Due to the pandemic, all non-essential businesses have continued to close their doors – a situation that could extend for several more weeks. If these recent developments have taught us anything, it’s that we should be prepared for any eventuality.
If you own a business, what steps are you taking to transition your employees to a work from home environment? Remote network access is critical – pandemic or not — especially if most or all of your work force is conducting business from their homes. In order to keep your company afloat, customers happy and productivity at a consistent level, and workers employed, you have to enable remote network access for your employees.
What You Need to Know: Remote Access Solutions
Telecommuting not only helps companies cut overhead costs and allows employees to juggle work with personal engagements at their own pace, it facilitates a more productive “work at your own schedule” situation.
There are several ways you can establish remote work opportunities for your company. You could:
- Choose a complete Virtual Private Network.
- Deploy remote desktop access.
- Set up a cloud computing network and share files between home offices to develop a virtual office setup.
Virtual Private Network
- Good option for companies that want to offer either intermittent access or full-time access to remote work solutions; however, remote devices must be properly secured and protocols must be followed.
- Encryption protocols make the transfer of information between the VPN and the end users quite secure.
- The VPN itself isn’t vulnerable to direct attack.
- PCs that aren’t protected could transfer viruses and malware to the VPN if not secure. Connection to a VPN can make the system vulnerable if employees do not disconnect when finished.
- These are more difficult to set up than remote desktop access.
Remote Desktop Access Solutions
You can enable remote desktop access in one of three ways:
- Remote access software
- Enterprise remote desktop
- Direct remote access
Remote access software solutions are less secure at their most basic level, with limited centralized control of employee log-in and remote access. This solution has a higher cost, while direct remote access is free. Still, this is a solid choice for smaller companies with intermittent work-from-home needs.
Enterprise remote desktop solutions are more scalable but tougher to set up. They offer a seamless experience and operate through hosted solutions, which comes at an increased cost; however, the ease of setup is better than having to establish this infrastructure on your own.
Direct remote access requires proper security protocols are followed to ensure the system is not vulnerable to attack. It can be difficult to remotely restart a computer that has frozen. Also, many hardware issues will have to be addressed on-site.
Cloud Network Remote Work
This is a good choice if you are opting to work from a complete virtual office, as these solutions offer additional flexibility and cost benefits. They do hold some risks because it’s difficult to control what employees are doing with their hardware at home.
What to Consider
Check out these factors to consider when deciding on a type and provider of remote access and work solutions:
- Ease-of-Installation: How much time is involved? How much effort? Will it cause downtime in operations as the transition happens?
- Ease-of-Use: Can your employees and IT department easily use this solution?
- Cost: How much does each solution cost vs. how much will it save your company?
- Security: How secure is the option you’re considering? How dependent is it on users’ ability to follow stated protocols?