We explore the technology available to facilitate home working
Many companies are now offering their staff the opportunity to work at home, either full time or a fixed number of days per month. Home working can be an ideal solution for some people, whereas some people dislike it. So enabling staff to have a choice or work a fixed number of days at home is attractive and a nice perk to have.
But what do you need to enable your staff to work at home? Well, your staff will firstly need the necessary IT equipment. This can include different equipment and technologies, depending on your IT setup. You must also remember that not all people have lots of IT technology at home.
In this blog, we explore some of the essentials that may sound obvious, but are often overlooked.
An internet connection
This sounds obvious, but there are many things to consider than simply asking if your staff have internet connection. For example, if you staff are going to be cloud workers, utilize VoIP and/or connect to the office, then they will need a fast and reliable internet connection.
Not everyone has access to fibre broadband, so you need to assess each staffs suitability for home working.
A laptop or PC
The most essential item for a home worker is a laptop or computer. Would you be expecting your staff to use their own personal equipment or will you be supplying them?
If they are using their own laptop or PC, then it may not be powerful or suitable enough for their work tasks. On the flip side, if they are using equipment supplied by you, then you need to check it is insured and not used by other people as it may contain sensitive information.
Do you expect your staff to take calls at home? If so, there are various solutions available to make and recieve calls.
You could use a mobile phone, use the staff members home phone, install a new telephone line, or utilize VoIP technology via the internet. The latter is the most cost-effective and an easily maintained and managed solution. With VoIP, your employees can have their own extension at home so your phone system is seamless, plus the technology is available and easy to install!
Security and anti virus
Anti Virus software is paramount for home workers. If your staff are using their own equipment, they may not have the latest anti-virus software or firewalls. Therefore you need to manage this process effectively.
Some staff may need to connect to your main office server or access files. If this is the case, then a secure connection is recommended. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) ensures any connection is encrypted and secure. Traditionally used by large corporate organisations, VPN’s are now a cost-effective solution for SME’s as equipment prices are now lower and are quite simple to set up.
Regardless of all the technology, there are numerous personal aspects that also need to be considered and addressed. We’ll leave this to a future blog!