Work from Home, the Next Normal

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Work from Home, the Next Normal

Although we are still very much in the middle of the current pandemic, it is clear that working from home is here to stay, even in a post-pandemic world. Many employees could start returning to the office over the coming months, but many companies are making remote work a permanent fixture in their day to day operations. Large companies like Twitter and Square have already announced that employees will be able to continue to work from home forever, and surely many more businesses will follow suit.

Many organizations discovered through the pandemic that working from home is not only possible for large numbers of workers, but desirable. There are many roles and functions that can greatly benefit from teleworking. Reduced commutes, better work-life balance, and flexible staffing are all additional benefits of remote work.

Some companies are even reducing their corporate office space and re-organizing it into shared work spaces where employees utilize available desks when they are in the office and not a set space they work from every time. Flexibility is the name of the game. Part of that flexibility is enabled through many employees working partially or completely from home.

Lastly, for many businesses, the pandemic has forced them to reconsider their traditional geographic footprint. In turbulent economic times, it makes sense to chuck the old playbook chucked out the window and find new sources of revenue. For example, many local businesses have dramatically increased the size of their service footprint, going from one city to the whole county, or from one metro area to the whole state, and so on. With increased geographic spread, it makes more sense to leverage home based employees to have sales, account management, and service staff as close as geographically possible to business partners and customers.

Work from Home Hardware

With this next normal, business leaders should consider the benefits of work from home and realize that employees working from home should be provided the right tools and resources to do their jobs productively and securely. While many employees were permitted remote access to their corporate machines from their home or personal computers at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, this is unsustainable and a large security risk.

Employees should work from corporate issued computers when working from home full time or even occasionally. The main reason for this is that home-based PCs are a huge security risk. With numerous members of the household potentially accessing the machine, it opens data privacy and cyber security vulnerabilities. By contrast, a corporate issued laptop or desktop can be deployed with all the right security and remote monitoring and management tools to effectively secure and maintain the PC. Access to the machine can be strictly controlled, with robust authentication and access control tools. When an employee is working from a corporate machine, it is also much easier to communicate and enforce sensible acceptable use policies for the machine. Lastly, with a corporate issued machine, data control, backup, and protection are vastly improved.

Beyond the PC

For home teleworking success, it is vital to think beyond the corporate PC alone. Employees also need the right networking and audio visual gear to be successful on the job, especially in a world where much of the workday is spent on video calls using Teams or Zoom. Protek has created a handy checklist to evaluate if your team has all the right tools for work from home success. Fortunately, Protek has also gone the extra mile and packaged everything you need in a convenient and easy-to-buy solution. Check out the Protek Work From Home Bundle, which has everything you need.

New and existing clients should meet Michelle Lawson for a consultation on making work from home a success for your workforce.