Let’s have a “Real Talk”. The Coronavirus (Covid-19) has impacted us in ways we never thought imaginable. Our communities, our economy, our ability to travel and how we’re able to work. Coronavirus has introduced mass work from home, whereas before we maybe had a handful of employees working a handful of days remotely. Do you think your company is able to maintain and withstand an ongoing Work from Home model and still maintain your company’s confidentiality, integrity and security of your data? Business managers are currently utilizing a makeshift, short-term approach for working remotely that lacks safety and security. Employees have decreased their productivity with a lack of resources to work, Managers and Directors lack insights into their employees’ day to day work-related activities. Teams are hesitant to move forward with current solutions due to increased security concerns. Planning for the future requires a forward-thinking plan!

Woman Writing on Her Notebook

Do you have a Continuity Plan in place already, maybe something for a Disaster Recovery or a full outage? Do you recall the last time your company reviewed and updated this plan? Does it still hold up to today’s Working Day? If not, it may be time to sit down and redesign your Disaster Recovery for our modern-day issues such as remote work, data redundancy, and data recovery.

What would happen if you had a set of employees who work with critical company systems and they were unable to perform their daily functions due to not being able to work at the office, or even remotely since they can’t reach your companies Server Drives? Do you have a plan in place to continue your company’s day to day tasks that can be accomplished from anywhere?

At this point in time, we’re all asking ourselves the same questions; Do we wait for the virus to settle and things to “return to normal” or do we act now? Let me ask you this, can things return to what was formerly “normal” or do you think it’s time to expand what you company, and your employees are capable of?
The thing is, there is not a quick fix that can cover all types of companies with a simple new work model. It’s a lot more complicated than that, since each company has so many variables such as how many employees they have, do they have field operations, satellite offices, security protocols. One thing we know for sure is during this time the last thing we want to do is make compliance more difficult, or your employees’ jobs even harder to accomplish during this trying time.

With that all being said a good solution is remote access for your employees if you haven’t done such already. It’s one thing to send your employees home with a work issued laptop where they can perform most of their daily tasks but you also risk them not having access to files, programs, shared drives, etc. from their home network. We here at CloudColorado have rolled out a few different models of Work from Home for our clients, the two biggest being Cloud Desktops (Virtual Hosted Desktops), as well as Remote Desktop Connection (RDP software) so that our users can have the same experience from home as they do at the office.
Let’s delve into Cloud Desktops: the benefit of these is that your user can use ANY device (yes, this includes their home computers, tablets, and even smart phones) to access their virtual cloud desktop. This means that they can access any/all applications, data, shares, and printers from any computer anywhere they are. They inherit the same security and permissions that they would have in the office domain. It’s great for companies who find themselves that need to scale depending on projects or seasons but it also gives your employees a fantastic opportunity to have consistency when at the office or at home without having to worry about software updates or missing critical data. By rolling out Virtual Cloud Desktops you no longer need to worry about full hard drives, upgrades, updates, maintenance. That is all handled for you on the back end and we here at Cloud Colorado would be more than happy to set up a quick demonstration or even spin up a Cloud Desktop of your own to try out!

If spinning up a new cloud environment seems a bit daunting at this time with everything going on, we also recommend providing to your users means to remotely access their work computer from home. We offer solutions which allow users to securely sign into their portal and access the computer sitting at their work desk from the safety and comfort of home. This enables your employee to never be without their daily work, programs, shares, and office printers. They simply access it all from home so the next time they’re in the office they pick up right where they left off the day previously as if they’ve been there the whole time.

The most beneficial part of both of these solutions is SECURITY. You are not risking your company’s data from going missing by issuing a laptop for your user to take home and potentially misplace. Your data remains safe on your servers, whether those be Cloud Servers or Physical Servers at your office. You can also save time and money by having your employees work from their personal systems.

Call CloudColorado today! We’ll help you get started!

employees work remotely

Why is letting employees work remotely is a good practice to adopt? If you’re reading this, you’re probably a business owner/manager and are torn between letting employees work from home and requiring that they be in the office. While all businesses and situations are different, we’re going to give you all the information you need about working remotely to make the best decision for your employees and company.

Less Distractions

Working in an office with multiple people is often distracting. Someone sneezes or opens a noisy bag of chips and, all of a sudden, you’ve lost your train of thought. When working remotely, employees have full control over their environment, and the freedom to focus how he/she knows they can best. This increases productivity and ultimately ROI.

