptop.
Through the use of a cloud-based mobile data capture app, such as WorkMobile, forms and reports can be completed by remote workers and saved directly to the cloud. The data in the documents can then be accessed just as instantly by other employees as data from any other source.
Mobile solutions can even be connected to cloud-based business intelligence software. This greatly increases the speed with which businesses can access crucial information, helping them to make more informed decisions, faster.
Investing in cloud solutions is a great way to facilitate collaboration between employees, regardless of where they’re based.
Perhaps most obviously, when all documents are saved to the cloud, employees can access, edit and share documents anytime, from anywhere. As a result, they’re able to work on the same document simultaneously, and view new documents in real time. This enables projects to be completed much more quickly, without the need for exchanging multiple versions of files over email.
Additionally, companies that maintain their data on network servers inevitably have inferior archiving protocols. Individuals are able to choose file names and locations that aren’t logical, which could make them difficult for others to find at a later date.
While file management can be improved to some extent, it’s unlikely that anything can be established that’s as sophisticated and powerful as what third-party cloud data providers have already built.
Our research has shown that people are now only spending 46% of the average 43-hour working week in a traditional office, and this figure is only likely to rise in the coming years. Businesses should therefore be investing in technology now that will help to make remote working as smooth and manageable as possible in the future.