What small businesses need to manage the new hybrid work business model.

If there’s one thing we've learned from the pandemic, it's how to adapt.

We adjusted nearly every aspect of our lives, from how we shop to how we meet to how we work. As we look at the world of small and mid-size businesses (SMB), this drastic shift was based on necessity. Before the pandemic, most SMB employees worked in offices or stores, but as 2020 unfolded, that changed. In a 2021 survey of businesses with 1-100 employees, at least three out of five now incorporate working remotely at least some of the time. Moving forward, 67% say they have no plans to return to the office five days a week.1

3 out of 5 small businesses that were in the office before COVID-19 are now at least partially remote.

SMBs need work-from-anywhere solutions.

We’re operating in the new world of hybrid work, where some employees work in the office full time, others work remotely, and the rest now maintain a new hybrid work situation where they work from their home or other remote location, in the office, or in the field. A new term has now surfaced to define this new group: The Work from Anywhere (WFX) workforce.

To support this mobile work environment, the right technology is needed to enable a seamless, reliable, and secure connection to the internet using tools that allow easy collaboration within teams, as well as the proper security measures to protect your employees and data. According to research conducted in 2020 by Cisco and IDC, enabling remote work is the top investment priority for small businesses (50-499 employees).2 That's why so many SMBs are accelerating digital transformation efforts, with WFX as a driving force. But as important as connectivity and collaboration are, security also plays a key role.

SMB cybersecurity.

As SMBs transitioned to support remote work with more focus on mobile enablement, cyber criminals saw it as a golden opportunity to take advantage of those that were not prepared with the proper security. According to a 2020 report from Malwarebytes Labs, 28% of SMBs paid unexpected expenses to address malware attacks, and 22% suffered a security breach because of a remote worker.3

Remote work provides hackers with many avenues to gain access to your network—which intensifies the need for mobile security. In particular, SMBs need to adopt best-practice security policies, such as multifactor authentication (MFA), upgraded password/PIN/device restrictions, virtual private networks, collaboration app security, cyberattack prevention, and more sophisticated threat detection and response.

As businesses focus on fine tuning the new hybrid work model, they need to make sure to enable the proper types of protection that will secure their company data and employees.

  • Perimeter Protection: A firewall that protects the company network, systems, and data from external threats (malware, viruses, and more)

  • Mobile Device Protection: Allows company employees to be protected regardless of how or where they access the internet

  • Monitoring and Remediation: Proactively searches PCs, tablets, servers for threats, quickly detecting issues and providing remediation

  • Private Network Access: Provides secure access to only specific company apps and data to those who need it without opening the entire network (e.g., a contractor, vendor, partner, or remote employees who only need access to certain apps)

WFX solutions and more from T-Mobile for Business.

As the new hybrid workforce became prominent for businesses everywhere, T-Mobile for Business already had a host of offerings and then introduced a WFX Solutions to help firms of all sizes tackle the technology issues critical to success in a mobility enabled work environment. WFX Solutions are designed to provide businesses with reliable, secure internet access on 5G and 4G LTE networks in the office, remotely, or on the road, with a variety of collaborative tools that can be added to meet the individual needs of each company to maintain productivity. Here are just a few of the options that can provide the flexibility businesses need to work from almost anywhere.

  • T-Mobile Collaborate (AI powered, cloud-based phone system)
    This AI-powered communication platform, powered by Dialpad, provides business calling, messaging, and video conferencing from almost any device, anywhere. The platform gives employees their business phone number and the freedom to call, message, and meet from their laptop, smartphone, or tablet, creating the same communication experience whether they're at the office, at home, or somewhere in between.

    With AI-powered Voice Intelligence from Dialpad, employees can transcribe conversations in real time and use voice commands to make conversations more accessible and inclusive. Because T-Mobile Collaborate is a cloud-based solution, setup and deployment are fast and hassle-free, with easy ongoing user management.

  • T-Mobile Home Office Internet (remote office internet connection)
    T-Mobile's 5G and 4G LTE network has the reliability and coverage to connect WFX workforces with separate, reliable, high-speed internet connectivity, and it’s easy to set up. Separate high-speed connectivity means an employee’s WFX connection doesn't have to compete for bandwidth with the rest of the household. And, since IT maintains control, they can ensure access to business-critical applications and filter non-business content.

  • Small Business Internet (In-office/store internet connection)
    In true WFX fashion, businesses need not only their remote connection options, but also their fixed wireless connection for their business locations, office, and stores. SMBi provides the full package for companies with unlimited* usage and a 5G/4G LTE Gateway.

  • Microsoft 365 (Productivity boosting collaborative tools)
    Our business rate plans, part of our WFX Solutions, also include the option to get Microsoft 365, which includes all the productivity tools your business needs—such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, with advanced security, device management, and more—all at no extra charge.

Helping small business move forward.

As businesses everywhere reinvent their business models to embrace hybrid work, it’s critical to make sure you have the right technology to support your needs. The fastest and most reliable internet connection, the collaborative tools your employees love to use, with the security in place to thwart attacks, will give you the peace of mind to focus on what you do best—manage your business successfully.

T-Mobile WFX Solutions and the T-Mobile 5G network, the nation's largest, fastest, and now according to umlaut, most reliable 5G network, can help companies embrace the flexibility and realize the full potential of the hybrid workforce while laying a foundation for the future of your business. Learn more at T-Mobile For Business. Or if you would like to talk to a live person, call one of our Work from Anywhere experts at 1-877-511-6719.

Keep your people connected and productive, wherever work happens.

T-Mobile for Business is taking the next step by bringing Ultra Capacity 5G together with unified communications as a service (UCaaS) and mobility solutions to help your distributed teams work from almost anywhere. Utilizing America’s largest and fastest 5G network,ix T-Mobile WFX includes unlimited 5G with the latest 5G phones, tablets, and hotspots; AI-powered cloud communications including calling, messaging, and conferencing; and business-grade 5G/4G LTE fixed wireless connectivity in your employees’ homes.

As you can see, 5G isn’t the over-hyped, future-state technology pundits have been talking about for years. It’s here today and is more than capable of solving today’s problems and challenges for CIOs and their distributed workforces.

Ready to give your workforce the speed to connect and the tools to collaborate where work happens? Learn more about T-Mobile WFX.

*During congestion, Small Business Internet customers may notice speeds lower than other customers due to data prioritization. Not available in all areas.

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