Talented job candidates are out there, but unfortunately the perfect candidate for a job in Sydney, Australia, may reside in Lima, Peru, or vice versa. Luckily, with secure remote access solutions, geography is no longer a limitation in connecting top talent from across the globe with work opportunities. Companies with reliable secure remote access solutions not only have a competitive edge in attracting these valuable candidates, but also benefit from the larger candidate pool.
Here are some of the beneficiaries of secure remote access solutions:
Bringing a child into the world can be an overwhelming, tumultuous time when new parents may feel torn between their careers and families. Many parents with new children feel pressured to resume work as soon as possible, then quickly regret the precious bonding time they missed with their infant. Secure remote access solutions enable these parents to witness their child’s first steps while also pursing their own passions with a flexible work from home (WFH) career.
Military spouses or spouses of those with jobs that require frequent relocation can benefit from secure remote access solutions. In lieu of conducting a time-consuming job-hunt at each new location or transferring branches, this group can find a company with secure remote access solutions that enable working from home so that their career continues to grow regardless of location. Additionally the companies that hire military spouses benefit from the talent and expertise they bring to work, thanks to secure remote access.
Part-time Job Seekers
A freelancer with a fulltime job in one location may want to pursue an opportunity in another location. Secure remote access solutions open up a host of freelancing and part-time opportunities across the globe, connecting us and fostering collaboration and creativity like never before.
In an increasingly wired and digital world, flexibility is king. Companies unable to offer WFH options fall behind in attracting and maintaining top talent. Having to relocate for a position costs time and money and many talented candidates are leery of leaving family, friends and their communities behind to pursue a career elsewhere. Secure remote access takes physical location out of the equation, giving companies a competitive hiring edge. Once hired, WFH employees tend to be more productive, less absent from work and more cost-effective for employers, who no longer have to purchase expensive laptops, tablets, phones, printers and Internet services. HOB offers an array of secure remote access solutions guaranteed to give your business a competitive edge in the “war for talent” and to maintain valuable employees who can bring their best to the job, even from a distance.
Visit our website to learn more about our comprehensive Remote Access solutions.
The concept of working from home is often associated with a host of negative connotations. Distraction, idleness, avoiding responsibility and therefore decreased productivity are just a few of the preconceived notions often correlated with working within familiar confines. Although working from home means being farther away from a manager and closer to the television and perhaps an attention-seeking dog, recent studies and surveys contradict the impact of these “distractions” and reveal that working from home benefits employees and companies alike in three distinct areas.
Ctrip, China’s travel agent giant, monitored the work performance and productivity of two groups of employees—a group working form home and a group of office workers (control)—for nine months. Shift length, computer hardware and software, equipment and work order flow were held constant. The only variance was location. The results of this experiment on work environments showed a 13% increase in remote-worker performance, while the performance of office workers remained stagnant. Home-based employees worked more minutes per shift, taking less breaks and sick days than their office-worker counterparts. The variable group identified a quieter work environment at home as the root of this increased productivity.
Bottom-line benefits: work performance improves due to the ability of each employee to customize their work environments and maximize their comfort levels. Employers see increased work input and therefore product output.
Conservation of Resources
Commutes and office computers are costly, both in terms of energy and hardware. One day of working from home means one less day of idling in traffic, reducing your company’s carbon footprint. Businesses will also benefit from reduced office overhead costs, as employees will use less company resources on the days they work from home.
Bottom-line benefits: Employees will save fuel, companies will see reductions in electricity costs and conservation efforts will be bolstered. For more information, check out our free e-book about Green IT!
Work often induces stress. According to a 2005 study from Work and Families Institute, 90% of US workers felt that their jobs required them to work hard and that there was not enough time in their day to complete their work tasks. Similarly, nearly 50% of working dads and 25% of working moms claimed that they don’t spend an adequate amount of time with their families, according to a 2013 Pew Report. Working from home eliminates much of the conflict associated with balancing work and personal affairs. Employees feel more connected to household happenings, and therefore less stressed. In the aforementioned Ctrip study, annual staff turnover decreased by 50% among employees working from home due to increased job satisfaction.
Bottom-line benefits: Working from home allows employees to attain a more desirable work/home balance. Companies benefit by experiencing less staff turnover.
Due to the need for flexibility in modern society, there has been a drastic increase in the amount of employees who opt to work from home. Census data from the USA show that 17% of the US workforce works from home at least once a week. As businesses adjust to this rising trend, they must consider the reliability and security of their remote access solutions. HOB’s remote access solutions are easily tailored to your remote access needs and the first step towards maximizing employee performance and satisfaction.
