Coronavirus has made working from home a reality. More here.
Millions of people in China have been forced to work from home. How long before the UK follows suit?
The government is moving to a ‘delay phase’ of its Coronavirus / COVID-19 plan.
When population distancing strategies are put in place, employers will have to follow China’s example and implement “work from home” strategies. What is your digital work from home strategy?
For business continuity, if you are not instructing your executive team and key employees to work from home, you should start now.
Working from home has both pros and cons. Here are the top 5 things to consider about working from home.
1. More time with family
Sounds perfect doesn’t it? Population distancing will result in School closures which means more time at home with the kids. If your kids are like mine that means not a moment’s peace! As Professor Robert Kelly found.
Many if not most organisations have already crossed the “working from home”, or at least the “working while on the road” bridge. How do you scale this digital work from home strategy?
2. Do you have a laptop or desktop?
As well as the business continuity advantages of a digital work from home strategy consider the cost benefits! On average a UK employee needs 10 square metres of office to work. More here.
Office space in the UK ranges in price from £650 to £1200 per square metre meaning an average cost of £9,250 per employee per year. More here.
Working from home is ten times cheaper with a home office start price of only £925. Find out more about our business and home network services here.
3. How fast is your broadband upload/download?
If you are going to work from home, you will need access to Broadband. Broadband is the connection from your router, outside of your house to your internet Service Provider.
Unfortunately, the United Kingdom has one of the worst fibre networks in the world.
When Madagascar boats faster speeds than the U.K then you should consider whether you can even work from home.
4. How good is your Wi-Fi coverage?
If your broadband speeds are good, better than Madagascar say, that does not guarantee your connectivity. What about your Wi-Fi connection?
Wi-Fi is a wireless connection inside your house between your router and your work device(s).
Homes built before 1970 (which is 85% of all homes in the UK) have more traditional construction of solid brick making Wi-Fi access more of a challenge.
A client we worked with recently had to work under the stairs right by their router in order to receive a suitable signal, not ideal!
You can check your home Wi-Fi speed here.
5. Digital health as important as physical health.
Most companies are used to preparing laptops for staff to use remotely and setting up mobile phones with access to company data.
Considering the Coronavirus / COVID 19 outbreak, lots of companies may suddenly end up with lots more staff working from home. It is vital not to let the precautions intended to protect the physical health of your staff turn into a threat to their cybersecurity health at the same time.
A firewall is like having a digital armed guard around the devices in your home. The Firewall will protect company and customers’ information from harmful content by denying it entry to your home network.
If you have a firewall on your home network, excellent! If not, then this is a good first step to securing a safe home working environment. However, a firewall may not be enough!
A good e-mail scanning and antivirus software will increase your network security and mitigate the risk of being hacked, phished or spoofed.
Assuming you have somewhere to rest a laptop then working from home can be a reality. Home working is ten times cheaper than office working. The risks of letting employees work from home need to be considered in the context of loss of productivity of employees becoming sick, short-term cash flow issues and trying to reclaim any lost revenue under HMRC’s Time to Pay system.
If you have hardware, broadband, Wi-Fi and security a sensible decision can be made about the practicalities of working from home. Having a policy that allows home working is one thing. Having an infrastructure that enables working from home should be equally as important.
Altusdigitalservices.com is a single contact for all your digital needs. If you have any questions about working from home please contact us at 01244 659920 or email us here.