Increased Employee Happiness

Employees who work fully or partially remotely have reported increased happiness with both their company and the work they’re doing. There is a lot to be said from this. Why increased happiness? They spend less time doing the not-so-fun things that come with working in an office, like commuting and dealing with annoying coworkers, and more time doing the work they actually enjoy. Not to mention, no one likes to feel micro managed with their boss breathing down their neck and looking over their shoulder all the time. Working remotely means working in the style you know you are happiest with.

Less Time Off

Employees who work from home have been shown to take less time off of work for vacations and sick days. It’s much easier to work from home when you are feeling a bit under the weather instead of driving into an office and trying not to cough all over your coworkers. Not to mention, the risk of spreading office sicknesses is practically eliminated. One of the main reasons employees take time off is because they need a “break” from their work/workplace. When working from home, people don’t get exhausted from work as easily and will therefore need less time to “recover” with vacation time.

Working from home also means no “snow days.” If you are expecting weather, have employees either plan to work from home or prepare to be able to if need be. If you live in a location with harsh winters, setting employees up to work from home on snow days can make a big impact on productivity.

Better Talent

Have you ever run into the dilemma of searching for candidate resumes online and come across one that perfect for your open position, only to find out that they live across the country? When you introduce the ability to work remotely, you open the door to talent outside of your local area and have a wider selection to choose from. Don’t limit yourself to just local candidates.

There is Still Flexibility

When it comes to letting your employees work remotely, you don’t have to go all in right away. If you’re still unsure about the idea, start by letting them work from home one day a week and see how it goes. Plenty of companies offer partial remote work instead of fully remote positions and see the same benefits as stated above. It is completely dependent on your industry, business, and employees. Find what feels right for you.

It’s Easier Than Ever

Now that we know the benefits of letting employees work remotely, how can you make it possible? Cloud Colorado offers remote desktop services so your employees can work anywhere, from any device, at any time. No matter what device they log in on, their entire desktop will be waiting for them as though they were sitting in the office. With all the above benefits and now the means to facilitate the work, why not give it a go?

Set Up Employees to Work Remotely

With the help of technology and changing workplace culture, the flexibility to work from home has almost become expected in most modern office jobs. Research shows it that is beneficial for both employers and employees alike in terms of costs and productivity. For businesses that have not considered work from home before though, figuring out how to enable employees to do this can be a daunting task. How will employees take work calls? How can they access work files from home? Should I let them work from home whenever they want or on an established schedule? Let us outline below the answers to some of these questions to get you started setting up employees to work remotely.

Establish Communication Methods

At first thought, communication with remote workers might seem like a deal breaker. But when you really think out your main veins of communication, most of them wouldn’t be changed by an employee working from home. How often do you email, call, or send a message on something like Slack versus actually speaking with someone in person? In most companies, the only real face-to-face business communications happen in meetings.

By setting up a forward on office phones to either a home phone or cell phone, the regular methods of communication will go largely unchanged by remote work. Employees can still be in the office for meetings, but for day-to-day communications, they will easily be able to keep in touch from home over the internet.

Accessing Work Files Remotely

Gone are the days of bringing home a briefcase full of files to review over dinner. With modern working from home, your office computer’s files can easily be accessed from different locations and even different devices. With services like remote desktop and cloud computing, projects started in the office can be seamlessly picked back up from home.

Remote desktop services allow for your desktop to be accessed from any device through the internet. All settings, file locations, and data are stored in your cloud provider’s servers, not on your physical computer at work, so there is no difference in the experience of logging in at home. Getting set up with a cloud provider is an affordable and easy transition, so it is a popular choice for employers wanting to allow remote work.

Decide on a Schedule

If you are new to allowing employees to work remotely, it is a good idea to set expectations of what sort of schedule you expect workers to keep. Would you prefer those at home keep their same hours as in the office, or are you okay with them keeping any schedule as long as they get their work done? Avoid misunderstandings when you try to call an employee during a work day and get their voicemail. By agreeing on their work from home schedule at the get go, everyone is on the same page.

In addition to their daily schedule while at home, decide if you want to set a limit of how many days can be worked from home or if you’d like to have set days each week that certain employees will be at home. The most popular work from home schedule is to have an established 1-2 days a week that certain employees can work from home. Then, set at least 1-2 days a week that everyone will be in the office for meetings and touching base.

Set Up Employees to Work Remotely

Giving your staff the flexibility and technology to work remotely is a win-win for both employer and employee. Get started by establishing communication methods, setting up cloud computing, and agreeing on a schedule. Soon it will not feel odd at all to work on collaborative projects with each team member in a different location!

