A virtual private network could be the key to ensuring sensitive data remains secure when working remotely.
We live in an age of globalisation and workplace flexibility. Happiness is now directly associated with productivity; more and more of us choose to work from home, work more flexible hours, and manage our lives in unique and individual ways. We don‘t even need to be in the same country as our hiring office thanks to the internet! We could be globetrotting, studying or parenting, as well as doing our jobs. This freedom and flexibility can create a happy workforce as people‘s needs are met as and when they arise.
Let’s take a closer look at the perks of flexible working:
Flexible working was first acknowledged in 2003 for parents and carers who were making requests for more flexible hours. In 2014, this right was extended to all employees in “an effort to promote economic growth through a strong and efficient labour market having undertaken a consultation exercise in 2011”. The idea of ‘flexible‘ includes part-time, job-shares, working from home and out-of-hours work. This freedom allows companies to work with talented individuals without being restricted by geography, and allows workers to manage lifestyle restrictions such as health issues, parenting and avoiding long commutes.
The IT industry is one of the best examples for remote workers and flexible working. This is because the tech industry has all of the necessary technology to provide safe networks for communication and data transfer. With all of its infrastructure, including secure virtual private networks (VPN), the tech industry can hire the most talented person for the job irrespective of where they live or their time limitations, and you could too. Recently many organisations have opted to offer flexible working to their teams to accommodate for their needs.
But how can you make flexible working secure? Enter the virtual private network, or VPN.
A virtual private network (VPN) could be the key to flexible working for your employees. By definition, a VPN “extends a private network across a public network or internet. It enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network”.
How can a VPN improve the working conditions of remote workers? The key factor is security: the VPN allows a user to connect securely to a company‘s private network remotely. The security comes from the safety of an encrypted channel. By being logged into that network the remote user is covered by its security features. The internet is used as a tool to extend the network rather than directly provide any data transfer services.
If the industry you work in shares a lot of sensitive files and private data then a VPN could be the solution to ensuring your data remains secure on-the-go. This kind of communication is very risky via a public WiFi, leaving the door open to all kinds of hackers and viruses. The encryption of a VPN will provide the safety for members of your company to work remotely.
Here is a list of some of the most popular technologies used by remote workers:
- Mobile Devices: Tablets and smartphones are gaining in popularity compared to personal computers and even laptops. The “Bring Your Own Device” scheme allows for usage on the personal devices which used to be prohibited by the IT section of the company. Mobile devices allow for mobile working!
- Cloud Services: Cloud-based applications are being used more often in the business sector. Rather than each co-worker having the files on his or her own device and constantly sharing and losing track of updates, a cloud-based solution is accessible to all whom have been given access. It makes co-ordination and sharing easy and effective from anywhere. The cloud-based tools can be used whether travelling, at home, in the office or on the go. A great example of this is Google Drive, which allows users to share their documents and collaborate with coworkers in real-time on a live document.
- Video Conferencing: Through various online applications we can hold virtual meetings whilst all members are at different locations, without the need to travel. Meetings can be more spontaneous, and problems can be solved faster.
- Instant Messaging: It is easy to ask a quick question or share an opinion via the many social platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn, or chat platforms like Skype. Messages are instantaneous and accessible on all devices, allowing your staff to communicate effectively and in real-time.