With employees in cities spanning the U.S., many organizations have always had remote workers. Pre-pandemic, the coveted hybrid work model allowed some local employees to work both on-site and remotely. COVID-19 forced many office professionals into the work from home model—according to PwC, 83% of companies implemented some sort of remote work—and most found that they enjoyed the added flexibility and convenience. Instead of wrapping life around work schedules, they started wrapping work around life. According to Microsoft, 70% of employees would like remote work to remain an option. And working remotely doesn’t only benefit workers. A Dropbox study found that productivity increases by as much as 35% when employees work away from the office.
With faster internet, mobile hotspots, VPNs and cloud technology, the work from anywhere (WFA) model is now the endgame for achieving work-life balance. Your office is wherever you are: a coffee shop, at home, in an Uber or halfway around the world. Need to sign a contract while strolling through Times Square? Just pull out your phone and e-sign with a click.
Working from anywhere offers employees the freedom and autonomy needed to achieve peak performance—but it also requires the right infrastructure, so your team doesn’t miss a beat.
3 Key Elements of Successful WFA Models
Successful WFA models use technology to optimize processes that set teams up for success. You can break the WFA model down into three foundational parts: Connectivity, Cybersecurity and Collaboration.
Connectivity: Each person needs a strong and reliable internet connection. In addition to wi-fi, a hardwired backup or hotspot should be available, to avoid a glitch-filled Zoom call with an executive or a prospective customer.
Cybersecurity: In the WFA model, your office is wherever you are, and that’s often a dynamic environment. Working from home, the lines get blurred when work laptops and smartphones get used for non-work activities—suddenly, your child has accidentally put a virus on a corporate machine. Or your home’s outdated firewalls leave your computer and data vulnerable. Working at a coffee shop, library or other public location poses further security risks, as you don’t know who else is on the wi-fi network. The perimeter as we’ve known it has ceased to exist—your security (and your customers’) must now be airtight no matter the location.
Collaboration: The cloud made working anywhere possible. All the tools needed to stay connected and collaborate have moved there: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Confluence, Google G Suite, etc. As an MSP, with a large percentage of knowledge workers and their tech expertise, you are uniquely positioned to help your customers achieve and maintain a successful transition to WFA.
How You Can Leverage WFA at Your MSP
At Liongard, we’ve embraced working from anywhere precisely because it helps us operate at 10X. We were hybrid pre-pandemic, and we’ve always had remote team members across the country. So, when the pandemic hit, we already had the infrastructure and experience to shift everyone to work from home (or anywhere), including experience using collaboration and productivity tools like Atlassian, Slack and Confluence.
Companies leaning into the new normal are able to scout the best talent and hire from cities across the U.S. Work from anywhere policies can also help you retain talent. Employees working remotely can eliminate commute time and no longer have to worry about moving for a new job offer, making it easier for them to stay with a company.
This doesn’t mean you have to totally do away with in-person interactions, though. Many organizations that adopt WFA models keep a main office space for team members to meet and collaborate. Coworking spaces are also a way to cut costs on office leases while still providing space for employees to work or meet.
Whatever WFA policies you implement, it’s important to arm your team with tools, guidelines and a culture that set them up for success, and will help them get their best work done. Life happens—dogs need to be walked during the day, children need to go to dentist appointments, and things just come up. This freedom and trust are essential for any team to be successful.
Be Prepared for What’s Next
It’s an exciting time to be part of the future of work as it unfolds. MSPs are uniquely positioned not only to lead the way in the WFA movement, but to propel it forward by helping their customers make the transition. With unified visibility from the cloud to laptop and anywhere in between, Liongard helps you operate at 10X, no matter where your team is located. Learn more at liongard.com.