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When the pandemic started, many businesses thought the shift to a remote workplace would be temporary. Now, it looks like organizations are in it for the long haul. Experts in workplace application development at Workforce reported that companies insist remote working is “here to stay.”

According to Gartner, almost 75% of CFOs plan to turn at least 5% of formerly on-site workers into remote workers when the pandemic ends. As companies adjust to the remote workplace and develop long-term strategies, they need to find ways to optimize their remote workplace solutions.

Business and IT leaders should ask themselves if their plans for remote work are hardened and secure, as well as if they allow for maximum productivity.

Here’s a look at 3 things organizations need to do to make the most of the remote workforce.

1) Be ready to adjust bandwidth

Increasing the number of remote workers at your company puts a strain on network resources. More bandwidth is needed to support the additional demand created by workers’ devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

Data is being sent to the corporate data center and the cloud from more locations because workers aren’t located at the company headquarters. To meet the demands of increased traffic, your business network must be scalable.

While a traditional wide area network may not be able to scale adequately, software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) can meet the demands of the remote workforce. SD-WAN can scale to support 10,000 or more locations. When SD-WAN is supported by a fiber optic network, great volumes of data can be accessed by multiple users,while the organization benefits from a more secure, more scalable solution with less latency from more efficient routing.

2) Protect against threats to users

Cybercriminals have been taking advantage of the pandemic to stage attacks on organizations and high-profile users. When employees are working remotely, they can’t take advantage of company firewalls. Every device remote workers use is essentially a new endpoint that is vulnerable to hackers.

Remote employees working outside of the network are vulnerable to threats. DNS protection is one way to secure employees wherever they are by blocking malicious websites or users who unwittingly click on something they shouldn’t.

you-need-a-nimble-IT-infrastructure3) Look to cloud or MSPs to achieve nimble infrastructure management

Managing the infrastructure needed to support remote workers can be tricky. When the lockdowns occurred, companies suddenly needed to alter their IT infrastructure to accommodate more edge computing. Now that companies rely on numerous endpoints to operate, getting visibility into the network and the myriad of remote devices is complicated and difficult.

Organizations may benefit from some outside help with infrastructure management. Working with a cloud provider or managed service provider (MSP) will take some of the management burden off the shoulders of the in-house IT staff. Working with a cloud provider also allows companies to be agile, easily scaling their infrastructure to meet changing demands for data storage and backup.

Doing the Best for Your Remote Workers

In pre-COVID days, your company may have shown appreciation for employees by treating them to special snacks or an office outing. Now that the workforce is operating remotely, you can show you care by ensuring that your remote workforce has the safest, most efficient, and most reliable technology to work with.

FirstLight has everything your company needs to optimize your remote workforce. We specialize in network and cloud solutions for businesses in all kinds of industries. Our team can help prepare your remote workforce for the long term with SD-WAN, encrypted wavelength, and more.

Find out more about how FirstLight’s encrypted wavelength can help protect your remote users. Get our solution brief.