Benefits of Letting Employees Work from Home

Have you considered letting your employees work from home, but aren’t sure what’s in it for you? The reason working from home has become such a huge trend is because it is great for both employee and employer. Some of the benefits of letting employees work from home are that they will be more productive, happier, and take less leave, all while you will enjoy lower overhead costs.

Increase Productivity

According to Entrepreneur.com, 54% of employees prefer working on important projects from home, not in the office.* Most people report that they can focus better and be more productive in a home setting, free from the social and environmental distractions of the office. Who could say no to increased worker productivity?

Work-life Balance

Another benefit of letting employees work from home is the increased work-life balance. Not only will boasting a work-life balance attract better potential candidates, but it will truly make your employees happier and more likely to stay long term. By working from home, workers spend less time in the car and less time preparing for work. This means more free time and less chance that they will burn out.

Lower Overhead Costs

Even if your employees don’t work from home exclusively you will still save on overhead costs by letting employees work from home. You will need less (if any) office space, less office supplies, and less money spent on amenities like coffee and snacks. You will see a drastic effect on your bottom line if you switch to more work from home time for your workers.

Get a Much Wider Pool of Candidates

By touting the ability to work from home, your pool of candidates just got much wider. You now have the ability to hire anyone in any location. In addition, you can consider employees who are limited to working from home due to health reasons or being the caretaker of a family member.

Employees Will Take Fewer Sick Days and Vacation

When you work from home, the need to take a sick day or just get out of the office and take a vacation dwindles. Most minor symptoms that might keep you away from the office are much more manageable at home. With a better work life balance, your employees will also feel less of a desperate need to take a break. Working from home means less paid leave.

Technology Today Makes Working from Home Easy

Technology has finally caught up to make working from home easy. Today, you do not even need to bring a computer back and forth with cloud computing and remote desktop technology. You can access your desktop along with all of your files and programs on any device, anywhere.

With cloud computing, you do not have to worry about cyber security by letting employees work from home either. Cloud computing and remote desktops are actually more secure than traditional networks.

Benefits of Letting Employees Work from Home

The ability to work from home is both sought after by job candidates and beneficial for employers. Enjoy having a wider pool of candidates and employees that will stick around. Offering work from home is great for both productivity and the bottom line.

Remote Desktop Benefits

The future of the work day is in mobility. No longer when you think of “work” do you only imagine a desktop computer, sitting on a desk, inside of a cubical, in an office. A rising number of employees work from home, are on the road, or simply need the flexibility to work from anywhere at any time. How do they all do this? By utilizing cloud computing to have a remote desktop that is accessible from any device. In addition to convenience, remote desktop benefits include heightened cyber security, automatic back-ups, and no requirement for onsite IT.

Stronger Security

Cloud computing is more secure than traditional IT. A traditional network of computers can be hacked in many ways- through an unsecured network, a phishing scam, accidentally downloaded malware, and through many other creative techniques hackers use. Most small businesses are ill-equipped to handle an attack and unwittingly leave themselves easy targets for cyber attacks.

By using a remote desktop, there is nothing onsite that your small business needs to worry about updating, encrypting, scanning, or anything else along those lines. By utilizing a cloud computing company, your cyber security is now completely handled by professionals who keep your system running smoothly and securely as a 24-hour job.

Access Your Desktop from Anywhere, on Any Device

For companies with employees who are often on the road, on work sites, or who need the flexibility to work from home, a remote desktop is a necessity. Thanks to cloud computing and remote desktop benefits, your same exact desktop with all of your files that you access at work is now accessible at any time from any computer. The need to have a mobile computer with you or to have a flash drive to access your files is eliminated. Your full desktop is now accessible at any location and from any computer.

Automated Back-Ups

Backing up your files is usually something that all small businesses know they should be doing, but don’t worry about until a problem arises and important files are lost. Along with the plethora of remote desktop benefits, all of your files (and your employees’ files) are now backed-up automatically.

Human error is the most common cause of lost files. With automated back-ups though, you are also safe in the unlikely event that your network is hacked. Ransomware – when a hacker blocks your access to your own files until a ransom is paid – won’t work on you. There are no files to hold hostage because everything on your remote desktop is automatically backed up by your cloud computing company.

No Need for On-Site IT

When you have a remote desktop, your cloud company will handle all of your IT needs. You do not need to have any servers on site and all network maintenance will be taken care of. Many businesses with remote desktops do still keep an IT team, but they are free to work on big picture strategy and to address custom software needs for your company.

Remote Desktop Benefits

Your work is no longer confined to one computer, at one desk, in one office. With a remote desktop, your files can not only be accessed from any device but yours and your clients’ information is now safer than ever before. Cloud computing is more convenient for mobile work and more cost effective than in-house network management.