With the coronavirus pandemic continuing on, many businesses have taken to remote working and will likely continue to work from home for the foreseeable future. To make matters even more stressful, it has never been more important to keep your business afloat, which can be tricky when all your staff are working from different locations. If working remotely is something you’re new to, it can be a learning process to say the least. Even if it’s a circumstance you’re equipped for, this unique situation has undoubtedly forced you to find new tools to streamline processes, make systems more secure, and protect your data. If you’re looking for better ways to optimize your remote network, we’re offering some tips. These 5 tips can help you boost your remote team’s productivity and ensure your systems are secured, as well: 1. Keep On Top of Cybersecurity Cybersecurity has been a priority for most businesses in recent years, but there has never been a more important time than now to invest in advanced security. With so many businesses having had to switch abruptly to remote networks, threat actors know that these businesses’ systems are likely to have several security weaknesses left unpatched in the transition. Hacking attempts have been on the rise as cybercriminals seek to take advantage of these vulnerabilities and steal remote workforces’ data. While your cybersecurity controls might be configured properly in your office, ensuring your remote work is secured requires the help of a professional. Many small and medium-sized businesses have been turning to Managed Service Providers to offer remote cybersecurity services to your staff so that everyone is covered and secure. These services may include file encryption, 24/7 remote network monitoring, and more. For example, one IT company in Birmingham, Integrated Solutions, stands out from other providers by offering customized cybersecurity solutions to their clients. By tailoring security services to each client’s specific needs, they improve productivity across all departments by ensuring all system vulnerabilities are accounted for and resolved. Rather than invest in generic (and usually inadequate) cybersecurity, it’s important that businesses working remotely seek out customized security services. 2. Set Up a VPN Many businesses rely on in-house servers when in the office. If this is the case for your business, and you still need to access onsite data, it’s critical that you set up a VPN for your employees to safely access data. A VPN, or virtual private network, is a secured connection to your in-house servers that does not require you to use an open or public Internet connection to access. When you’re connected through a VPN, all of your data will be encrypted regardless of the network settings, and outsiders will not be able to read it. 3. Ensure Your Employees Have Secure, Stable Internet Connections While you can’t always control what Internet connections your employees have or who else is using them, it’s worthwhile to develop stipulations for what upload and download speeds they have to ensure maximum reliability. Having a reliable Internet connection makes programs like Zoom and other remote collaboration tools less spotty and your connection less likely to be infiltrated while transferring data. Advise your employees to test their Internet speed to make sure their connection is fast enough for their needs. 4. Invest in Telecommunication Solutions Such as VoIP Telecommunication is a major aspect of effective remote working. If your team can’t communicate with each other and with clients easily and securely from different locations, your productivity levels will undoubtedly decrease. With so much sensitive information being shared over the phone now, you also can’t afford to let employees use their own devices for calls, which could be intercepted by threat actors. VoIP can keep calls secure while also giving you access to more features that ease conference calling, voicemail, and more. With VoIP phones, you can access your service from a variety of different devices without the need for onsite wiring, making it ideal for remote working. Not to mention, VoIP services are typically far more cost-effective than traditional PBX phone systems. 5. Take Advantage of Project Management Tools One of the biggest challenges of remote working is managing projects effectively and keeping track of each team’s tasks and deadlines. It is essential to use software to handle tasks and track progress, and in doing this, it also makes it much easier to outline clear processes for each role and project. Using project management tools helps to ensure that deadlines are set in advance and agreed upon, and many businesses find that using a project management approach empowers your team to get more done. Tools such as Trello or Yalla can be great for teams to communicate, discuss the tasks, follow up, and share feedback. As you work to make your remote team as productive and efficient as possible, making the most of new technological tools and services can be a great asset.