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Employee accessing their computer to work from home

5 Mistakes Managers Make with Remote Employees

Despite the many benefits remote employees bring to a business, they can also bring about many challenges to traditional managerial methods. No longer is it possible to greet employees in person or see to it that they’re doing their work.

Supervising remote employees requires a new approach—one that is only possible through technology. But in order to understand how technology can best serve you in managing your employees, it’s important to know where you’re falling short. Here are five of the most common mistakes managers are making right now.

Forgetting About an Employee’s Role

Without the ability to see every employee in front of you, it’s hard to account for how each individual impacts your team. In addition, in a remote setting, communication outside of mandatory meetings is often left to a standstill.

This makes it easy for employees to become disengaged, both in the work that they do and in their relationships with others. To prevent this, try to hold regular meetings with your remote workers using whatever communication system your company typically employs for client meetings or consider overhauling your communication strategy by integrating affordable, internet-based tools like VoIP (voice over internet protocol).

Whether calls consist of conversations relating to their involvement on a project or if they serve as a brief call to shoot the breeze and establish greater comradery between teams, these types of check-ins can help your workers feel like they’re a part of something larger.

Giving an Employee Too Much or Too Little Work

When workers are remote, it’s difficult to know if they are able to handle the work they’re being assigned, or if they have room in their schedules for more. Maximizing the productivity of your remote workforce while distributing an achievable workload starts with consistent communication.

This accentuates the need to set up some form of regular meetings with teams or individuals, during which time teams can report on the status of projects and more or less work can be assigned accordingly. Managers should also note when parts of projects can be automated.

Although it’s no one-size-fits-all solution, tools like robotic process automation (RPA) can be programmed to work with just about any existing software your company is already using and automate tasks that don’t require a lot of variation. While it may require a few additional steps, taking measures to align your team will help make sure they’re able to function at full capacity, no matter where they are.

Not Using Webcams

Employees like to be recognized, not just for their accomplishments, but also as individuals. When meetings are limited to conference calls, it’s difficult to read expressions and emotions that we would normally pick up on if the meeting had been in person.

Although remote workers might think their working arrangement sounds like a great opportunity to work from the comfort of their beds, this lack of face-time among colleagues results in a loss of teamwide engagement and familiarity—potentially impacting the quality of their work and extent of communication.

For example, Nerds Support uses secure web conferencing to communicate with all of its team members. By insisting teams use webcams, you are not only helping to reduce the chances of this, but also making sure they are just as presentable and work-ready as they would be in the office.

Not Nurturing Their Professional Development

Just because workers are working comfortably remotely, doesn’t mean they don’t share the same aspirations as your other workers. In fact, 75 percent of remote workers say they need more work-related training to further their professional growth.

The good news? Most of the training remote workers need can be done online. Many video conferencing applications grant mentors and remote workers valuable face-to-face time as well as the ability to share screens that can make instructional meetings easier to follow along.

When “off of the air,” remote employees can continue working via any cloud-based applications. Their work can later be reviewed, shared, or presented from any location. When technologies like these are used conjointly, the result is a happy remote workforce that has a greater potential to remain at your company while climbing the corporate ladder.

Not Seeing Them as Human

Remote employees are living, breathing, and hardworking individuals who happen to be located somewhere else. What this means is that attention to their thoughts and feelings should not be ignored.

Forgetting to invite them to important meetings or let their voices be heard is no different than it would be in any other setting. However, since emotions aren’t as easily felt over the phone or during video conferences, managers need to make more of a conscious effort to ensure every individual is given a chance to speak or provide input.

Even a brief pause every now and then to ask a group if they have any questions or matters they’d like to discuss can be the difference remote workers need to be and feel impactful.

 

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Roadmap for moving to cloud computing

A Cloud Roadmap for your Business

Companies that plan on thriving in the next 10 to 15 years are beginning to realize how important moving to a cloud-based infrastructure is. 70 percent of enterprises and organizations are moving businesses critical files and applications to the cloud according to a survey by Cloud Security Alliance.

