For some, it is their first experience of managing a remote workforce, and they are quickly coming to realise there is more to it than simply equipping staff with a device and a broadband connection.
One company with significant experience in managing a remote workforce is Dell Technologies, which first established its Connected Workplace program for staff in 2009.
According to Robert Vinokurov, General Manager of Dell Technologies' Client Solutions Group for Australia and New Zealand, the goal of the program is to give employees the power to choose the work style that best fits their needs on the job and in life.
Vinokurov says that 65 per cent of his company's team members have been working in a flexible capacity for some time.
"It's become a core component of our culture and helps attract and retain the best talent," Vinokurov says. "Our policy also helps us protect the health and safety of our team members while balancing the need to help our customers and ourselves keep the business running."
While formal mobile working policies might be new for some organisations, Vinokurov says Dell's research shows that informal mobile working has been far more prevalent than some might realise.
When designing a flexible work program, Vinokurov says Dell's experience shows two factors are critical – the equipment that is provided, and how the worker is supported. The learning from Dell Technologies' own experience with remote and flexible working has been packaged into a offer it calls Unified Workspace, which provides a comprehensive solution to deploy, secure, manage and support devices from the cloud.
"We know there is no one-size-fits-all deployment solution, which is why we've designed the Dell Technologies Unified Workspace to offer multiple options based on a company's needs and unique environment," Vinokurov says.
In terms of device technology, this means providing workers with a device that is sufficiently powerful to perform any task that might be asked of them, along with a high-speed VPN connection to ensure seamless, secure connectivity.
"Also, give remote users full IT support at home that is fast, secure, simple and keeps them productive," he says.
This last requirement is one that many organisations find difficult to implement, and requires that the organisation's support team is properly resourced to support a remote workforce.
"How and where end users get work done continues to evolve, so IT must keep up," he says. "Your IT staff are facing new demands when it comes to managing and securing this new multi-device and multi-OS environment. So you need solutions and strategies that help offload non-value add work, so IT can refocus its expertise on transformative initiatives."
Vinokurov says Dell Technologies has created a number of services to help support and manage deployments, such as the Dell PC-as-a-Service (PCaaS) offering, which combines hardware, software, lifecycle services and financing into a single solution to provide greater certainty and control of costs over the life of devices.
The company is also the first PC maker to provision applications in the factory prior to deployment using VMware Workspace ONE.
"Then we ship your systems directly to your employees, anywhere, everywhere," Vinokurov says. "They can hit the ground running, and you can focus on what's next."
Vinokurov says Dell Technologies has further simplified the deployment process with a portfolio of low-touch IT solutions based on the Intel vPro platform and supports multiple options via Dell Provisioning for Windows Autopilot and ProDeploy Client Suite.
He adds that it is also vital to ensure that moving staff outside of the workplace does not decrease the organisation's security posture. That means making appropriate investments in endpoint security, secure connections and end-to-end data encryption.
"In order to truly support any device, anytime, anywhere, you must have the right security solutions in place," he says.
Flexible working has shifted into sharp focus of late which, Vinokurov says has prompted many customers to reach out to Dell Technologies for advice on the right remote working solutions and assistance in fast-tracking their workforce transformation.
To hear more from Vinokurov, you can catch him speaking on a live webcast with ZDNet contributor, Brad Howarth, on 30 April 2020 from 11.30am about the remote workforce.