When lockdown first came in last year, organisations moved fast to put remote working setups in place, thinking they were temporary measures.
But now, many workers may never go back to the office: 74% of CFOs expect some employees will remain homeworkers post coronavirus. And it’s looking likely that, in a post-pandemic world, many employees will expect homeworking to be a permanent option. As a result, organisations need an infrastructure that can support working from home longer term.
Homeworking is harder than it needs to be
For many, working from home is far from ideal. Many homeworkers compete for bandwidth with online schoolwork, gaming and streaming. Sharing connection is frustrating, particularly when you’re used to a higher quality of service and performance at the office. People are tired of freezing screens or being cut-off during an important meeting.
And getting support with any IT issues is an uphill struggle when you’re based at home using a temporary setup. Explaining what’s wrong can be a slow and painful process and, while you’re trying to get a fix, you can’t get any work done. It’s tempting to try any workarounds that will help, from connecting your own devices to the company network, to downloading unsupported tools and software. It likely has a knock-on effect on productivity and employee engagement levels.
It’s frustrating for IT managers, too. They don’t have the control and visibility over the end-to-end network that they’re used to, which means they’re working blind a lot of the time. Trying to diagnose an issue remotely can be a lengthy, infuriating and sometimes an impossible process – particularly if the end user has tried a fix themselves or added non-endorsed tools or software. And these ‘unknown’ additions are also a significant security risk.
Create a robust working environment at home
Organisations need to find ways to recreate the security, reliability and visibility of the office network across homeworking setups. Senior managers sharing highly sensitive data need better security and premier connectivity, including a 4G back-up connection. No one wants to risk the CEO’s connection dropping out when they’re hosting a conference for thousands. Knowledge workers in senior or critical client-facing roles must have consistent, stable connectivity and effective IT support if they’re to do their jobs. And everyone else in the organisation needs the reliable connectivity of business-level broadband to be able to work collaboratively.
In many cases, it’s about matching services with employee requirements. Higher value roles will need the best possible connectivity and back up services involving a blended mix of hardware and connectivity options. Whereas less prominent roles won’t need such robust environments. So, you’ll need a ‘pick and mix’ approach of approved services for the individual needs of your people - from SD-WAN homeworker gateways with internet and 4G / 5G, to a custom blend of collaboration tools and strong security measures like enhanced encryption and authentication. This way, you can set up different groups and roles to work at home just as easily and effectively as they could in the office.
And for IT managers, finding ways to deliver network visibility and control are critical. Only then can they effectively prioritise traffic and provide the levels of support similar to those available at the office. Strong visibility tools also offer better cybersecurity: if you can’t see it, you can’t defend against it.
The best workplace experience, at home
Our new Edge at Home solution helps give your homeworkers a secure, supported and managed digital workplace experience backed with reliable connectivity. It also delivers the control and visibility you need for your organisation to thrive with a remote workforce. We know that different work roles need different levels of support, connectivity and security, so we’ve created a range of services to help you match and identify what you need for each of your employee groups.
To find out more about how Edge at Home can transform your digital workplace, please get in touch with your account manager.