If there is one lesson to be learnt from the recent outbreak of the coronavirus, it’s that our workforce must be prepared for external crises.

Risk mitigation is therefore one of the most important responsibilities for the c-suite and although decision makers can implement numerous precautions, there are some risks that are out of their control.

More to the point, with ongoing issues such as pressure to reduce global footprint, more businesses are going to be forced to implement remote working strategies.

There are a lot of organisations that fear the challenges of remote working, but it doesn’t need to be a hindrance. Remote access management solutions open up a range of opportunities for organisations to work across multiple remote locations and still keep business ticking along as usual.

Breaking barriers to success

Fear around the challenges of remote working are by no means a recent phenomenon. Despite many employees seeing the appeal of logging in from the comfort of home, a recent Employee Experience Report from Insight Solutions showed that 34% of respondents claimed a lack of support from IT “makes flexible working difficult and stressful”.

Yet the barrier to remote working digs deeper than personal preferences. In a lot of organisations, there remains a trust issue between management and staff.

In another recent poll around preparation for remote work due to the coronavirus, Gartner found that 76% of HR leaders reported the top employee complaint during the outbreak as “concerns from managers about the productivity or engagement of their teams when remote”.

Yet Gartner also recognised that “worries around productivity are often overblown”.

This concern and frustration around remote working stems from a lack of understanding around its full benefits. In turn, businesses are holding back on embracing the full opportunities of remote working.

Unleashing the next era of working

Realising and embracing the opportunities of remote work solutions is critical if businesses are to remain efficient when faced with challenges outside of their control.

In these unique circumstances, the initial benefits of home-based working cannot be argued against. But it should not take a global crisis for businesses to embrace a remote working culture.

Using remote access management solutions enables employees to maximise their productivity at home.

These solutions offer more than just conference calls, but enable people to make fast and secure connections with their colleagues and collaborate around the globe. This means staff can access desktop applications and files from the click of a button, maintain productivity and keep the business growing and achieving its goals.

There is a business case for taking a more flexible approach to work.

Recent research from YouGov Omnibus stated that a fifth (20%) of HR managers thought staff worked to a slightly higher standard when home compared to the office, and a further 7% thought they work to a much higher standard.

The freedom of choosing an office location enables staff to explore more creative working methods, select their working hours, and work in an environment which supports their mental wellbeing.

In turn, staff are more engaged and produce better outcomes for the business.

In addition to maintaining an engaged workforce through remote working, businesses could also reduce their carbon emissions by cutting down on staff commutes.

With companies facing increasing pressures to commit to sustainable goals, remote working is a valuable tool that can help drive sustainability, balance productivity and business growth. Companies should therefore consider adopting the right technological infrastructure to support a strong remote workforce.

Securing a remote working culture

For businesses to feel confident in remote working, decision makers and staff need to ensure their remote access management technologies are secure.

It is therefore integral that actions are taken to ensure a safe remote setup.

From installing antivirus protection that will guard against digital threats to checking the sharing and encryption settings on shared or distributed data, these are basic steps that must be reinforced across the business in order to foster a successful and secure remote working culture.

No matter what the external threat is, a business can prepare for a multitude of crises if remote working is embedded into the organisation.

As Generation Z enters the workforce, Gartner predicts that remote working will rise 30% by 2030.

It is not a question of if businesses will embrace remote working, but when companies will take this step. The sooner organisations realise the benefits of remote working, the better companies can adapt to the fast-changing world we work in.