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Increased importance of the home office

6/01/2021 in Technology

Covid-19 has caused a rapid change in the way we work. Business owners have had to make adaptations to the way they run their company in order to survive. Some changes were on the horizon before Covid-19 but had to be brought to the forefront faster than anyone had planned by the national lockdown imposed upon us last year. Within days, whole companies began trying to create something that resembles the office setting through digital means from the comfort of their own homes.

Some have realised the potential benefits of having a complete or partial remote working team. What many business owners have yet to consider is the need to ensure their employees have an adequate working environment at home. This environment needs to allow for a good standard of communication, collaboration and productivity wherever possible. This is not as easy as you might think.

I see three potential ‘gotcha’s’ you will need to avoid:

  1. The home computer is slow and not properly protected
  2. Flaky Wi-Fi and unreliable internet
  3. Out of date webcams and microphones

We will now list some downsides to your business and the problems individuals expected to result from them.

 

Downsides

  1. The home computer is slow and not properly protected

This poses multiple downsides to both you the business owner and the employee using the computer.

It is not secure! This should immediately make you stand to attention. If the computer is not protected it is completely open to any and all types of malware attack. By not protecting your computer you are also in breach of legislation surrounding the protection of data.

With the computer being slow and clearly not meeting requirements it will almost definitely have a derogatory effect on the levels of productivity that staff are able to achieve. Staff will get frustrated with the constant disruption caused by the computer being slow.

 

  1. Flaky Wi-Fi and unreliable internet

With a poor internet connection, your employees will struggle to get any work done, and a good standard of time management will be difficult to maintain as they will never know when their connection is going to drop without warning.

It can leave a poor impression on customers if communicating through the Wi-Fi. If replies suddenly stop customers may think you are not organised or particularly concerned with acquiring and/or retaining their business – when the real reason is that you keep dropping in and out of connection and cannot hold a satisfactory conversation due to the poor quality of your connection.

 

  1. Out of date webcams and microphones

This can give a poor impression of your business in important meetings on Zoom or Microsoft Teams, for example. If you are on an important video call and the other parties cannot see or hear you to a good standard it does not project a good image of you or your company.

They can make misunderstandings a more common occurrence – for example, if co-authoring on a document within Microsoft Teams whilst communicating through a microphone and your colleague cannot hear you or your speech is muffled it can make the exercise counterproductive.

If you do not ensure staff make the necessary adaptations to their remote work set-up then these disadvantages and many more will reap havoc on your work processes – and also on the levels of productivity you and your team are able to achieve.

Every business has in essence the same goals when it comes to remote working. Looking at the three potential problems posed by the transition breaks down to four goals you need to achieve in order to ensure a good remote working infrastructure.

 

The goals

  • Improve staff productivity
  • Reduce frustration
  • Reduce business risk
  • Maintain a positive impression of your team and therefore your brand.

Let us take a brief walk through what we need to implement to achieve these goals.

 

How to achieve your goals

  1. Ensure that staff workstations are properly spec’d. This is essential to ensure that they are working as productively as possible and in a secure network. Any IT literate person will be able to advise you on a minimum spec to ensure efficient working is possible.
  2. Get all home devices managed by a professional. You may have knowledge of IT and the way it works but it is always best to have an IT professional manage it. They can monitor the system and recommend different ways to get the most from your IT. Speak to us or your IT provider.
  3. Consider a separate internet connection for work equipment. With a separate internet connection, any issues caused by the original one will no longer create any problems. If you get a business-grade product you will have no concerns in this regard.
  4. Look at using a new Wi-Fi network. Use ‘mesh’ technology; it is easily available from mainstream suppliers and has the ability to greatly increase Wi-Fi reliability.

Implementing these solutions will put you in good stead to replicating a remote work set up that mirrors your on-premise work functions.

Need help with your transition to remote working? Unsure where to start? That is where we come in.

 

Need to get more from your tools?

At Evolve we have a wealth of knowledge and expertise. With this, we can help you with a seamless transition to remote working. We know the importance of creating a secure productive environment that allows for connectivity and collaboration between you and your employees. Contact us today to discover the options available through technology to see that your home working is effortless.

We are uniquely placed to support you in achieving a frictionless transition to the cloud or we can help you along on the journey in acquiring more from the tools you may already have in place.

To learn how our team can support your digital transformation by aligning technology to your business goals and challenges, please book a discovery call with us today.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss anything read in this article further, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

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