There's no question that technology has had a profound impact on the way we work. The rise of the hybrid worker has changed the game, and today's professionals need to be armed with the right tools to stay productive. Here are six essential technologies that every hybrid worker should have in their toolkit:
1. A good work laptop or tablet
Since hybrid workers are constantly on the go, it's important to have a good work laptop or tablet that can keep up with their lifestyle. Ideally, hybrid workers should have a device with a long battery life, fast processor, sufficient memory, and plenty of storage space for their files and applications. The hardware requirements will largely depend on the type of work that the hybrid worker does. Some professionals may need a more powerful device if they're working with large files or doing resource-intensive tasks.
The form factor of the device is also important depending on the type of work employees are required to perform. For instance, designers may prefer a graphics tablet, while field technicians might prefer a rugged laptop.
2. A reliable internet connection
Hybrid workers need to be able to connect to the company network from anywhere, so it's important to have a reliable internet connection. Companies can provide this by subsidizing internet costs or mobile data plans. They can also issue a mobile hotspot, which gives employees the ability to connect to the internet even when they're in remote locations with no Wi-Fi access.
3. Virtual private network (VPN)
When employees work outside the protection of the company network, the data they transmit to and from their devices is at risk of being intercepted by third parties. This is especially the case if they work on public Wi-Fi networks, which are often poorly secured, like those in coffee shops or airports.
To protect company data and connect securely to the company network, hybrid workers should use a VPN when they're working outside the office. A VPN encrypts all data transmitted between the device and the VPN server, making it impossible for third parties to eavesdrop on the connection. It can also circumvent geo-restrictions, making it a useful tool for workers who travel frequently to countries with heavy internet regulation.
4. Cloud-based storage
Cloud-based storage solutions like Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive are another must-have for hybrid workers. These services give users the ability to access their files from any internet-connected device and scale their storage capacity as needed. They're also useful for collaboration, as they allow users to share files and work on them together in real time.
Additionally, cloud storage tends to be more secure than traditional storage methods like USB drives or external hard drives because if these devices are lost or stolen, the data they contain is at risk of being compromised. Cloud storage services providers typically have robust security measures in place to protect user data, such as encryption and user authentication.
5. Project management apps
Project management apps like Trello or Asana are great tools for keeping hybrid workers in sync. These apps feature a centralized dashboard where users can assign task cards, set deadlines, share files, and track their team's progress. Within each task card, users can even set up a to-do list and shared calendar to make sure everyone is always on the same page.
6. Business collaboration software
Communication and collaboration is the cornerstone of any effective hybrid working team. That's why companies should invest in business collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams. These tools offer a variety of features that make it easy for hybrid workers to stay in touch, such as instant messaging, audio and video conferencing, file sharing, and group chat rooms. Microsoft Teams, in particular, is tightly integrated with other Microsoft 365 productivity apps like Word and Excel, making it a valuable tool for hybrid workers who use these programs on a daily basis.
By equipping hybrid workers with the right tools, companies can set them up for success and ensure that they're able to work effectively both in and out of the office. If you need state-of-the-art technologies to enable your hybrid workers, call Athens Micro today. We're a top managed IT services provider that can fulfill your company's unique needs.