If members of your team occasionally work from home or out of the office, they need to be equipped with the proper remote IT solutions.

The modern office is flexible and with more and more businesses allowing remote working or working from home, companies need to be aware of the issues that can arise. Putting in place policies and implementing the right tools will help your team to work securely and efficiently. Here are some of the most effective ways to ensure that remote working within your business is as effective as possible.

Hard Drive Encryption

With employees working from home or remotely, there is an increased risk of loss or theft of devices or laptops. The cost of the hardware is one thing, but the loss of data is potentially devastating to businesses of all sizes. Take precautions by encrypting your company laptop hard drives and any important files which are being used on employee devices. If users are using personal devices, then encryption should be enforced in a company IT policy. Windows 10 comes with a built in encryption program call Bitlocker which is fairly straightforward to set up.

Office 365

We have previously discussed the benefits of Office 365 at length, looking at how the integrated subscription service provides all kinds of productivity tools for businesses. In terms of remote working however, there are some useful features specifically designed to make distance working quicker and easier. Team Sites allows multiple people to collaborate on documents and folders. You can view time logs, see who has made changes and edit permissions without being in the same location. Office 365 also comes with email (which has its obvious uses), but there are other communication tools like Skype (which has replaced Lync) that make employee communication easier.

Set up a VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a tunnel that allows access to internal files from a remote location as though you were in the office. Users log into their account and can then access a company network from anywhere with internet access. Modern VPN tunnels are heavily encrypted so you don’t need to worry about anybody snooping on your data.

IP Phones

If a company has an internal phone system then you may be able to make and receive calls as if you were in the office. This is done by setting up a handset (at home or at a hot desk for example) using a VPN or internet routing. Calls to your business number can then be taken outside of the office and can be transferred to other members of staff, who may also be working from remote locations.

Remote Desktop Services

These type of services allow users to take control of a remote computer or virtual machine over a network connection. Windows comes with Remote Desktop already installed, however there are other services available such as LogMeIn. Some programs are too intensive to use over a VPN, but Remote Desktop Services allow you to connect onto your work machine and run the program from there.

Remote Data Backup

Remote backup services takes any data that you have stored on your device and backs it up onto a secure location each night (or at a convenient time). Why are backups useful? We go through it in detail here, but as mentioned, the increased risk of theft or accidental damage leaves your data vulnerable. If your employees have remote data backup enabled, even if the hardware is stolen, their files will be available in the cloud.

BirchenallHowden are able to provide and advise on all of the remote IT solutions listed above. If you would like more information on how to implement them in your business, please get in touch.