Remote Working – A Blessing for Productivity, a Curse for IT?

Posted by: Torben Andersen


Remote working used to be a dirty word in business circles didn’t it? Organizations thought workers couldn’t be trusted to work out of sight – they might be watching day-time TV or slipping off to the gym. But they are slowly coming around to the idea that rather than impede productivity, remote working actually makes a workforce far more productive.

Many big businesses – particularly those HQ’d in expensive city locations – have developed remote working and hot desking strategies, where employees come in to the office on rotation, maybe once or twice a week and then for the rest of the time they work from home. Or a coffee shop. Or their gym. Wherever there’s a decent broadband connection, really.

And it’s not just about home working. It’s good for office based workers too. If Brad from accounts is ill, he might want access to company systems so he can meet a deadline from home. Or corporate travellers who want to work on the move. And everyone else who wants access to webmail or filesharing when they are commuting or killing time before a meeting.

“63% of 2500 managers linked a growth in revenue directly to flexible working practices”

All this time and all these activities add up to a big old shot in arm for workforce productivity. It’s a real, tangible business benefit and has a massive impact on the bottom line. Some research in the UK found that 70% of managers reported an increase in productivity after a shift to flexi-working. Another survey found that employees over compensate for being out of the office, with 47% said they try to be extra visible by sending more emails and making more phone calls, while 39% said they worked longer hours to prove they weren’t slacking off. That same study also found that 63% of 2500 managers linked a growth in revenue directly to flexible working practices.

But it’s not just about productivity. Remote working adds to the bottom line in other ways. For example, a flexible working strategy is very effective at helping organizations attract talent and also retain people as it increases employee satisfaction. It also drives down attrition rates and reduces unscheduled absence.

But to achieve this, it is vital that remote access to systems is secure. Securing in-house systems is one thing, but the minute your employees are logging on from multiple geographical locations, using multiple devices, vulnerabilities become much more apparent. If systems aren’t locked down, organizations are making themselves vulnerable to a myriad of security threats.

“More than 75 per cent of hacks involve weak or stolen passwords”

Too many organizations rely on password protection to secure their remote working environments. And when you consider that more than 75 percent of hacks involve weak or stolen passwords, that is a gaping hole in their security. So should you kiss goodbye to an uplift in productivity for the sake of security? You don’t need to. Multi-Factor Authentication uses a number of variables to validate a user’s identity, like their geographic location or time of day. Each time a user logs in, a one-time-passcode is generated and sent to their mobile. In a nutshell, it ensures remote working is conducted securely and can help IT teams maintain their organization’s productivity levels. Simple.

How about you? Has remote working been a blessing or a curse for your organization?



For more information on Multi-Factor Authentication check out SMS Passcode and their video below:

Introducing a New Generation in User Authentication from CensorNet on Vimeo.