Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, working from home has become the new normal as many employers and employees have dealt with social distancing, lockdowns and the closure of corporate offices. Advances in technology and computer technology has made this transition relatively smooth, with people able to create a fully connected home office using a suite of hardware and software. In this article we will examine some of the amazing technologies that are in use today that have really come to the forefront since 2020. Read further to find out how you or your company can utilise video conferencing, Office 365, cloud backup solutions, VPNs, managed antivirus, remote IT support, and remote desktop access to work effectively from anywhere in the world.
Here is just one example of how technology has greatly benefited a company during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of our clients was still utilising on premises servers with separated data sets. They did use dropbox in a very basic sense, but the amount and complexity of the data meant that a better solution needed to be found. Luckily just prior to the pandemic OJ Networks recommended and was able to deploy a nationwide Office 365 and SharePoint solution for multiple offices around Australia. This allowed them to seamlessly shift to working from home when the lockdown orders were issued and staff were able to remote in via Office 365 to continue their work without disruption. Staff were able to login to their ‘server’ as if they were in the office and they could work from any location, allowing them to continue their business as usual. We often hear from this client as to how lucky they were to set this up prior to the pandemic as there was no downturn in productivity and they would not have been able to function as a business without it!
Now lets explore some of the options in detail, what benefit they provide and how they may assist your business in working remotely.
What technologies are available?
Video conferencing hardware: webcams, headsets, microphones, speakers – These allow you to call and have remote video meetings via Skype or Zoom. When working remotely it can be hard to maintain a connection with colleagues. Video conference calls let you stay in touch with co-workers, teammates and managers and maintain the productivity of face to face meetings.
VPN (Virtual Private Network) – A VPN allows you to connect securely to another network over the internet. It creates a secure tunnel between the user computer and office computer or server. Using a VPN allows employees to safely access company data from any network, public or private. These are crucial for businesses to avoid man in the middle attacks. This is where data is unencrypted and can be snooped upon by malicious parties.
Office 365 – Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud based services including emails through Exchange Online, file management and storage through SharePoint and OneDrive, collaboration and chat through Teams along with cloud connected versions of popular applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, OneNote). All programs can be used online through a browser, and all files can be accessed from the cloud, wherever and whenever they are needed. With Office 365 employees are able to work together and collaborate together, with the ability to work on the same document even in separate locations.
Third Party Office 365 Backup – Having a third party Office 365 backup system in place allows you to keep important business documents and emails secure and safe. It ensures that you can restore any data quickly in the event of any accidental or malicious deletion, user error, ransomware or data corruption. If there are ever any issues with the Microsoft Servers you have your own completely separate version of all of your files and emails.
Managed Antivirus – Its important to have one of the highest rated Anti-Virus products on the market protecting your workstations, laptops and servers. A managed antivirus solution goes one step further in allowing IT admins to remotely monitor any virus outbreaks on your network and act quickly to respond to any issues.
Remote IT Support – IT Support companies can now effectively monitor and manage your computers and networks remotely. To do this they utilise remote management tools which give insights into any issues that your devices are experiencing. Along with management tools they usually install a remote access client to connect to your device quickly and securely. This saves you time, as there are no travel costs involved. With this scenario it doesn’t matter whether users are working from home or out of the office, the IT support personnel can log on to their computer and fix any issues.
If you are struggling with this shift to working from home, either as a business or an employee we can help you! From something simple such as supplying a webcam, to assisting you to set up remote access to your office through a VPN, setting up cloud emails and applications through Office 365 or anything in between get in touch with us today.