IT Tips and Challenges for Supporting Remote Workers

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IT Tips and Challenges for Supporting Remote Workers

As working from home becomes the reality for Australian workplaces, there’s never been a more critical time to invest in IT support for remote workers.

Businesses across Australia and the world have been trialling working from home for quite some time. While many have made it compulsory (due to lockdowns and government restrictions), companies are also giving employees a new choice to work remotely post-pandemic.

In fact, when COVID-19 is over, remote work will very likely become the new normal.

So it’s more important than ever before to ensure your remote work IT support is up to scratch. Below, we’ll outline some challenges and tips on how you can provide the right tech support for your (newly) home-based workforce.

Top IT challenges of working remotely (and how to tackle them)

Connection dropping in and out. Frozen Zoom meetings. Slow emails. Troubles connecting to the cloud. These are all some of the difficulties we face with remote work.

But it doesn’t always have to be this way.

Here’s a list of some of the major IT support challenges you’ll come across, and our tips on how you can tackle them quickly and cost-effectively.

1. Home network infrastructure

The problem: Your employees’ internet setup can’t handle your company’s workload.

Think of the typical home internet unit. Basic consumer-level equipment an average person might use to send some emails, watch movies, play video games or do taxes.

They just aren’t crafted to manage massive amounts of traffic when everybody at home uses it at the same time.

This may not only lead to frustrating Zoom calls, but serious data security problems that could lead to dangerous breaches of your network.

The tip: Make sure your employees’ devices are secure and up to date. Provide them with a strong virtual desktop or a VoIP business phone so they can connect more effectively.

2. Threats to your cybersecurity

The problem: Your company is facing an increased threat of cyberattacks due to employees working remotely.

If your employees are relying on their own home-based IT infrastructure, chances are they’re using B-grade equipment without the latest cybersecurity software. Your employees may also have poor habits when it comes to using technology and are prone to clicking on a suspicious link, leading to malware infiltrating your network.

These breaches are really happening. A 2021 IBM-Ponemon Institute report found that Australian companies took 311 days on average to detect and contain breaches, more than a week over the previous year. Breaches involving remote workers reportedly cost $1 million more than those that did not.

The tip: Ensure your employees are equipped with the most appropriate cybersecurity software and are trained in basic security practices.

3. Limits to Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

The problem: Remote virtual desktops don’t always work the best.

While there are various virtual desktop programs like Citrix and Amazon WorkSpaces, they are limited in what they can do.

You can’t go ‘offline’, so you can only work if you’re connected to the virtual desktop. Performance also isn’t the best, as computing power is all transferred from a central data centre to remote users (i.e. your employees)

The result? You’re left with a clunky virtual workspace working well some of the time but causing frustrating delays more than your business would like.

The tip: Scale up your server, storage and bandwidth. Have a strong contingency plan to deal with system outages.

4. Issues with compliance

The problem: The inability to control and monitor your employees working remotely may cause you to violate data security legislation.

There are stringent data protection and privacy regulations in Australia that you must comply with. Breaches of the Privacy Act 1988 can result in penalties of up to $2.1 million for corporations.

By relying on a remote workforce, you have little idea of where your employees actually keep your data. You may have little ability to monitor what they are downloading or sharing. It may also be more difficult to prevent insider risks like IT theft.

The tip: Having a robust implementation and enforcement of IT security and compliance policies will go a long way to helping you comply with your legal requirements.

Remote IT Support Sydney: Don’t get left behind

Don’t try to manage all the remote work IT support all by yourself. 

At Total Computer Technology, we’ll offer a tailored solution for your business to deliver robust IT support for remote workers no matter where they are based.

We’ll look closely at how your business operates, recommend appropriate solutions and develop the right tech strategy to help your company navigate the complex IT environment.

Get in touch with our IT support team in Sydney today by calling (02) 8113 4400 or click here to submit your enquiry.