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Is Your Home Office More Useful As A Closet? Boost Productivity At Home With These Tips!

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There are some great benefits when working from home. Your commute is as short as a walk from your bedroom to your living room – no more spending hours each day in bumper-to-bumper traffic, or wasting time waiting for the bus, train or subway to pick you up. You’ll also save money on gasoline or transit fees, eating out, and expensive work clothes.

I love working from home because it allows me to:

  • Be flexible. I can work after hours and on the weekends if I choose.
  • Take breaks for creativity – sometimes just taking the dog for a short walk will rev up my creative juices, which always helps with writing a long article or blog.
  • Be at home for deliveries or home repair services. I don’t have to take off work for these little — yet important — things.
  • Work in private without distractions from coworkers who just want to socialize.

As an employer, you can save money by having your employees work from home. Many have found that their telecommuting staff typically puts in longer work hours than those onsite. Others say they’ve saved money on office space to the tune of approximately $2,000 yearly per employee. Plus, employees who telecommute often use their own computing devices, adding another level of cost savings for your business.

According to a recent report from Global Workplace Analytics, the number of telecommuting workers has increased by 115% in the past ten years. Their study revealed that work-from-home policies:

  • Reduce attrition, unscheduled absences and improve employee satisfaction.
  • Equalize personalities and lessen the potential for discrimination.
  • Cut down on wasted meetings.
  • Increase employee empowerment.
  • Increase productivity and collaboration, (especially when using tools like Microsoft Office 365).

With Microsoft Office 365, your employees who work from home can securely collaborate in real-time with other authorized staff. Having everything on the cloud makes it easy for them to share information with team members. It makes collaboration smooth, secure and productive.

Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud-based solution, so you don’t have to rely on your own servers, worry about data loss, or other issues like that. It also offers:

  • Mobile Device Management to protect your organization’s information when your employees use their mobile devices at home. This way you can set device security policies and access rules to wipe mobile devices if they’re lost or stolen. Your data will always be secure and under your control.
  • Data Loss Prevention so you can comply with business standards and industry regulations by protecting sensitive information and preventing its unauthorized disclosure.
  • Rights Management Services so you’ll always know who’s accessing your data. Plus, you’ll have 24/7 real-time support for critical issues.

Your telecommuting employees can use popular applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on their smartphone, laptop or tablet. They’ll be more productive with:

  • On-the-Go Access to files, emails and conferencing.
  • A consistent, familiar and synced experience across all their devices.
  • The ability to create and edit documents in real time with colleagues.
  • 1TB of safe online storage.

Because everything works in a secure cloud, Microsoft Office 365 makes working together easy.

  • Your work-at-home and onsite employees can create groups for projects,
  • Work with customers via sharing sites, videos and private social networking, and
  • Host or join multi-location meetings using any device.

Your telecommuting employees can also use OneDrive for Business with Microsoft Office 365, where they can store all their documents in the cloud and access them securely. You’ll also benefit from 1TB of cloud storage per user.

Furthermore, Skype for Business will come in handy for video/web-conferencing, secure messaging, audio and video calls, and online meetings.

If you’re worried about cybersecurity for your work-from-home employees, you don’t need to as long as you plan ahead. Both your onsite and offsite employees are vulnerable to phishing and spear-phishing campaigns. Here’s what they need to know:

Phishing is tech language for hackers who “fish” over the Internet for confidential information such as credit card numbers, personal identification, usernames, and passwords. They utilize social engineering techniques and computer programming to lure victims into believing that a fraudulent website is legitimate. When the phishing victim clicks the phishing link, they discover that their personal identity, business information, or even money has been stolen.

Spear-phishing emails target specific high-level executives with well-researched scams that appear to come from familiar, trusted sources.

It’s essential to train both your onsite and work-at-home employees on the strategies they need to know to prevent being a victim of cybercrime. You should contact your IT Managed Services Provider and ask them to conduct Security Awareness Training for all your employees. Some of the topics they should discuss include:

  • How to recognize phishing and spear-phishing attempts.
  • What to do if they receive one.
  • Directions for strong password usage.
  • Using encryption when transferring files.
  • Not using any form of public Wi-Fi for work purposes.
  • Locking their computer screens or logging out when they leave computers.
  • Performing malware scans on their computers weekly.
  • Applying updates for web browsers, operating systems and applications as soon as they’re released.
  • Why it’s unwise to download software to their work computers that isn’t authorized by you.
  • How to back up their data to the cloud (as directed by you) so it’s reliable and recoverable.
  • Not to trust used or unfamiliar USB and hard drives as they may contain malware.

Also make sure the computer devices your telecommuting employees use contain up-to-date, professional security software that’s recommended by your IT provider.

Ensure your work-at-home employees stay productive and keep your data secure. The experts at Colorado Computer Support can help with these and other solutions. For a complimentary consultation, contact us at (719) 355-2440.

Certified and Verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)

Colorado Computer Support is a local IT company certified and verified service-disabled veteran-owned Small Business. When you use our IT services in Colorado Springs, you can be confident that you are dealing with a Colorado Springs company owned by a disabled veteran and that they will be able to provide you with the best possible IT support.
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