Is Tech Getting in the Way of Your Remote Workforce’s Productivity?

Remote work has allowed millions of Americans to say goodbye to their seemingly endless commutes and spend more time at home with their families and friends, but working from home comes with challenges. The biggest roadblock standing in the way of remote workers is the looming threat of issues with technology. Anybody who works with tech knows that all solutions are prone to errors and downtime that can quickly put an end to your productivity and throw a wrench into collaborative projects.

Whether these problems stem from compromised business accounts or simply the temporary failure of workplace solutions, it can drastically reduce employee productivity and make for an extremely frustrating experience. While tech problems certainly aren’t going anywhere soon, there are ways your remote workforce can get around the threat of technology failure and make the best of working from home.

Legacy technology has no place in the remote work world

The jarring nature of the COVID-19 pandemic forced many workplaces to transition to remote work overnight - many businesses were completely unprepared for the transition, still tied to legacy software solutions that were more difficult for employees to access from home. For employees without workplace solutions on their home computers, or those who don’t have access to work computers, accessing company data and essential applications became a near impossible feat. 

Doing so securely became an entirely separate issue, as businesses now dealt with the possibility of security breaches taking place in an uncontrolled environment. How did businesses deal with these very real challenges? By ditching their legacy technology solutions and embracing the potential of cloud-based tools.

With legacy solutions, collaborating and communicating remotely becomes extremely difficult, and often entails sending documents back and forth, which increases the potential for data loss. Cloud-based productivity solutions allow your entire remote workforce to instantly collaborate and communicate in real-time and even access valuable company data without concerns about security. Collaborative tools break down the distance barriers presented by remote work, allowing your teams to operate with the same efficiency and effectiveness as they would in the office surrounded by their colleagues.

Solutions like G Suite and Microsoft Office 365 feature world-class security infrastructure that allow businesses to securely store sensitive data and make it available to employees without data leaks. Video conferencing and instant messaging tools like Slack and Zoom have also become an essential part of remote work, putting your entire team in touch with each other no matter where they are. Without having to worry about data access, collaboration, and security, your team can focus on what matters most.

Multi factor authentication and password mishaps

A survey conducted by Hitachi ID Systems in the wake of COVID-19 showed that 71% of companies experienced employees being locked out of systems due to password issues, stopping them from being able to use essential workplace solutions. The same study revealed that one of the key challenges of working remotely was issues with multi factor authentication, affecting 43% of companies. Being unable to access business accounts can be extremely damaging to workplace productivity, rendering affected employees powerless until these issues can be resolved by IT.

In order to combat these all too common problems, it’s important that companies be able to approach things like multi factor authentication (MFA) and passwords differently. This can mean training your workforce to understand why using multi factor authentication and strong passwords are essential, and how to use these things without mishaps taking place, or it can mean taking a different approach.

Multi factor authentication can be made easier for employees by taking advantage of programs like Google’s Titan Security Key, a 2-factor authentication (2FA) device that allows your employees to verify their identity through the use of physical security keys. Security keys are immune to phishing attacks, feature tamper-resistant hardware, and are far easier for employees to keep track of, eliminating the possibility of MFA devices failing or being lost. This ensures that accounts are kept secure at all times, and employees will be better prepared to use 2FA.

Passwords can be securely shared and stored in easily accessible password management tools like LastPass. Password management tools take the frustration out of trying to remember multiple complex passwords to essential business accounts, securely storing them where employees can quickly access passwords anytime. Without forgetting passwords and dealing with lockouts and resets, your employees can focus on the task at hand and rely on constant access to accounts. Tools like this also allow you to set stronger passwords that are different from account to account, which is something you are less likely to do if you have to remember a password. 

Focus on training and taking proactive measures

Overcoming tech issues can turn remote work into a breeze, improving employee productivity and efficiency. These problems can be conquered with proper training, offering your employees tips on how to effectively use cloud-based communication and collaboration tools to their fullest potential. Effectively training employees on how to use workplace tools will give your remote employees confidence and greatly strengthen the adoption of these tools. Adoption can be monitored in near real-time by employee engagement and productivity intelligence tools, allowing you to see how each member of your team is making use of cloud-based solutions.

Taking proactive measures is another surefire way to overcome these issues. Start by doing things like ditching unintuitive and unintelligent solutions today, which will allow you to transition to cloud-based tools sooner. New technologies that allow you and your employees to protect accounts and securely access and store credentials are constantly being introduced, and should be closely followed by your team. Adopting new and innovative tools will ensure that your business is ready for anything that can be thrown at it, and minimizes the chances that you’ll ever be caught off guard again by nagging tech issues.

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