The threat of a global pandemic has forced many businesses to adapt by making arrangements for their employees to work from home. However, even before this professional disruption, working remotely had already begun to take hold as a viable option in many industries. With so many people transitioning to working remotely, home cloud computing is playing a major role in the way many companies do business. Whether creating a virtual space for meetings, providing remote collaboration tools or reducing the need for hard copy file storage, cloud computing benefits while working from home are helping to change the structure of the standard workday experience.
In a traditional office setting, computer files are often stored on-site and can only be accessed when employees are in the facility. With employees working from home, cloud computing provides a virtual area to house these documents, allowing remote employees access from anywhere they have a solid internet connection. This makes it easy to keep everyone up-to-date on the latest projects and policies, giving employees the information they need when and where they need it.
Depending on which cloud provider a company uses, there are often a variety of collaboration tools available to help employees work together outside the office. Project information can be uploaded into the cloud through user-friendly interfaces, and relevant employees can be added to that particular team. Remote employees will be able to see the same overall expectations for the project and can be assigned particular tasks and deadlines that are unique to their roles. Ideas can be shared through integrated instant messaging apps, and necessary documents can be uploaded to be accessed by anyone associated with that project. In some of the more robust programs, changes to these documents can be implemented and viewed in real time. All these features work together to mimic an in-house collaboration session that allows everyone’s ideas to be viewed by the rest of the team, who can then provide instant feedback.
Virtual Meeting Space
Another collaboration tool that deserves its own mention is the virtual meeting space. Probably the most recognized of these today is the popular video communication platform Zoom. Virtual meeting spaces, like Zoom, allow the setup of video chat rooms to replace standard, face-to-face meetings. The virtual room is usually run by a host who has control over who can enter the meeting and can control participation by turning the microphones of others on and off when needed. Everyone who has a webcam can be seen by other participants, and computer microphones allow the vocal sharing of ideas. For some of these programs, companies can even replace large, in-person conferences with a virtual equivalent. This is great for employees of large businesses who are unable to travel to a single meeting place but want to participate in the bigger company events. Those who would prefer to keep their faces off-camera can also conduct audio conferences, taking the place of standard phone conferences without the need for a landline.
For businesses that use remote employees, data security can be a major concern. Fortunately, cloud computing is a great way to minimize this risk. Cloud servers often offer a much higher level of security than employees are capable of at home. This not only protects sensitive company data from cyber-criminals, it also protects employees’ work from unexpected loss due to home computing issues by providing a safe place to upload and backup files. This allows employees to easily restore any lost work and continue with their efforts with minimal interruption, keeping them productive and less stressed.
Improvement on Work-Life Balance
Happy employees are productive employees. By utilizing cloud computing, employees not only have access to everything they need from the comfort of their homes, they maintain this access anywhere they have a solid internet connection. This gives remote staff the freedom to use their mobile devices in other locations, allowing them to change their environment when needed. A change in scenery can often stimulate creativity while also reducing stress levels, making employees more effective at their jobs and improving their overall performance. For some, just the ability to maintain their work efforts at home, giving them the opportunity to spend more quality time with their families by eliminating work commutes and allowing them to enjoy their breaks at home, can provide a significant boost in morale. This can also reflect positively in their efforts.
Whether working from home is a new venture for your business or the company already has experience working with remote employees, home cloud computing is an excellent way to maintain the quality of work you expect at the office as efforts are made from a distance. Having cloud-based solutions while working from home can keep employees happy, productive and in the loop while simulating the same standard office experience proven to get results.