Cloud storage services have evolved to become more than simple depositories for digital files. They now offer a variety of features that make communication and collaboration simpler for workers. This is especially true for remote teams.
Remote workers face unique challenges that can hinder productivity. Cloud storage allows distributed teams to share data securely, easily access files from anywhere, and seamlessly collaborate with colleagues no matter the physical distance between them.
Below are the five cloud storage features that are most beneficial for your remote workforce.
Easy and secure file sharing
A recent article from The Harvard Business Review noted that “remote workers are often surprised by the added time and effort needed to locate information from coworkers. Even getting answers to what seem like simple questions can feel like a large obstacle to a worker based at home.”
When an employee can’t just pop into their coworker’s office with a quick question, fast, effortless file sharing becomes essential.
Relying on email to share files means dealing with inconvenient file size limits, and using FTP can take a very long time. Having a quick and easy file sharing solution helps alleviate this headache for you and your employees. With the right cloud storage provider, your team can share files almost instantly, whether they’re small or large.
Hilco Industrial, a Onehub client, uses our easy and secure file sharing for their widespread mobile workforce. “I just drag and drop to upload documents, and then set permissions. Whether our people work from an office or with mobile devices, they can get the documents they need more easily than through email,” says Valery Moody, Hilco’s Director of Operations.
Security is another primary concern for file sharing across remote teams. Cloud service providers take data security seriously and invest in protocols that will keep your company’s sensitive data safe.
The details of security protocols will vary by provider. To ensure you’re choosing the safest option, look for cloud storage providers that offer bank-level encryption, two-factor authentication, customizable roles and permissions, data room options, and encrypted automatic backups across multiple facilities.
With these types of security measures in place, remote teams can confidently share sensitive data amongst their colleagues.
Good communication is at the heart of every successful team, but it can be a serious challenge for remote workers. In addition to making collaboration difficult, unclear communication is one of the top contributors to employee burnout.
To overcome this, remote workers need to have easy access to communication tools to help them gain clarity about a project or quickly relay important information to the rest of the group. A great cloud storage solution will offer a variety of ways for users to communicate with each other.
Onehub offers robust communication tools that allow users to send messages, leave comments at the file or folder level, assign tasks, approve or reject document changes, and receive notifications. Cindy Hearn, Sales & Marketing Specialist at RPG, says, “It’s been great for everyone to have the real-time collaboration, notifications, and efficiencies that come with using Onehub.”
When remote employees can easily connect with their team members, they can better manage their workloads and feel less overwhelmed or isolated.
Real-time file syncing
Automatic file syncing is a must for efficient remote collaboration. Most of us are familiar with the frustration of making edits or additions to a document only to find out it’s an outdated version. It slows down the overall workflow of a project and can cause a lot of confusion.
Using a cloud storage provider that offers automatic file syncing means everyone can access the most up-to-date documents in real-time, no matter where they’re working from or what device they’re using.
Hilco relies on real-time file syncing for its frequent group-based document editing. Its distributed workforce can work confidently, knowing that the project spreadsheets are continuously updated. Everyone sees the same information, which saves time and prevents confusion.
Automatic file versioning
Many business files are living documents that are regularly updated, and project files often go through half a dozen revisions before being finalized. This can create problems when you’re trying to determine which version of a file is the latest iteration or when you need to retrieve past information that’s since been updated.
Automatic file versioning solves all those issues. All changes made to a document are recorded and saved within that file. Employees don’t have to worry about naming and keeping track of different versions of files or losing information. If they need to roll back changes to a document, it’s quick and easy to restore a previous version from the file’s edit history.
This simple but powerful feature is a must-have for remote teams and a game-changer for collaborative projects. Without it, tracking down previous versions of a file is a nightmare, especially if employees save files locally instead of in the cloud.
View and edit files without downloading
Shaving a few seconds off the traditional process of locating a file, downloading it, and opening it in another application may not seem like a substantial benefit at first, but think about how many times each day you interact with digital files. Everyone on your remote team handles a similar amount of files daily, and all those seconds add up quickly across multiple employees. It’s time wasted, and it’s also an unnecessary frustration that can disrupt an employee’s focus.
It’s also a huge convenience to be able to create and edit files directly within a browser. Integrations with software such as Office 365 or Google Drive allows employees to speed up the time it takes to do these small but frequent tasks. With in-browser viewing and editing, you can finish updating a document in the time it would usually take just to download and open the file.
Having the right tools for the job is essential. Give your remote team everything they need to do their best work. With a free, 14-day Onehub trial, you can see what a difference having the right tools can make.