Has your business decided to embrace long-term home working?
Do your staff have home connectivity up to the job?
Do you need more efficient means of staying in touch with colleagues?
If any of these questions resonate with you, then you are not alone. Ever since the Prime Minister initiated lockdown and urged all those that could to work from home, more people than ever have been doing just that.
A Gartner survey in March revealed that 74% of CFOs intended to move at least 5% of their on-site workforce to permanent remote positions post-COVID 19. Nearly a quarter of respondents said they will move at least 20%.
This survey does not take into account the number of employees who will work from home for part of the working week which we know is a reality both from our own experience as a business and from the conversations we are having with our customers.
More recently, the Office for National Statistics said 49% of workers reported working from home at some point in the seven days to 14 June, up from 41% the previous week, so even with restrictions relaxing, offices still remain largely empty and this is a trend that does not look like abating any time soon.
At the beginning of lockdown, some businesses allowed their employees to take their corporate PCs or laptops home or to use their own devices. Businesses already set up with VPN or with access to cloud services could easily reach their data and IT systems while others struggled.
Four months later, some businesses are evaluating the effectiveness of their initial home working solutions, especially if they are considering saving money by reducing office space with less staff on site.
The key to any homeworking solution is connectivity. Home workers have been relying on their domestic broadband and in many cases, have been sharing it either with other home workers or with children, either undertaking online lessons or entertaining themselves with streamed entertainment.
This will have had an effect on their Wi-Fi too, as the more devices using the Wi-Fi, the more potential there is for it to slow down
Meanwhile back in the office, business-grade internet connections with all the bandwidth and speeds required for a full workforce have been under-used. If only we could share this bandwidth with our home workers!
Broadband was never meant to be a business tool, but we have been treating it like one since lockdown began. Carriers are getting wise to this and are coming up with internet solutions to provide business-grade connections for employee’s homes with extra bandwidth, better speeds and, at times, service level agreements. Please call me if you want to find about these.
Meanwhile, other employees are using 4G connectivity via data-only SIMs in dongles or MiFi devices instead of wired connections, leaving their domestic broadband to the rest of the household, or using them as backup if their broadband gets overloaded. Again, contact me if this is something you are interested in.
With the right connectivity in place, home working is an efficient reality. You and your colleagues can use virtual private networks to access servers on site or in a private data centre like ours. You can use cloud services – data storage, CRMs, Microsoft 365, telephony, unified communications, etc. – which do not rely on you being office-based and can be accessed from any device. Everything you need is at your fingertips from wherever you are working; the distance between you and whoever you are working with or for is simply irrelevant.
We are helping businesses and home workers find solutions that ensure they can continue to work from home if they want to. Get your connectivity right and you can work from home very effectively.