Cloud based services give businesses the necessary tools to grow and remain competitive in an increasingly technological era. It facilitates collaboration, saves money and offers a multitude of security benefits. Like those 70 percent you may feel like moving to the cloud is the logical next step for your business, but knowing how to get started can be onerous.

When moving to the cloud, companies usually do the following three things:

  1. Move files.
  2. Move applications
  3. Move desktops

These steps are the natural progression of a business’s transition to a cloud-based infrastructure and are relatively simple.

Step 1: Moving your files

Dropbox, Google drive and Microsoft OneDrive are all versions of file sharing services that operate through the cloud. They are a company’s first exposure to the cloud. That’s because you can resolve many sharing, security and storage problems, allowing for exponential growth in levels of efficiency and productivity with little to no cost.

When you get a file storage system in place, the exchange of information between your business and your team will take some adjustments by staff. But once everyone gets the hang of working on the cloud, it will enable collaboration in ways unavailable to companies previously. Make sure your team is aware of the fact that sharing insecure documents can be avoided. Encrypting files is a simple and easy process which can prevent issues later on.

Step 2: Moving your applications

Once you and your team have accustomed themselves to working on the cloud, the next step would be to transition your applications there as well. This means everything from industry specific applications to more common ones like Microsoft Excel and Word processor.

On the cloud, apps can be accessed by everyone within the company, from any device. Time and resources aren’t spent purchasing individual licensing for specific devices, deploying, patching, updating etc. When transferring files and applications, you’ll have the equally beneficial opportunity to do some IT auditing and management. Get rid of the software that you no longer use and make sure your team all get access to the apps they need.

Step 3: Moving your desktops

It’s possible to move your desktop computers to the cloud, they’re called virtual desktops or hosted desktops. A cloud desktop is everything that loads up when you turn on a PC: the files, applications and operating system. When you have a desktop and a computer gets damaged or lost, the only thing lost is hardware. All the important data remains secure and accessible. Having all of your essential tech in one secure place eliminates the need for buying, securing and maintaining any infrastructure existing in-house, again cutting costs and saving time.

Start your journey to save time and money today. Talk to an expert. Good IT service providers, like Nerds Support can guide you through the entire process. We run your tech, update, perform daily backups and much more making sure your business runs as efficiently as desired and even more so.

Call Nerds Support for more information to move one step closer to transforming your business.

A building that uses cloud technology

5 Benefits of the Cloud

Growing a business can be very demanding. You have to balance between growth (scaling your processing, expanding your talent and assisting your customer base in more sustainable ways) and retaining the ingenuity and culture that differentiated your business in the first place.

This is a time, however, ripe with opportunity for growing businesses. The rise of cloud technology has revolutionized how enterprises operate.  The cloud has made it easier than ever to access the kinds of secure and effective programs that only the biggest businesses were privy to. And now, this technology is more affordable than ever. Growing businesses can use the cloud to collaborate remotely with greater efficiency and make strides in accomplishing completing their goals and projects. With the right guidance, you can operate your IT with efficiency while avoiding the baggage and pitfalls.

When that happens, many things are possible:

  1. Cost

The cloud, more specifically a private cloud, can start at a 12 percent annual costs savings compared to a public cloud.

Better IT doesnt have to mean a bigger budget

  1. Tighter Security

Cloud providers, like Nerds Support, can provide security that no small or medium-sized business firm can compete with. The cloud provides encryption and firewalls, automatic back-ups to patches and upgrades.

  1. Less admin

Cloud solutions are easy to implement and ongoing maintenance and management is handled by the cloud provider. Nerds Support has a dedicated team of IT specialists and engineers with over 30 years of experience working diligently to provide reliable solutions 24/7.

  1. Greater agility

Cloud contracts are more flexible than standard hardware contracts. A growing business needs a dynamic variety of IT solutions and, this way, can avoid being tied down to one solution for an undesired amount of time.

