Work and flexibility, two words that don't go together for many of us. But with sound policies, flexible attitudes and the right cloud services providing remote access to business documents, the modern workplace can be...well...anywhere you want it.
A recent study by Microsoft Australia has found that almost 40 per cent of Australians believe they think more creatively or innovatively in the shower or just before they go to sleep. In fact Microsoft’s survey found only one in ten employees felt their office was a creative environment. Perhaps most tellingly of all, over 80 per cent would prefer to work outside their office.
When you employ the right tools, allowing staff to work from home doesn’t have to destroy the office but rather simply allows the area for productivity to be expanded. Two of the biggest hurdles are adopting the right technology to do the job and promoting an environment where it is acceptable to work away from the office.
The technology available to help support remote access is plentiful - group calendars, email, task lists and instant messaging are probably already part of your standard set-up. Providing controlled access to documents though has always been the stumbling block. Remote Desktop or a similar thin client experience is okay but clunky, requires a consistently good internet connection and doesn't easily allow you take advantage of technologies like Microsoft Office 365. Alternatively staff copy files onto thumb drives and laptop hard drives resulting in uncontrolled duplicate copies of files, lost documents and the risk of data theft or loss.
Staff want to use the same tools and have the same experience whether they are working at their desk, at a cafe or at home. This makes sense and keeps staff productive without need to grapple with technology issues while they are trying to work.
This is where it's easy for staff to start using their personal file sync and sharing accounts because it's so quick to do. But there are lots of reasons why business owners should consider more robust solutions that address business requirements for security, control and protection of intellectual property.
When staff have remote access the documents they need to work productively from any location, there are benefits for employer and employees alike. Better teamwork, a more productive workforce and happier, more satisfied employees are good for business all round, and your customers will notice.