||The kind of office most of us are
familiar with is a building with four walls and a roof that we
probable drive to 40 or so hours each week, Monday through Friday.
Today, many companies still maintain traditional offices, but the
decision makers are also discovering that to compete in the current
economy, employees must be able to do their jobs anywhere, anytime.
Microsoft recently commissioned a survey
conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs among 4,500 information workers in
15 U.S. markets to better understand opinions and attitudes related
to mobile and internal business technologies and capabilities. The
survey results further underscore the growing requirement for mobile
work solutions- more than half of the respondents (57%) report
that their company has a formal telework policy and more than three
quarters of information workers (77%) say their company provides
access to technology support for working remotely.
Working without walls - what it is
At Microsoft, we like to describe remote working
as "working without walls," because it's becoming much more than simply
handing employees laptops and giving them the ability to check e-mail
outside the office -- though that's a start. Rather, today's business
climate demands that employees be able to work just as effectively inside
the office as they can outside the office. This means being able to use
laptops as well as handheld devices to securely access vital business
information, collaborate with colleagues (even face-to-face), make critical
business decisions and more.
Tools that can help
A range of technology tools exist to help businesses effectively mobilize
employees. Here are a few that are particularly helpful for working without
One of the primary benefits the cloud has
delivered to businesses of all sizes is access to software that formerly
only existed on local servers and required employees to be in the office to
use the applications. Now, thanks to the cloud, workers can use many of the
programs they formally only had access to in the office whenever they have a
secure internet connection.
Microsoft Office 365 is an all-in-one solution
that combines SharePoint, Exchange, Lync and Office in an up-to-date cloud
service. Ideal for letting employees remain productive in and out of the
office, Office 365 makes things like video conferencing, document and
desktop sharing easy for mobile workers, as well as tasks like e-mail, chat,
calendaring and document creation.
Sometimes, when working without walls,
it's just not efficient to conduct work from a laptop. For instance, you
might be at a business lunch and can't lug your laptop to the table,
or it could already be stowed in the overhead compartments of an airplane
when you realize you need to send off a quick e-mail before your plane
In these instances, having a smartphone can make
all the difference. Windows Phone, designed specifically for the business
user, includes applications that make it possible to do virtually everything
you already do on a desktop PC or laptop. It also includes numerous data
protection features that help safeguard your business information should
your phone be lost or stolen. What's more, Office 365 is available on
Windows Phone, ensuring that users get the maximum productivity benefits
this software provides.
In those instances when using a laptop
makes more sense than working from a smartphone, it's vital that your
computer's operating system is security enhanced.
Windows 8, Microsoft's newest operating system,
is its most secure operating system to date and provides data encryption
features through Bit Locker - for hard drives, as well as Bit Locker to Go -
for removable disk drives. Another feature included in the Enterprise
version of Windows 8 that's particularly beneficial to mobile workers is
Direct Access, which gives users security enhanced and easy access to
corporate networks without a VPN.
Collaboration connection and security are
business essentials inside, and outside the four walls of your office.
Fortunately, today's technology tools can easily help you empower employees
to work productively from any location and will likely make your business
leaner and more efficient as a result. Take some time to learn more about
working without walls by clicking here.