  1. Easier mobility

With everything available on the cloud, team members can operate remotely at any time from any location, allowing for sustainable work-life balance, if need be, without dropping productivity.

Adopting a Cloud Roadmap

The cloud, as we’ve seen, has wide-ranging benefits. That being said, it’s important to note how your specific business is going to utilize the cloud and its available features. Many growing businesses underestimate the need to incorporate a systemic plan to use the cloud.  They buy solutions as issues present themselves without thinking of a broader strategy.

Most businesses don’t even realize they are using a form a cloud, like Gmail or Microsoft OneDrive. Developing a plan means you can identify what you’re missing and plan accordingly to better collaborate, simplify remote working and make it a more efficient process.

Download Nerds Support’s Free e-book to help you navigate through various functionalities available with the cloud. We’re always here to help!

The cloud saves you time and money

Achieving Zen: Finding balance between Productivity vs. Security and Compliance

These days, many IT professionals are stuck between a rock and a hard place. One minute, you’re struggling to maintain user productivity. The next, you’re trying to meet compliance and governance.

The problem is, this inner battle keeps intensifying and getting worse and worse. New technology such as the cloud and new workforce benefits, including employee mobility, work from any device policies and vendors that have access to your networks and information, are creating IT issues that never existed before.

It can be difficult, especially for a small or medium sized business, to keep up with both simultaneously.

What’s clear in all this activity is that a new approach to IT security is needed— and needed urgently. To succeed in this new modern, digital era, your security strategy must:

  • Protect your firms from cyber hacks and breaches
  • Prepare for compliance
  • Allow people to access the apps and data they need from any device, anytime
  • Ensure applications and data can be reached from any network connection and cloud environment
  • Reduce the risk associated with disruptions, have a business continuity plan in place

It’s also clear that traditional security is no longer effective for protecting organizations and keeping their data safe and hacker proof.

Save time and money with the cloud.

Find out how cloud computing saves your time and money

A man working on his laptop through the cloud at the beach

Make your Digital Workspace Work Better—for Everyone

Now, more than ever, digital transformation is the fuel companies are using to boost productivity and engage consumers. It is spurring organizations of every size to reimagine how work gets done by creating secure digital workspaces that are designed to promote agility, enhance service and growth

No longer exclusive to desks on site, employees are working successfully in virtual teams—communicating and collaborating anytime, anywhere, on any device using the applications freely. And according to recent surveys, this trend shows no signs of slowing. 70% of workers are now working remotely at least one day per week.

150 IT Decision makers on what makes virtual desktops better

For IT, this on-demand, work from home environment is creating new challenges and security risks. In many cases, admins are lacking end-to-end visibility and control and they’re increasingly struggling to deliver the best experience for their employees and customers.

 IT teams find themselves purchasing disparate products for specific types of applications and device profiles. As a result, workers have to go to multiple gateways or access points to use different types of applications, creating a poor user experience.

As branch offices and remote workers become more pervasive, the need for an effective balance between usability and security has never been more important.

Fortunately, the next generation of remote access solutions, like Nerds Support’s cloud services,  offer many capabilities that can help overcome the infrastructure challenges and security risks that today’s distributed businesses and users are creating.

Here’s just a few things these new solutions can deliver:

•             A better overall user experience for remote and mobile workers – Next-gen remote access solutions provide users with one access point and single sign-on (SSO) to applications regardless of where they’re located or how they are deployed.

•             An effective way to consolidate infrastructure  –  These new solutions provide one URL and streamline your remote access infrastructure – helping to reduce IT costs and improve the ease of keeping with compliance and security policies.

•             The ability to view your entire infrastructure – Instead of seeing only what your point solutions could control, these next-gen solutions provide true visibility into your application traffic, ensuring higher uptime and reducing help-desk calls.

Click Here to Download our FREE E-Book about Cloud Computing