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How remote access can contribute to more agile working practices

The trend to agile working is sweeping across the business world.

What started out as a strategy to free software developers from rigid work structures and unleash innovation has spawned imitators in dozens of industries. From banks and retailers to public services, employers across the economy are applying agile tactics to their working practices.

The aim of agile is to tear down the barriers to effective working that grow up in any institution. The thicket of procedures and processes that rule organizations can strangle the creative process. To avoid this, staff are encouraged to take control of the workflow and carry out tasks as they see fit, working when, where and how they wish. Flexible working practices build flexibility and add excitement to the work process.

A flexible approach requires a strong team ethos and regular consultation between staff. Teams must work towards common goals and help each other achieve their aims. Feedback loops and sharing sessions allow workers to discuss their successes and failures with an eye to improving processes.

In today’s evolved and decentralized working environment people are working from home and on the move as well as in a standard office setting. In this environment, technology plays a vital part in allowing communication and interaction between teams and in sharing valuable IT resources. 

To create an effective strategy, teams develop an agile working agreement that lays out the directions and norms for autonomous team working.

Remote access technology can play a critical role in any agile working approach. It helps enterprises achieve mobility, cost savings and attract worldwide talent, it essentially allows people to be everywhere across the technology estate.

Remote access software has in the past been associated with IT support. While some business leaders fail to grasp the role of remote access in empowering enterprises and transforming workplaces, this technology is actually a business enabler. Given the changing business ecosystem, remote access is too valuable to be constrained to the IT support team.

Here, we discuss how remote access software can support agile working.

‘Remoting in’

With the correct permissions, employees have the power to ‘remote in’ to most devices, including PCs, laptops, tablets and even phones, with remote access software. The benefits associated with this type of flexibility are undeniable. 3.7 million employees (2.8% of the workforce) now work from home at least half of the time, and 22% of the self-employed population work primarily from home.

A work/life balance is fundamental in today’s working climate. Flexibility is particularly valued by the millennials, and by the growing numbers of parents and caregivers in the workforce, who are keen to become digital nomads and travel while they work.

By empowering staff with the means to ‘remote in’ from alternate locations, businesses can improve engagement and performance and foster a culture of trust and autonomy.

Autonomy and collaboration are the backbone of this new culture. Hot-desking, screen sharing, working from home or working while travelling are all supported by multiple-device initiatives. Work and education are becoming things that we do rather than places we go, which is why multiple device choice is so crucial in supporting a new culture.

Supporting remote collaboration

There’s often a worry that by introducing more flexibility and mobility into the workplace, you might compromise face-to-face communication.

Communication is a vital part of collaborative working and is integral to any business culture. The drawbacks of agile working are said to include heightened probability of isolation and lack of interaction with other employees. But with virtual communication methods available even on mobile devices, an agile strategy supports real-time communication between teams and individuals.

Decentralized working is the new normal. Whether it’s interactions between employees who are working from home, sales people out in the field, or support engineers who are on call, business is no longer inhibited by physical office locations. Remote access provides the opportunity to promote collaboration with employees on the move, contract workers and freelancers, as well as with partners and customers.

Removing geographic barriers

Geographical barriers restrict access to talent for many employers. The agility provided by remote access creates a wider talent pool. And it’s not just talent acquisition that improves, but also talent retention.

With distributed teams in different locations – global teams for example – creating effective network connections is vital. As remote access software plays such an important role in IT support, issues can be resolved remotely.

With a more unified culture, businesses succeed in creating a diverse and adaptable work environment that can withstand change and embrace technology advances in a disruptive environment.

BYOD cost savings

One of obvious ways for organisations to support agile working is to provide staff with mobile devices. While this approach can make some sense from a control point of view, it can be expensive. If you can ensure the appropriate level of security and access for employees own devices, you can support agile workers more cost-effectively.

BYOD is the best way to broaden access while saving serious money for IT departments. By cutting the outlay for devices, the direct cost of supporting user-owned tablets is 64% lower. Businesses can reduce the cost of overheads by allowing employees to ‘remote in’ from their chosen device.

Remote access technology plays an important role in a successful, agile working approach. With the right software, employees and partners are able to work, collaborate and access strategic IT resources from anywhere at any time. IT departments can ensure access is secure and controlled, and organisations can support the new decentralized working “normal”.

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