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November 27, 2020updated 16 Dec 2020 5:19pm

Keeping Your Distributed Team Productive

Expert guidance on secure, remote-working

By CBR Staff Writer

In Association with:

There may be a vaccine on the way, but for now there’s no end in sight for home working. While this brings benefits like dodging the horrors of the morning commute, there are still challenges to working as well and as productively as you do in the office.

Luckily there is help available and a lot of ways to make life easier.

Some of these are simple.

If at all possible set aside a dedicated space for working. This will allow you to more easily get into ‘work mode’ but also make it easier to switch off at the end of the day.

You still need a work-life balance even if you’re stuck at home.

If you’re responsible for setting up and provisioning new kit for flexible workers, then look at Windows Autopilot, which can cut time on the process of setting up a machine from minutes to seconds. It allows you to provision and secure new devices with just a few clicks. For users it means their new device sets itself up as soon as they log-in. None of the usual headaches for them, or for the IT department.

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For practical hardware HP’s EliteBooks are a good choice for many business roles – they come in traditional notebook form or fold over screen for video conferencing and media work. The EliteBook 800 series is available with either Intel quad-core or AMD Ryzen™ PRO processor options.

They also come with good quality speakers, microphones and cameras to make video conferencing as hassle-free as possible.

Like all HP’s business kit these also come with built-in security features, like Sure Sense which can spot malicious files and ransomware attacks and Sure Click, also available for non-HP machines too, which isolates key applications to keep them safe from malware.

For even tougher security, with even less management overhead, consider HP Proactive Security, part of HP’s Device as a Service, which deals with total endpoint security for businesses of any size with zero hassle for IT staff.

HP also offers a range of print solutions for home workers like HP Flexworker which provides a simple way for staff to buy printer consumables at the best possible prices and without wasting their time trying to find and purchase supplies.

With the right hardware in place it is time to think about software.

The role of cloud-based collaboration tools has grown massively in the last few months as everyone from office workers to school kids has had to get to grips with it.

Microsoft 365 is the obvious choice for easing the challenges of remote collaboration. Microsoft Teams provides online collaboration and communication tools, video conferencing and Sharepoint services for easy sharing of files and documents.

With all that in place your staff should have access to all the business services they were using in the office.

The only thing left out of the equation are the less tangible benefits of working in an office. Businesses are beginning to notice what else is missing.

True collaboration relies on more than just effective file sharing; there are social aspects too. You can do this with a dedicated social channel on Teams.

Or consider a virtual coffee morning once a week – a video meeting with no set agenda beyond having a chat and getting to know colleagues, and their work, a bit better.

However you do it there is a definite benefit to maintaining a bit of social contact with colleagues.

To find out more about remote working securely, read the free report here.

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