The COVID-19 pandemic sent small and midsize businesses scrambling to set their employees up for remote work, in many cases for the first time. While it was a big adjustment, it turns out that working from home offers advantages — waking up later, eliminating their commute, and enjoying greater schedule flexibility — that many employees embraced. In fact, a CareerBuilder study found that jobs with remote or hybrid work models are receiving seven times more applications than in-person roles.1
But the transition to remote work was not without challenges. In addition to isolation, distractions, and lack of work-life balance, many remote workers experienced frustrating technology woes that impacted their productivity and morale. In a recent survey, 62% of respondents reported that problems accessing software made remote work difficult.2 To make matters worse, many remote employees’ IT issues were not getting resolved as quickly as they were when they worked in the office.
What do these findings mean for small and midsize business owners? In today’s business climate you need a cloud IT configuration and IT support services that enable all your employees — in-office, remote, and hybrid — to thrive.
Here are some tips to provide a best-in-class work experience for your people wherever they may choose to works:
Count on the Cloud
Today’s employees want flexibility — and they’re more than willing to switch jobs to get it. A recent Catalyst survey found that, of the approximately 50% of employed Americans who plan to make career changes due to the pandemic, 41% are looking for flexible and/or remote work.3
If your applications and files are tied to in-office desktop computers, your employees must be in the office to get work done. However, when you detach your apps from hardware and host them virtually in the cloud, you free your employees to access important files and functionality from any device and from any location.
A reputable cloud provider will tailor a cloud hosting solution for how your business and your employees work to ensure a consistent user experience anywhere, anytime — with the highest levels of availability, performance, and security.
Make All Work Seamless
Nothing gets in the way of effective remote work like an unwieldy user experience or latency issues that waste time and lead to frustration. Forcing your people to log in and out of multiple servers or be constrained to a single monitor will lead to disengagement in short order.
Make sure your employees have seamless access to all their applications and data — on one screen. They should be able to enjoy the same great user experience whether they’re working in the office, at home, or from the beach in Maui. If they can’t, chances are they’ll be polishing up their resume and starting a new job search.
Improve Support with Consolidated IT
Technical hiccups are inevitable whether employees work in the office or remotely. Too often, however, small and midsize companies rely on employees who just happen to be IT-savvy to jump into action when IT issues occur. But this practice distracts these employees from their core responsibilities, impacting morale and business goals. In other cases, businesses use multiple vendors for IT, so they need to figure out which one — or ones — to call for any given issue and hope they respond quickly.
Consolidating your IT under one service provider ensures that both you and your remote workforce will have a better daily work experience. If any issues arise, the services provider’s 24/7 support is there to solve the problem quickly, enabling your employees to stay focused and productive no matter where they work on any given day,
Become an employer of choice
As employee expectations for flexibility continue to evolve, small and midsize businesses need to keep pace if they want to attract and retain top talent. Take a long, hard look at the role IT plays in your employee experience — from enabling remote work to providing responsive end-user support. If you think your IT strategy, infrastructure, and support could use improvement, turn to a cloud IT provider for expert recommendations that will help you recruit the best talent and keep current employees happy and productive.
Consolidated IT solutions from Infinitely Virtual (IV) provide a single, enterprise-level platform through which to conduct remote and in-office work. With easier file sharing, enhanced data protection, and a single number to call for all your IT support needs, IV can help you provide an exceptional work experience and become an employer of choice.
- 1Morgan Smith, Remote and Hybrid Jobs Are Attracting 7 Times More Applicants Than In-Person Roles, CNBC (March 4, 2022).
- 2Chris Melore, Hate Remote Work? The Average Employee Faces Four Tech Headaches a Week in the Home Office, Study Finds (March 29, 2021).
- 3Abigail Johnson Hess, ‘The Great Reimagination of Work’: Why 50% of Workers Want to Make a Career Change, CNBC (October 12, 2021).