Remote working has gained popularity all around the world owing to its work from anywhere, anytime capabilities. Several professions including logistics, delivery and distribution, field sales, construction demand a permanent on-field workforce. However, remote working had a big breakthrough with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic as a majority of businesses empowered their workforce to operate from home, virtually.
The remote workforce is not bound to working from traditional office spaces. Organizations can either have a remote workforce due to their business’s nature, like logistics and delivery, or teams that are permitted to work from flexible locations, including working from home.
What are the benefits of a remote workforce for businesses?
1. Better cost management
Having a remote workforce has the most obvious advantage of reduced costs for office workspace and other related investments. In addition, this fares well for the employees too, as they get to save costs on the daily commute to the office.
2. Business continuity
If traditional office workspaces are made to close down due to natural or financial disasters, organizations can continue operating remotely, without much impact on productivity.
3. Increased productivity and a larger talent pool
Remotely working employees tend to offer a more productive output since they do not have to engage their time and energy in commuting to offices daily. Enterprises can recruit their employees from a larger talent pool with remote working, which is not bound by geographical limitations.
Let’s take a look at some of the challenges that businesses face while managing their remote workforces
1. Effective communication
Working remotely often results in employees undergoing communication issues. Both seniors and subordinates face a lack of face-to-face supervision and interaction. Supervisors agonize over their subordinate’s productivity and task completion, whereas, subordinates may experience a lack of managerial support and communication.
2. Endpoint security measures
Organizations that provide company-owned devices to the workforce need to sternly ensure that the devices are well monitored and secured from the possibility of theft or loss.
3. Data encryption
Whether organizations offer company-owned laptops, tablets & smartphones to their remote workforce or enable employees to use their personal devices for work, the foremost concern lies in protecting business data on employees’ work devices. Enterprises are challenged with cyber-threats and hence need to undertake efficient data encryption strategies.
4. Distractions during work
For many organizations that operate remotely, tracking employees’ progress and work efficiency becomes necessary due to the chances of distraction.
Not only does the lack of traditional office space lead to a leisure working style, but employees often find themselves tempted to misuse their work devices for personal entertainment purposes. Usage of social media websites or entertainment applications parallelly on work devices is one of the major reasons for the loss of productivity.
5. Device errors
IT teams that operate remotely are challenged with device maintenance and troubleshooting in case of system errors. System breakdowns can lead to extended device downtime and in turn result in lost productivity. For example, logistics services use devices for GPS and location tracking; in the event of device error, the work process can be delayed leading to extended TAT.
Top 5 steps to effectively empower your remote workforces
Organizations all over the world have accepted the benefits of MDM solutions. Adopting MDM Software ensures that your organization’s IT operations are automated and optimized. Modern-day MDM solutions offer state-of-the-art features to tackle every challenge encountered by remote workforces.
Here are some of the topmost features that help in curbing remote management issues.
1. Instant communication tool
When working remotely, communication is the key. Whether it involves communication between managers and their subordinates, or between employees and customers, an instant mode of communication is mandatory. Work devices managed with MDM solutions offer faster communication apps for VoIP calling, instant messaging, image or file sharing and smoother workflow.
2. Device and data security
Enterprises worry the most about their device security and critical business data privacy. MDM solutions offer features to lock employees’ work devices remotely in event of theft or loss. IT admins can remotely wipe off business data from the device to prevent confidential data from being leaked. In addition, several security measures can be put into play on devices even before they are handed out to the employees in the form of password protection, VPN set-up, restrictions on merging business data with private data and much more.
3. Remote support
MDM solutions enable IT admins to raise context-specific tickets via ITSM. Some MDM solutions offer remote cast & control features that enable IT admins to take charge of the user’s device screen for faster troubleshooting and reduced device downtime.
4. Location tracking
Organizations involved in on-the-go services like delivery, logistics, construction, outdoor sales find it extremely crucial to keep a check on their remote work devices. MDM solutions enable location tracking of devices based on GPS, IP address, Geofencing and much more to closely monitor their device fleets.
5. App & website management
MDM solutions enable organizations to control which applications, software and websites are accessed on work devices. Since popular operating systems like Android, iOS, macOS, Windows 10 permit users to leverage their application stores to acquire diverse applications, restricting unwanted usage on work devices can be taken care of with MDM solutions. IT admins can push selective applications on work devices and block the usage of the rest. Similarly, websites can be whitelisted or blacklisted to enable or restrict their usage on the devices.
There are some real challenges involved with remote working. However, looking at the broad scope of benefits, upscaled productivity and cost reductions that it offers, it is evident that remote working is here to stay. With the help of MDM solutions, organizations can optimize work efficiency and tackle challenges, irrespective of the location or size of the workforce.