Just about everyone agrees: the pandemic is going to be influencing huge parts of our lives, for the foreseeable future. This extends beyond just investment planning or financial planning and goes right to the grassroots level as far as business planning is concerned too.
Related Post: How is Cloud Technology Benefiting Remote Work?
Even though governments around the world are starting to relax restrictions on movement, or remove them completely, the overwhelming shift that has occurred in the workplace is set to continue and in that regard, the jury has been out for some time: workers want to work from home. If not permanently, then more regularly.
More t the point, businesses, and companies have discovered that greater work/time flexibility has improved productivity, created opportunities for sharper thinking, and inspired environments that foster much better creativity too. However, there is a downside too. Workers and businesses alike, while loving being closer to family and spending much less time in traffic, have also reported feelings of isolation, a decreased level of employee visibility, reduced levels of relationships among workers, and increased distractions too.
But, with all of that being said, the driver is now to offer more flexible working solutions and to that end, some companies have come up with some very clever ideas to counteract the ‘cons’ of remote working, and enjoy more, of the ‘pros’.
“People are more productive working at home than people would have expected. Some people thought that everything was just going to fall apart, and it hasn’t.” – Mark Zuckerberg
Working from home has significant security and data integrity pitfallsWhile there has been a gradual increase in demands from workers for more flexible working times, hours, and locations over the past decade, it is really the pandemic we need to thank for making it an en masse reality. Many companies have been left asking themselves, why didn’t we think of this sooner? Proof yet again, that even the best ideas need a little push sometimes.
But not every company has taken on this challenge in the same way. While many banks, insurance companies, and other organizations that deal with secure and personal information have opted to have reduced capacity offices to ensure safe social distancing, many have set up home offices for their teams with improved router security and keystroke monitoring.
Up to one-quarter of work from home, employees have noticed an increase in fraudulent emails and attempts to hack systems, so companies moved along and installed state-of-the-art security and monitoring systems. Others have opted to take their usual online security and monitoring departments off-site too, and this has increased levels of security and compliance. All of this extends to small businesses too, who have all learned how to use the internet to their advantage.
Don’t let concerns of data security put you off, for every issue, there is an equally viable technological solution.
Noise interference from background sources (kids, neighbors…)Being at home is loud, there is no way around that. Even if you live alone, you have the sound of your neighbors, the city, your cat. All of these sounds that we might not hear because they’re blended into the background, make for an entirely uncomfortable experience from someone who is calling you. Particularly important for companies that have set up their contact center workers from home, but it is also potentially uncomfortable for the workers themselves.
We’ve all been subjected to the inconvenience (and embarrassment) of excessive background noise when trying to host a Zoom or participate in a discussion on a Zoom call where there is tons of noise happening from outside (or inside) your home.
Noise-canceling apps make a massive difference to callers and noise-canceling headphones will ease the sound pollution for your workers.headphones will ease the sound pollution for your workers.
Inconcistenies in infrastructure mean that not all work-from-home workers can offer the same level of performance that others can. Not all workers live in areas where there is super fast or reliable internet service, some don’t have decent WIFI connections at home, while others yet may not have laptops or PCs that are fit for purpose. Part of the great discovery that companies have found during this period, is not to assume anything. Because something is true for one, it does not mean that it is necessarily true for the other. Unequal access to technology is a big problem in our society, and it’s an issue that the government is trying to address. You can see what some other companies have done, here.
With the money saved on office space rentals and maintenance, companies have the resources to rent hardware for their workers and install proper wifi routers with the latest security. Companies have even undertaken hotspot rental for workers who live in the same area and can work together without having to go into the office.