Digital Technology Remote working

How to work from home (the financial sector’s software guide)

Posted by David Smetana on May 14, 2020
laptop and coffee mug on desk illustrating how to work from home

The world of work is evolving. Nowadays, working behind a static desk is no longer a necessity. Much like the typewriter or fax machine, the nine-to-five office routine is becoming increasingly outdated. And employees are taking note.

In fact, 99 percent of workers state they would like to work from home at least some of the time for the rest of their career, according to a Buffer survey.

Of course, the financial sector isn’t exempt from this trend. And with the right mindset and software, your firm could be working from home efficiently and securely in no time.

In this guide, we’ll discuss what remote working is, how financial firms can benefit and the software you should adopt.

Table of contents:


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What does ‘work from home’ mean?

To define it simply, ‘work from home’ pertains to the action of working outside of the office.

While this usually happens in a home environment, employees are free to work wherever they choose (providing both the setting and WiFi network are secure).

Businesses provide their employees with the devices and tools needed to allow this remote work to happen. This is because working remotely presents certain challenges that only specific project management and communication software can solve.

But, before we delve into the nitty-gritty of software details, let’s take a step back and ask the question: why work from home at all?

Remote working benefits for the financial sector

Working from home is a trend that employees and employers alike can’t seem to get enough of.

Why? Because flexible working initiatives boost productivity, increase employee happiness, and can transform your firm’s culture for the better.

But don’t just take our word for it. Here are four of the biggest benefits, backed up by proven statistics.

1. Enhance employee happiness

  • 91 percent of remote workers say they decided to work from home to help restore a better work-life balance
  • 80 percent of remote workers are happy with their job, in comparison to 55 percent of onsite workers
  • 77 percent of people state remote working improves their overall wellbeing

2. Boost productivity

3. Save money and increase profitability

  • Companies can save an average of $11,000 for every employee that works from home (half the working week)
  • Telecommuting saved employers a total of $44 billion in 2015

4. Give the environment a helping hand

  • Remote work could cut greenhouse emissions by 54 million tons if those able to remote work did so for half their working week, every week
  • Current telecommuters reduce greenhouse emissions by an amount equal to 600,000 cars

It’s clear remote working practices can impact the financial sector in multiple aspects. But, despite the obvious proof, financial businesses are still slow to adopt home working initiatives.

In fact, only 10 percent of financial businesses accommodate remote working in the US. And the story’s not much different further afield. In Europe, financial firms only account for 13 percent of all businesses representing home working.

In order to make flexible working a reality in your financial firm, you’ll need the right tools to get you started.

The 5 best remote working tools for financial firms

Remote working wouldn’t be possible without the right communication, project management and productivity tools. But, with so much noise in the remote software space, it can be hard to pick out the best of the bunch.

We’ve simplified the job for you with our list of the five best tools for remote working financial firms.  To help you navigate them, we’ve divided them by producer and purpose.

We hope you find the list useful!

Enhance productivity with Microsoft 365

Microsoft’s cloud-based suite is the perfect foundation of any remote financial business.

On top of its intuitive, familiar interface, Microsoft 365 also boasts high grade security, including services such as Microsoft 365 advanced threat protection. This makes it a valuable toolkit for financial businesses who work with a plethora of critical data.

Let’s explore the best tools to get hold of in the Microsoft 365 suite.

1. Teams

For disparate financial teams who need to collaborate on client projects, Microsoft Teams offers a slick way of bridging the remote communication gap. 

Teams benefits from an array of productivity features, including:

  • Chat and private messaging that’s fun as well as practical
  • Quick video calling features within the chat functionality
  • A stress-free video conferencing platform, accessible from Microsoft’s Phone System, Calling Plan, and Direct Routing
  • The ability to share and edit spreadsheets, files and PowerPoints in real-time with your whole team

2. SharePoint

Acting as a customisable intranet and content management tool, SharePoint is a brilliant software for encouraging a better ‘work from home’ experience.

With SharePoint, you can create ‘team sites’ for each project, team and division within your organisation. This means you can better streamline your operations and provide tailored experiences for your different teams.

What’s more, your firm can integrate plenty of productivity-boosting apps into your SharePoint hub, such as Office 365 TimeSheet. This tool allows employees to track their billable hours against projects in SharePoint.

To help improve your application experience, try Microsoft’s Power Automate. This tool lets you create workflows between your apps to streamline automation, ingest data or synchronise your files.

3. Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 is your key to streamlining operations, keeping pace with financial trends, and supercharging your strategies.

With this software you can:

  • Health check your business in real time
  • Harness automation to enable faster decision-making processes
  • Integrate with Power BI to benefit from highly digestible, shareable data visualisations
  • Reduce operational expenses and boost your budget management
  • Quickly adapt to changing global and local financial regulations, risks and trends

This product gives your home working employees access to essential internal and external financial insights to help elevate your strategies, budget and competitiveness.

Security software essentials

If anything, remote working only emphasises the need for better security.

These two tools help you manage your disparate teams, devices and applications to ensure your critical financial data is safe from looming cyber threats.

4. Enterprise mobility and management

Did you know that insiders cause over a third of all data breaches?

Although your employees may not be malicious, their actions have the potential to cause irreparable damage. So, when your disparate teams work with extremely critical financial data, such as credit card details, you need to ensure complete security.

Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility + Security offers complete mobility management, enabling you to keep your sensitive data safe.

With this software, you can benefit from:

  • Central identity and access management to ensure only the right people have access to your critical data.
  • Advanced threat protection that allows you to stay on top of the latest cyber threats.
  • Seamless end-to-end management of your applications and devices.
  • Visibility into your cloud applications, data and insights to help you build upon your security strategy.

Using Microsoft’s advanced security measures, your firm can rest easy knowing your data is secure and your employees have the appropriate restrictions in place.

5. Asigra backup

Backing up your data is important regardless of your working policies. That said, it can be difficult to enforce your employees to backup critical data individually when they work disparately.

By using a sophisticated backup solution, such as Asigra, you can guarantee all your firm’s data is backed up onto your cloud environment, no matter where it sits. This is essential for a remote workforce.

Ultimately, Asigra allows you to:

  • Backup data on every end-point device
  • Store, manage and wipe data in line with financial (and wider) data regulations
  • Stop malware from targeting your backup data
  • Create a complete plan for business continuity, should disaster strike
  • Integrate with Microsoft 365 and backup your essential work files

Embrace the future of finance

Traditional working methods are out. Home working is in.

With workplace expectations changing, it’s time the financial sector steps up to the challenge of flexible working.

When executed correctly, allowing your employees to work from home can increase your overall productivity, boost workplace wellbeing and enhance your profitability.

But, in order to make this a reality, you need to use the right toolkit. From financial management, to productivity and security, choosing the best software will define the success of your remote working practices.

We hope you found this extensive list useful. If you need any further tips or recommendations, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly, expert team.

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