Remote access has been one of the most significant business-related advances since the advent of the internet and has contributed to the increasingly blurred boundaries between work and home life. These days, every business makes use of IT in some capacity, often for administrative tasks. Remote access enables employees to connect to the business network from home and access and modify the contents as if they were at work. Similarly, employers can use virtual notice-boards to issue important messages and assign tasks throughout the day, as well as outside of office hours, at which point the tasks can be picked up and completed by anyone.
Why Remote Access?
The advantages of having this option are numerous and the benefits are shared between employer and employee. First, remote access opens the possibility of working from home. This can mean that an employee completes some of their work hours from home, or that they will use the remote access service to complete work and check the status of any projects or assignments outside of work hours. Employers benefit from the flexibility this offers to their employees. There is mounting evidence that factors, such as a worker’s physical and psychological comfort, encourage them to work harder and better. Although it may seem counterintuitive, sometimes taking a more relaxed attitude with your employees can encourage them to turn in better quality work.
What You’ll Need
Setting your business network up for remote access is nowhere near as difficult as it once was. However, it still requires a reasonable knowledge of computers, especially networking. It used to be the case that you would require a dedicated network server, but the myriad of cloud computing services and online collaboration tools now available mean that only a very basic knowledge of computing is required.
For example, Alphabet, formerly Google, has released a suite of office software that can be shared, viewed, and edited according to permissions set by whoever sets up the document initially. By using a spreadsheet, for example, it is easy to create a to-do list and for those with access to the spreadsheet to take on the work and indicate their progress for everyone else to see. This is an effective way of encouraging your team to divide tasks amongst themselves, as well as improving their ability to collaborate on assignments. For more advanced remote access capabilities, services like www.certahosting.co.uk offer virtual private servers (VPS), which offer users access to a virtual machine hosted remotely.
In the interests of security, you should also look to secure a virtual private network (VPN). This is particularly important if sensitive information is going back and forth over the remote connection. VPNs provide a secure, encrypted communications link between the user and the remote system. It is important that any computers that connect to your network remotely are equipped with anti-virus software and regularly scanned. While a VPN is secure and generally a difficult target for an attack, any security system is only as good as its weakest link; if just one machine is compromised it can potentially infect the entire network.
By allowing remote access to your business network, you can rapidly foster an environment of collaboration and encourage your workers to manage their own time and delegate tasks amongst themselves. Just make sure to follow standard precautions for keeping any computers on the network away from malicious software code.