The coronavirus pandemic has had an immeasurable global impact on everyone’s day-to-day tasks and way of life from family to daily habits and long-term plans, to work life. There was a swift change to remote work for those companies that were able to adapt quickly.
Since then, it has become the new normal for people to work remotely if their job doesn’t require in-person services. In fact, 88% of organizations have encouraged or required their employees to work from home since the COVID-19 pandemic began. And 74% of companies plan to make this shift permanent. Many are even actively working on transitioning more employees to remote work as they are able.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of managed IT services for your company and why it’s so important for remote workers to have managed IT services and access to quality IT support.
Top Reasons Remote Managed IT Services Work
If IT managed services were important when your team was working in person, they’re even more important now that they are working remotely. In fact, it’s vital whether the company provided IT services prior to the pandemic or not. Here are some of the top reasons remote workers need managed IT support from their employers.
The significant volume of organizations switching to remote work models means cloud investment is expected to see positive growth of just under 2% in 2020.
In addition, cybercriminals are clearly taking advantage of the crisis. Microsoft has been coping with a significant increase in the volume as well as the sophistication of cyberattacks.
For example, a single 24-hour period saw the launch of a phishing campaign so massive that it used 2300 unique web pages with messages disguised as having vital COVID-19 financial compensation information. The links led to a fake Office 365 sign-in page that put users at significant risk.
Ransomware is nothing new, but the use of ransomware has also seen a significant increase during the pandemic. Individuals, companies, and entire cities are being held helpless and left to pay large ransoms to regain access to their systems.
Remote workers connect from home, coffee shops, libraries, hotels, and anywhere else they can find a quiet workspace to complete their work. Many of those connections have limited security in place, and most have unsecured connections.
A worker without a means of gaining a secure connection is a liability for their organization, their organization’s clients, their fellow co-workers, and a risk to themselves. Unless these workers have a background in IT, it just isn’t reasonable to expect them to go without IT support.
That’s why remote managed IT services is imperative for workers.
Equipment That Workers Need
Managed IT service is about more than IT support and cybersecurity - although those are vital to the health and well-being of any organization with remote workers.
The equipment used to set up a remote office is vital to whether the worker will be efficient, productive, and happy.
In a post-COVID world, 74% of companies have said they plan to shift to more remote work permanently. For some, that’s great for workers. For others, that can mean workflow bottlenecks are imminent.
While many remote workers may use their personal phones or computers for work, this isn’t sustainable. When the company provides the assets, the company can better control security and a host of other challenges.
Beyond the computer, many remote workers require a multifunction printer, phone system, and other common, everyday work equipment. And it’s worth noting that equipment includes necessary software.
Every company needs to evaluate how to provide the right equipment. Managed IT services can not only help companies evaluate their needs and find the best solutions, but they can also help with product updates, planned replacements, and contingency plans in case of outages, breakdowns, and security breaches.
Future Plans Recommendations
As mentioned in the above section, having the right equipment can reduce workflow bottlenecks and ensure the security of the entire organization. Being able to plan for the future is also crucial.
Technology and infrastructure are some of the greatest barriers to workforce productivity and connectivity. Since COVID-19 began, 54% of HR leaders have identified poor technology and infrastructure as the greatest barriers to the effectiveness of remote working organizations, whether the remote work was full-time or part-time.
On average, most technology has a five-year life cycle. Many forms of technology have a two-year life cycle, such as phones. And software is often updated or completely overhauled every year, at a minimum.
Every company needs a short- and long-term plan for all future IT considerations. What needs to be replaced, maintained, managed, and updated? What is the timeline for these activities? And what solutions can the company look forward to investing in the future that will keep them competitive?
These are all questions a managed IT service and support team can answer.
Access to Training & Information
Working from home is a natural habitat and second nature for many workers. Others have a learning curve or an adjustment period while they figure out what works, what doesn’t, and what solutions or patterns are the most reliable for them.
This struggle is especially true if the workers don’t have the right equipment. Whether they are a remote worker or not, going without the right equipment, missing office equipment, or broken or inefficient equipment has a significant impact on morale and retention.
Remote work also plays a role in morale and retention. Job satisfaction and morale lead to less time and money spent on hiring and training new people. Plus, it benefits company culture and other factors that strengthen an organization in the long-run.
Organizations are advised to expect that 75% of their staff who are not full-time remote will want to expand their remote hours by 35 percent.
Having the wrong equipment will either keep workers happy and efficient or damage morale and reduce worker retention. This is especially true when a remote worker is frustrated and coping with equipment challenges in isolation.
Managed IT services can remedy this risk by ensuring a proper needs assessment is completed and that all workers have the equipment they require to remain productive. Just as important is access to training and information. Your managed IT team can ensure all workers have the same access to the most crucial information they need online, with a hub of training and announcements. This can limit worker confusion and reduce the amount of one-on-one time IT services are spending with remote workers.
Remote work can seem complicated when it’s new to a company, even if they are just more from part-time remote to full-time, or introducing remote work to a few departments. People are getting used to office life without the company of co-workers. They are figuring out how to set-up a home office that really works for them. And everyone is getting used to new and evolving forms of communication.
Remote workers are 35% to 40% more productive than people who work in corporate offices. With all the other positive statistics about post-COVID remote work, it makes sense to invest in long-term, large-scale remote work planning and investment.
Organizations can cut costs, decrease the overall budget, reduce frustration, and increase productivity and efficiency, especially in the long-run, with a qualified managed IT services provider. These advocates will make remote work a cinch while keeping the transition as simple, painless, and straightforward as possible