​The Challenge of the Mobile, Remote Workforce

The mobile generation has arrived.  

And the older generation has adapted.  

The decision to allow employees to work outside the office has been made for us by technology.  And that’s not all bad.  It doesn’t matter how we define the ability to get work done efficiently when we can find the time to work regardless of our location.  

According to  The New York Times, 43 percent of employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely, according to the survey of more than 15,000 adults.  We think this number is much higher in our market. 

Many of today’s employees are “information workers”.  They require little more than a phone and network connection to perform their job function.  As a result, they can work from anywhere at any time. 

This creates certain security risks.  Providing secure connectivity to the company network and/or the applications in the cloud is a must.  If the employee is saving files to their laptop, home computer or mobile device, the business owner needs to be sure the data on these endpoints is being backed up and can be recovered in case of a disaster. 

This is why we chose Druva as Modo’s endpoint backup solution partner.  According to Druva: “the rise of the mobile workforce has led to less I.T. visibility into critical business data, and more potential for data loss and breach. “inSync” puts control back in I.T.’s hands with integrated tools for protecting and governing data across multiple operating systems, networks, and devices while providing a seamless end user experience.” 

However we choose to define it, working from home, the coffee shop, the lake, the beach, the soccer game in the (parked) car, the airport - as “mobility” or “working remotely” the capability to find working moments when we are not in the office gives life balance.  Finding work - life balance is a key ingredient in a creating a positive culture.

Regardless of the buzz word – telecommuting, remote work force, or mobility, as business owners, our challenge and responsibility are to provide the tools needed to enable the information workforce, manage and secure it. 

As millennials (and subsequent generations) continue to enter the workforce, their existence is predicated on technology having grown up in the digital era.   They expect to have fast, reliable connectivity and communication in their social lives as well as in their work environment.   

These lines are constantly being blurred. 

According to OpenMarket, 83% of millennials open text messages within 90 seconds of receiving them. Consider 6 BILLION text messages are sent every day in the US alone and you can imagine how often your employees are using social media apps on their phone in the office.  

Wouldn’t it be nice to know exactly how much this is happening and how much bandwidth is being used for non-work-related activity?  Well, you can.  

The good news is that with today’s next generation firewalls, such as Cisco Meraki, a company can monitor and control the allocation of bandwidth to non-work-related tasks and applications.  Some companies have a business reason to allow access to social media applications like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in the workplace.  Many don’t.  Having the ability to control, limit and monitor the usage of applications improves productivity and delivers peace of mind to management while providing a desirable culture to attract and retain employees. 

Securing your wireless users from malicious attacks — particularly these “DNS blind spots” that exist in many networks and are exploited by 97% of advanced malware — is of paramount importance. Unfortunately, recent surveys indicate that 75% of organizations do not actively monitor and apply security for DNS.

Providing secure, remote work capability enables young parents to attend more of their children’s events.  It enables older employees to write blogs from home in the pre-dawn hours.  It allows the traveling salesman to work on the plane.  If we have the discipline to use it correctly, technology can provide wonderful work – life balance by enabling us to find working moments in our lives.  

At Modo, we understand the needs of small businesses and the challenges that today’s technology presents to the modern mobile information workforce because we are a small business with these same issues.  

For more information, please reach out to us at Modo Networks for a no-charge network and security assessment to learn about how we solve these puzzles.  

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