As we predicted on our blog months ago, the coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of organizations to rethink the need for keeping staff in centralized offices. Around the country, business leaders are studying the effectiveness of work-at-home arrangements and wondering whether to make them permanent.
Obviously, there are a lot of factors that go into deciding who (if anyone) on your team can work remotely. As you take them into consideration, we would advise you to also think about your tech capabilities and the implications for your IT setup.
It’s easy to understand why hardware and software factor into your decision-making. While the Covid outbreak has certainly caused untold difficulties, it’s also true that a massive shift towards remote working wouldn’t have been possible a decade ago. High-speed internet connections, real-time file sharing solutions, and other tools have made it possible for all of us to stay in touch no matter where we are.
That brings us to the big question of the day: does your company have the technology needed to sustain permanent work-at-home arrangements? Here are a few things you might need…
The one absolute necessity for remote working is a strong and reliable internet connection. Your team members might already have access to broadband speeds and equipment that can handle several devices at once. However, the time to be sure is before they transition to a work-at-home setup.
In some cases, it might make sense to pay for home office upgrades, or subsidize those expenses if it allows you to save big money elsewhere.
Nothing can replace the kind of communication and collaboration that takes place when employees are right next to one another. However, giving your team access to real-time tools for file sharing and online meetings can be a good substitute.
Aside from the already-mentioned internet connections and good webcams or headsets, all you’ll need is a company-wide subscription to a platform that allows everyone to stay in touch.
Smart Device Strategies
One often-overlooked byproduct of having employees work from home is that you might be introducing lots of new devices or workstations into your company’s network. That can be good for productivity, but you’ll want to ensure the right security tools and protocols are put into place.
When people work remotely they may connect from devices that aren’t as safe as the ones your team is used to having at the office. Make sure firewalls, antivirus software, and the right usage guidelines are being used to protect your data.
New IT Budgets
It’s not necessarily the case that having employees work from home will increase your IT costs. Instead, it might simply mean that you’ll have to adjust your budgets to spend more on certain necessities.
For example, you could trade the expense of maintaining a dozen workstations within your small business, but plan on allocating more funds for mobile devices or cloud software subscriptions. These can be great trade-offs that save you a great deal of money in the long run, but it’s a good idea to calculate them with your IT vendor before making permanent decisions.
Is it Time for a Closer Look at Work-At-Home Technology for Your Employees?
At Fantastic IT, we don’t just provide 24/7 support for our clients – we also advise them on tTech strategy and budgets. If you want to work with the vendor who can act like an in-house officer when you need to make big decisions, contact us to set up a free consultation today.