Here’s more information on home offices, check out our free e-book: Home Offices Made Easy.
In our last post on teleworking, we discussed how remote working is gaining momentum and becoming more widespread. If a company implements, or is planning to implement, teleworking policies, there are a series of steps to take in order to address security implications.
Creating a Secure Teleworking Program
Prior to establishing teleworking policies, organizations must address information security issues by first defining requirements for both employees and employers. To ensure the security of teleworking, the following aspects should be considered:
1. The employer must determine whether to issue a company-owned device or allow employees to use a personal device for remote working. If the employer provides a computer, the employer can control what is installed and which activities are allowed or prohibited (such as instant messaging).
2. The teleworking policy should state what software is required for the employee to work remotely and what software types are forbidden on the computer.
3. If the network connections are secured incorrectly, sensitive corporate data can be intercepted during the data transmission between the home and the office network. To mitigate this risk, a virtual private network (VPN) is the best practice for securing communication to the organization’s internal network. When connected to the organization’s network, all transmissions should be encrypted, both coming from and going to the corporate network.
4. f the remote worker accesses the organization’s network from home, the organization should consider implementing a two-step authentication method- using two of the three commonly available authentication techniques (knowledge-based, object-based and ID-based). For instance, using a password and a security token is a good defense mechanism, as it forces an attacker to steal both the password and the physical token to gain access.
5. The operating system and all applications should be kept up-to-date. By regularly updating the device’s operating system with the latest patches and other software fixes, attackers cannot take advantage of software flaws that would otherwise be utilized to facilitate a hack.
6. The teleworking policy must describe what security features must be installed and maintained on the computer. Anti-adware/anti-spyware software, antivirus software and firewalls are just some of best practice security features.
7. Employees should be trained on security procedures.
8. The policy should explain to whom the user will report in case of suspicious activity on the computer. Support personnel should be ready to advise employees on how to configure the computer and the employee’s home networks for utmost security.
In today’s work environment, teleworking is increasingly being discussed as organizations analyze remote workforce options. VPNs create new possibilities that allow people to work from home and connect seamlessly and securely to the organization for which they work. By taking the necessary defensive measures and enforcing a secure teleworking environment, security risks can be minimized.
If you are looking for a reliable teleworking solution, we recommend you to have a look at HOB RD VPN, the comprehensive Secure Remote Access Suite “Made in Germany”. When using HOB RD VPN, companies benefit from SSL-encrypted connections, modern authentication methods and a maximum of usability. More information on HOB RD VPN can be found on our website: www.hobsoft.com
In today’s culture, flexible work is quickly becoming the norm. This type of working arrangement is preferred by workers, with 72% of employees stating that flexible work arrangements causes them to choose one job over another *.
Ideally, a company or organization has a single performance appraisal for all employees, independent of where they are located. This implies that the basis for evaluation is the same amongst all workers, without any differentiation between on-site and remote workers.
Management by Objectives
In the 1950s, Peter Drucker invented the concept of “management by objectives” (MBO), whereby he explained that if the overall goals are to be achieved, each job in the company must contribute to the objectives of the whole organization. Workers are evaluated based on performance, rather than their physical location. This change in the style of leadership and corporate infrastructure leads to an increase in productivity, as the sheer physical presence is no longer defined as a positive accomplishment. It also clarifies the type of performance the organization requires of the employees, while simultaneously accentuating and rewarding good performance. Entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson states that the most important thing for remote work to succeed is creating a culture where the work itself matters.
Teleworking Programs Best Practices
Although employees are in different places, the work required remains the same. Nonetheless, remote working requires redesigning business processes, employing alternative technologies, and changes in managerial operations and communications.
Managing Remote Workers
An effective remote manager is no different than one who manages employees on-site; clear objectives and rules should be established, and the manager should know his or her employees. It is necessary that a performance evaluation process focuses on defining and tracking goals, achieving results, building leadership effectiveness, and driving employee engagement.
When managing home offices, management by objectives is advisable, as the work outcome is rewarded, rather than simply monitoring the employees’ activities via direct observation.
For a successful teleworking program, data needs to be stored digitally, such that it can be accessed and processed virtually from anywhere. In addition to going paperless, the usage of mobile devices such as laptops enables people to work from wherever they are.
