In a modern business environment, your workforce may not necessarily be going to a physical office space. Cloud innovation and smarter technical advancements have changed the traditionally-built organization into virtual wide-spread establishments that are able to hire and fulfill talent from across the country, allowing employees to work from home or co-working spaces.

While the cloud, IoT and mobile-based innovations have brought more opportunity and efficiency to business, there are still barriers that need addressed. Remote or virtual workers need tools to make their work processes seamless to collaborate with in-office employees. In addition, they need the same security and personal interaction that headquartered employees have.

Here are four helpful tips to equipping your virtual workforce for success:

How to connect with coworkers no matter where they are located

Collaboration with other team members is often a struggle for remote workforces. Being spread out and lacking daily face-to-face interaction creates teams to use a mixed bag of tools and applications to chat, collaborate and conduct meetings. Unified Communications provides consistency across devices and locations for your entire organization. It allows employees to make and receive calls, instant message, video chat and make conference calls from the desktop or any mobile device – no matter where they are located. Presence functionality will indicate when coworkers are available to collaborate, creating more productivity within teams and other departments.

Supplying productivity tools

Similarly, virtual companies need access to their email, shared calendars, OneDrive files, Teams and Skype For Business whether they are on-the-go or sitting at their desk. Cloud-based Office 365 implementations are a huge win for virtual teams because it supplies an all-in-one productivity platform that removes the barriers of how people get their work done. With Office 365, you can contact who you need when you need, have access to all your documents through the cloud and track the progress of team projects on any device.

Accessing the network securely

A company’s virtual workforce will most likely need access to critical information that could be too sensitive to send over unencrypted pathways. VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) create a secure connection between the employee device and the work network. The employee will get secure direct access that will protect them from threat actors who may want a direct line into your network.

Securing endpoint devices

Battling the constant barrage of exploitable vulnerabilities from ransomware, malware and phishing attempts for a virtual end user can be nearly impossible for an IT team. How do you ensure the employee is keeping up with patching and updates, running anti-virus scans or not clicking on malicious links when they aren’t in the office?

Managed security solutions can help safeguard virtual employees by ensuring patches and updates are being tested and installed, anti-virus is running, and vulnerabilities are spotted before threat actors notice. Security information and event monitoring (SIEM) solutions can aggregate security data from multiple sources to identify deviations from the norm. For example, if a policy violation or known attack pattern was detected, an alarm would be raised, and a security engineer will review the situation and implement the needed response. Some systems have built-in threat intelligence that correlates with multiple security capabilities, such as threat and intrusion detection, vulnerability assessments, user activity monitoring, dark web monitoring, and more. This takes security visibility and incidence response a step further to ensure that your users are totally protected.

Equipping a virtual workforce can be difficult but implementing the right cloud-based applications and tools can ensure that they can get their work done without any problems. Unified Communications, Office 365, VPNs and Managed Security Solutions can help your organization support remote employees to be more productive and collaborative with their fellow employees. Rest easy knowing that your virtual employees are well equipped to take on the day. If you need help setting up your virtual workforce for success, contact Magna5.

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