Businesses move to support remote working

coffee-shop-393954_960_720Stepping into Carbon Beverage Cafe on Platte, you’ll hear light music, steam from an espresso machine, and the chatter of keyboards from the patrons who spend their day at community tables or converging around the spare visible outlet.

These remote workers are here every day for a few minutes or hours. They work at some of the largest companies in Colorado and for some of the smallest startups.

Working remotely is growing in popularity. Surveys have shown that 37%[i] to 45%[ii] of employees work from home or remotely every month. Among college educated employees the number is higher at 55%.

Employers that are supportive of working remotely have an advantage in recruiting top talent. Many professionals base their career decisions on employer policies around remote working.

“Being flexible on remote working gives us a big advantage,” Drew Leyden, a recruiter for The Leyden Group, said. “Our clients with remote work policy and support enjoy an advantage in recruiting top talent.”

Employers are also using remote work policies to broaden the pool of talent from which they recruit.  Many positions are now unbound by geography. If a position requires no more than a laptop, cellphone, and internet connection, then recruiting from within a specific geography is unnecessarily limiting.

Some studies have shown that working from home even increases productivity, reduces sick days, and builds loyalty.[iii] Companies that want this advantage need to develop policies and technologies to make their programs successful.

The technology behind remote work

Working remotely isn’t without risk. Security and compliance breaches from the end point or the device that connects to corporate data are common. For example, one study found that 45% of healthcare breaches came from lost or stolen laptops.[iv]

IT departments are challenged with providing an excellent end user experience to remote employees, while meeting data security, compliance, and governance standards. This requires a variety of technologies, like Mobile Device Management (MDM), encryption, and two factor authentication, as well as policies for proper use, management, and governance.

As technology evolves and demand for flexible work styles increases, companies with the technology and culture that supports this trend will have an advantage in hiring the best talent over companies that require more traditional schedules.

[i] http://www.gallup.com/poll/184649/telecommuting-work-climbs.aspx

[ii] http://betanews.com/2015/09/11/the-rise-of-telecommuting-45-percent-of-us-employees-work-from-home/

[iii] https://hbr.org/2014/01/to-raise-productivity-let-more-employees-work-from-home

[iv] http://www.cio.com/article/3015820/data-breach/lost-devices-account-for-bulk-of-healthcare-security-incidents.html

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