Therefore, apart from an adequate management system, remote working requires implementation of the right IT infrastructure. In order to accomplish this, the following major components of user-access management must be analyzed:
- Users — defining the authorized users within and outside the organization
- Assets — defining what needs to be protected by the organization and
- Privileges — delineating which users require access to particular assets, and to what extent
Technology tools enable remotely located employees to access all (or selected amounts) of the company’s resources and software, such as applications, data and e-mail. Employees in home offices are connected via a networking infrastructure, enabling a company with a distributed workforce to securely connect its workers and teams; they also have the ability to share files securely and access the company’s databases, file sharing and telecommunications. This allows for:
- Web-based remote access
- Safe and secure mobile device connection to enterprise data and
- Wireless networks within company facilities
Deployment of Collaborative Technologies
High quality communication is of vital importance, particularly with remote workers. Affordable software-based collaborative tools increase productivity and effectiveness. These include:
- remote access software
- voice-over Internet Protocol audio (VoIP) and
- possibility of team collaborations, such as shared file repositories and group calendars
Remote Access Choices
Remote access is rapidly becoming the preferred connectivity method for various business roles using several types of company or employee-owned devices. So a remote access solution must be flexible, secure and compatible with the anytime/anywhere resource access model and, ideally, no data is saved locally on the end device at any time. Thus, in the event that the device is lost or stolen, problems of data falling in the wrong hands are avoided.
Technological hurdles need no longer be a barrier to implementing work from home policies, which is also made more attractive for enterprises by the shift from managing employee presence to managing employee output/performance. This shift from central-office-centric work, to more flexible home-office work, is expected to continue to increase.
If you would like to find out more about home offices and best practices for remote access solutions, and also learn more about comprehensive company resource protection, please download this free eBook, Home Offices Made Easy.
*The Edge Report - Robert Half International Survey, 2008, as cited by Jason Gregg, Tell Your Staff to Go home! The Complete Guide to Telecommuting: books.google.com/books?isbn=1619793628
Author: Hazel Farrugia
Large parts of the US are being paralyzed by this year’s first blizzard “Hercules” - Happy New Year! With temperatures far too cold to get out of your house and thousands of cars being buried beneath masses of snow, having to go to work can be terribly annoying. You might even end up digging out your car from the snow, only to realize that it was your neighbor’s. In order to prevent this from happening, you have three options:
1. Call in sick.
2. Take vacation and try to catch a plane to a warmer place. Maybe somewhere like Iceland or just any other place on earth.
3. Work from home, if you are lucky enough to work for a company that allows you to access your workplace from home.
Although options 1 and 2 seem tempting, this blog article wants to concentrate on option number three. Working from home offers a lot of benefits to employees. You can more flexibly arrange your work-life-balance, save on time commuting to and from work and avoid distractions at your workplace (also, you don’t have to deal with blizzards on your way to work). For companies, home offices help save energy costs, offer their employees more flexible working hours and can secure business continuity.
Home offices seem great, but we have bad news for you. According to a study from 2012, the chances that you are able to work from home are rather low . The study found that, even though more and more companies are claiming to offer possibilities to work from home, the proportion of employees that actually work from home remained essentially flat between the mid-90s and mid-2000s. The authors found that in 2004 only seventeen percent of the working population worked for an average of six hours a week from home. Another statistic reports that in 2011 forty-five percent of the US workforce held a job that was compatible with at least part-time telework .
The good news is that the technology to enable employees to work from home is already there and ready to be implemented. At HOB, we offer various software products that can help you set up home offices. With HOB RD VPN, for example, employees are able to connect from any computer with an internet connection to company servers or their desktop computer in the office. The access doesn’t require any admin rights or installation on the client side, which makes it perfectly easy for anyone to connect with their workplace. Thanks to Wake-on-LAN, you can remotely turn on and off your workplace computer and save energy. Remote connections over HOB RD VPN are SSL encrypted, so you don’t need to worry about security issues. Since HOB products are only software, they can be easily integrated into any existing IT infrastructure.
As one can see, there really is no point in trying to fight Hercules. Instead, companies and employees should start implementing and using remote access technology to enable home offices.
Finally, please let us know how you and your work life have been affected by Hercules and what experiences you made with home offices. We are looking forward to reading your comments!
M. C. Noonan & J. L. Glass (2012): “The hard truth about telecommuting.” In Monthly Labor Review
K. Lister & T. Harnish (2011): “The State of Telework in the US.“ http://www.workshifting.com/downloads/downloads/Telework-Trends-US.pdf