Written by: Daniel Haurey on 04/04/24

Successful and secure remote work demands a combination of technologies to address communication and collaboration needs, along with robust cybersecurity measures. Complicating remote and hybrid environments are the need for tech support and bring your own device (BYOD) programs. As more organizations tackle a blend of remote and in-office workspaces, we have recommendations for keeping your team productive and safe with the right remote work tech tools.

Remote Work Software for Communication and Collaboration

When and if your employees work remotely, there are a few communication solutions, cloud-based collaboration tools, and online project management products that are considered telecommuting and digital productivity essentials.

  • Video Conferencing Solutions: Enable face-to-face video meetings, which foster personal connections and a sense of team spirit. Popular options include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet.
  • Project Management Tools: Tracking assignments across remote teams, in multiple offices, or across time zones can be challenging. To facilitate task assignment and tracking, collaborate in real-time, and track project progress, many organizations turn to proven tools such as Asana, Trello, and Monday.com. These robust solutions support asynchronous but effective work.
  • Communication and Collaboration Platforms: These solutions enable real-time messaging, file sharing, collaboration, and task management within a central hub. Popular options include Slack and Microsoft Teams.

[Learn more about how Microsoft 365 can empower remote workplaces]

Bonus tip: Policies that set expectations about using sanctioned home office technology and tools rather than allowing disjointed app downloads and mismatched solutions will help align technology to create a cohesive work environment and lessen the complexity of support.

Safeguarding Data on the Move with Remote Work Cybersecurity Best Practices

Let’s be honest, it is enough of a challenge to secure on-premises technology, data, and assets. Supporting a remote or hybrid workplace only adds to the complexity of cybersecurity. Solutions to consider when planning for flexible workspace options include:

  • Secure Remote Access: Remote or hybrid work, as well as business trips, require secure access to company resources. While many businesses have relied on virtual private networks (VPN) for access, your organization may also want to consider secure access service edge (SASE) solutions. We’ll tackle this debate in next week’s blog.
  • Multifactor Authentication (MFA): This extra layer of security requires a second verification step in addition to a password, usually through an authentication app on your mobile device. MFA protects against theft of devices, unintentionally shared passwords, and other threats to data both on devices and in your business network.
  • Cloud-based Security Solutions: When your employees are working from anywhere, you need security that flexes with them. Cloud-based options offer comprehensive features like malware protection, intrusion detection, and data encryption for cloud-stored data and data in motion.
  • Endpoint Security Software: This solution protects the individual devices used by remote workers from malware, phishing attacks, and unauthorized access. Paired with detailed BYOD usage policies, endpoint security can help provide additional safety features for employees working remotely on business equipment or using personal devices.
  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP): Sophisticated products help prevent sensitive data from being accidentally or intentionally shared or leaked outside the organization.

Bonus Tip: Exploring effective security solutions must include consideration for the user experience or your remote employees will develop workarounds that can sabotage cybersecurity.

UX, Control, and IT Support are a Must for Remote Productivity  

Selecting technology solutions that are flexible enough to serve your in-office employees, hybrid workers, and fully remote contributors is necessary when your organization evaluates new IT choices. It’s not likely the demand for workspace agility will lessen soon, and regardless, many companies will always have employees who travel as part of their job requirements. In addition to having the right pieces for your remote work IT puzzle, you need to consider a few other aspects of using technology to enable differing work styles.

Effective Policies: When your workers are no longer sitting at desks in a controlled physical location, clarity and communication around expectations, rules, and consequences become essential. Clearly explaining the use of personal devices (BYOD), password management and other security measures, usage of business assets, data protection steps, and compliance rules is a fundamental step your organization should take to ensure your remote team understands expectations and your leadership team has the foundation in place for effective remote team management.

[Read our blog on BYOD policy tips]

Reliable Support: Nothing enables – or derails – productivity quite like technology. Responsive IT support is crucial when your team is remote or traveling. The biggest role MSPs play in remote workplaces is often their ability to provide reliable, friendly support for organizations, flexing alongside your employees by offering help regardless of location, time zone, or technology.

Understanding the User Experience: Creating a remote work experience that isn’t bogged down by slow access points, unreliable connections, unresponsive apps, and other bottlenecks can be the difference between successfully operating a hybrid or remote organization and frustrating and paralyzing your team. Lean on your MSP to identify the right solutions, optimize your environment, and educate your team to create an empowering experience for employees regardless of where and how they work.

Protect Your Data and Employees with Cloud-to-Cloud BDR

Don’t overlook the importance of a business continuity plan that outlines backup and disaster recovery specifically for your remote workforce. One key consideration is a cloud-to-cloud backup for tools such as Microsoft 365 and Google Workplace. Many organizations mistakenly believe that those popular workplace tools create a reliable backup as part of their product, but both vendors have stressed repeatedly that users should have a recovery plan.

Have questions about securing and backing up your data in these popular cloud-based tools?

Learn more about our cloud-to-cloud backup and disaster recovery solution or schedule a free consultation.