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Is remote working helping productivity in the public sector?

26 January 2021 by Laura Valentine

public sector remote workingMany of us have worked from home at some point during 2020, hosting virtual meetings, attending online events and often sharing sensitive documents with colleagues over the internet. Forced to adapt, as the months have passed, remote working has quietly began to feel like the new normal.  

Even in the (hopefully not-too-distant) post-Covid future, the way we work looks set to change for good. With the need to work remotely so widespread, there are few industries where employers and employees haven’t been exposed to the benefits that working from home can offer.  

The expectation then, is that working from home is here to stay. In the short period before the UK entered a second lockdown, although most white-collared workers were encouraged to return to their offices, only a third of them did so. Recent surveys have shown that 72% of workers would prefer flexible working in the future, with a hybrid of office and remote working the method of choice.  

In 2019 the public sector was ahead of the private sector when it came to working flexible hours, yet only 3% of staff worked from home, compared to 17% of those in the private sector. So, with less experience of facilitating remote working, how can public sector businesses ensure that productivity is maintained in a remote working future? 

Leveraging technology 

High-speed internet and video conference apps have been the saviours of 2020. The enablers of successful remote working, they’ve kept us connected, helped us collaborate and facilitated file sharingFor many businesses this has been a revelation, revealing the viability of a remote working model. Having access to collaborative software has shown to save employees up to one hour a day, making them more productive even when outside the office. 

This revelation has led organisations to realise that they can save on overhead costs, by allowing their employees to work from home, even for just a couple of days a week. The same money-saving principle can be applied to the public sector.  

Many workplaces have had to adapt their processes, update tech requirements and complete digital transformations as a result of the pandemic. Virtual desktops and cloud technology have become essential, ensuring employees remain productive with reliable access to secure networks and the apps they need to carry out business as usual 

A fully managed, fully customised remote working solution is therefore priceless, allowing workers to focus on their tasks and providing organisations with peace of mind about the day to day running of their solution. With the right infrastructure in place, everyone should be able to work from home as easily and securely as if they were in the office. 

Access and availability 

Productivity doesn’t come about by giving everyone access to everything. Especially if you work within the public sector, a lack of control over who can access your network, and what they can do once they’re on the system, has the potential to compromise compliance and cause security issues.  

When looking for a remote working solution it’s important to bear in mind future needs. The ability to scale up and add users as required is essential – along with bespoke access settings. In the public sector, or other industries handling protectively marked data, it’s essential to be able to fine tune settings so that only authorised users can access certain files or applications.  

With a robust connection and the right access, employees can carry out their responsibilities with no impact on performance or productivity. In fact, two thirds of employers have reported their home-working staff are more productive than their office-based counterparts.  

Remote security 

Working remotely increases security risks, particularly when it comes to data protection. During the pandemic, an increase in new cloud deployments has led to an influx of cybercriminals seeking to take advantage of the disruption. 

Cyber-attacks can lead to downtime, along with data breaches, with massive potential to impact productivity and business continuity. It’s essential that cybersecurity is an integral part of your remote working strategy, especially if you’re working with sensitive data.  

Assured Access from UKFast provides organisations with ultra-secure remote access to their office desktops.
Call today on 0161 215 4135 to learn more about Assured Access.