Working from home has become an increasingly popular choice for businesses. It reduces office numbers, costs and offers flexibility and the opportunity to gain a better work-life balance. Then in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic hit and the nice to have option suddenly became a necessity for most companies.
The Office of National Statistics reported that, by April, 46.6% of people in employment engaged in some form of working from home and, of those, 86.0% did so as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses had to make a quick adjustment to a working from home model in March and many office buildings remained largely empty and were likely to do so for some time.
This brought about a dramatic change in business culture and working practices. Employees have had to adjust to these changes, adopting new systems in order to communicate with their colleagues and IT departments have been called upon to enable this.
Fortunately, there are several useful tools and services available to help create virtual systems for managing workloads.
Cheeky Munkey believe these are the key ways to support remote workers:
Cloud computing enables a flexible approach to work. Supplying laptops and monitors, maybe mobile phones along with online services to work on is all that most businesses need to offer. IT Support providers can manage your cloud servers and staff remotely, keeping your workforce running no matter where they are in the world.
How do you support workers when you can’t meet them in person? That’s when remote support tools are useful. Cheeky Munkey use Connectwise to monitor and manage its clients’ desktops so they can identify any problems before they even happen. We tend to price on a per computer or per user basis with the latter covering the user for up to five devices but includes unlimited remote support during business hours, patch management, maintenance windows outside working hours and antivirus.
As more employees work remotely, so does your data and intellectual property. Setting up secure user controls and ensuring remote devices are regularly patched and updated may be more difficult but it’s also never been more important. Security is often cited as a major reason organisations are hesitant to allow working from home, but solutions and best practices are available.
It is vital that employees follow safe web browsing guidelines, are aware of phishing risks and are complying with data handling policies.
Many firms need extra VPN capacity to accommodate all the remote workers. Fortunately, at the beginning of lockdown number 1, many were able to obtain additional licences from their providers on an emergency basis for little or no extra cost.
With working from home set to become the new normal for the foreseeable future, delivering a good service experience, providing timely IT support and securing remote devices are vital to its success.