Microsoft Surface Mobility for Remote Employees
Enterprise mobility (or business mobility) is a term that is often applied to remote working technology and business practices that allows employees to conduct work from outside of a traditional office setting. This is used in work from home programs and touted as an employee perk—though businesses enjoy numerous benefits as well, such as:
- Being able to tap into talent resources that aren’t local to their office’s location.
- Increased productivity—as noted in a study cited by Inc.com, companies with a work from home program, “Showed an astounding productivity boost among the telecommuters equivalent to a full day's work.”
- Reduced overhead for office space—companies can add more workers without needing more floor space to accommodate them.
However, managing remote employees effectively requires having the right remote working technology. If employees cannot consistently access vital workplace resources and collaboration tools, then they cannot be productive in a remote office setup.
One powerful tool for remote employees is the Microsoft Surface Pro mobile computing device. Microsoft Surface mobility tools enable employees to connect to cloud-based collaboration tools from virtually anywhere they can get a cellphone signal, thanks to their LTE capabilities.
How does Microsoft Surface with LTE empower remote employees to be more productive? Here are a few of the benefits of Microsoft Surface mobility for remote work environments:
Microsoft Surface Mobility Benefit #1: Business LTE Connections
One of the biggest obstacles to business mobility is the need for a stable high-speed internet connection. If the employee’s access to the internet is intermittent or plagued with slow upload/download speeds, it will affect their ability to work efficiently. However, not every employee will have high-speed internet at home—or they may have to work from remote locations, such as a client’s office or a construction site (depending on industry and job role).
The Microsoft Surface with LTE helps solve this problem by using radio frequency communications (similar to how cellphones work) to connect to an LTE network tower. This allows remote employees using Microsoft business on the go tools, such as the Surface Pro, to access the internet (and thus any cloud-based apps needed for their work) from anywhere they can get a cellphone signal.
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Microsoft Surface Mobility Benefit #2: Combining Multiple Functions in One Device
As noted by BIOS Technologies, “As our devices become more and more an extension of our desks, the ability to seamlessly work in any setting is critical” and that, “With multiple devices, the experience was far too disjointed and sapped productivity.”
Switching between multiple devices for tasks can be a pain to deal with. While having a second screen to display information is handy for allowing users to look at a resource while typing information on their primary screen, having to constantly switch from a smartphone, to a tablet, to a laptop and/or desktop that all have separate sleep timers and passcode entries is a significant source of frustration. When trying to work remotely with a non-LTE device, the smartphone is often used as a mobile hotspot, which requires the employee to carefully monitor their internet use—lest they exceed their monthly hotspot data limit and start accruing penalties.
Because the Surface Pro has LTE capabilities built in, there’s no need to rely on a cellphone’s mobile hotspot (and carefully monitor the data usage). Additionally, the Surface is built for use with Microsoft business on the go apps (such as Microsoft Teams), that can provide text-based communication and collaboration tools—or full-on videoconferencing using the Surface Pro’s built-in cameras.
As a combination of tablet and laptop computer, the Microsoft Surface Pro can be easily switched between being used for classic Office apps (such as Word and Excel) and for tablet or smartphone-oriented apps such as e-readers as necessary (or based on the user’s preference). This allows employees to use their remote working technology in the manner that best suits their needs or preferences at the time—which can enhance employee productivity.
Microsoft Surface Mobility Benefit #3: Secure Business Mobility
Every business considering using a business mobility strategy needs to account for security in a remote work environment. Many remote employees who do not have an LTE-capable device may decide to use unsecured public Wi-Fi connections simply because they’re available. This is not an optimal solution, as it exposes the business to risk.
For example, when connected to public Wi-Fi networks, how is the employee ensuring that the connection they’re making is a legitimate network and not a malicious one posing as a public network? Just because the access point in the network list is called “ST*RB*CKS_001” doesn’t mean that it’s really the access point owned and operated by the coffee company. It could be a hacker spoofing the network’s identity to trick people into connecting with it as part of a “man-in-the-middle” (MITM) attack. An employee connecting to such a fake network would have their data routed through the attacker’s system, which would then copy everything before forwarding it to the actual Wi-Fi network.
Using a Microsoft Surface with LTE capabilities (and the Microsoft Teams collaboration software suite) can thwart these “man-in-the-middle” attacks in two ways:
- By Skipping Local Wi-Fi Networks Entirely. A MITM attack cannot hijack a connection between remote workers and the local Wi-Fi router if employees aren’t using Wi-Fi in the first place. By connecting to cell networks via LTE, Microsoft Surface Pro mobile devices can avoid Wi-Fi interceptions entirely.
- Encrypting Data in Transit. Another way to keep MITM attacks from causing compromise is by encrypting data so that attackers cannot use whatever information they intercept. Microsoft Teams automatically encrypts data-at-rest and data-in-flight—which frustrates attackers.
By allowing employees to connect to mission-critical business apps and databases from virtually anywhere with a cell signal, work in whichever mode (laptop or tablet) is the most comfortable to them, and providing secure access to the internet, Microsoft’s Surface with LTE makes remote workers more productive and easy to manage.
Want to learn more about how to manage remote employees with Microsoft Surface? Is Microsoft Teams right for your business? Subscribe to the Protected Trust blog for more information and updates or schedule a meeting to learn more.