With lockdown restrictions easing, businesses everywhere are taking stock and adjusting to a new operational landscape.
For many organisations, this means more and more employees working from home, whether for more time or all the time, let alone ensuring a smooth return to work for colleagues returning from furlough.
Given the shift to a more dispersed workforce, I’m keen to know: “Is your business ready for the impact of WFH?”
Maybe you’re already set up for multi-locational working or perhaps you’re still putting the finishing touches to your strategy?
Either way, here are three things to consider that will make sure IT issues don’t get in the way of efficient home-working.
Evaluate your DR strategy
With most, if not all, of your staff working away from the office, what happens if an outage occurs and your on-premise data can’t be accessed?
Have your disaster recovery (DR) plans been reviewed to ensure there’s contingency?
To build in resiliency, consider working with a trusted technology partner that will look after your data by storing it at a secure location, with sufficient bandwidth for everyone who needs to access it.
By hosting your services in a data centre, you’ll guarantee not just uptime and business continuity, but a smoother experience for all of your users, as well as your all-important customers.
Review your connectivity (and theirs)
It’s easy to imagine that with home connectivity getting better and better, there wouldn’t be any connectivity constraints with home workers accessing data and systems.
But if your office connectivity is maxed out by having 20+ users accessing it: disaster! Everything takes longer than it used to or should.
In particular, video conferencing requires a substantial share of the available bandwidth, dragging capacity away from data transfer and accessing files.
Even assuming the bandwidth lets you video conference smoothly and without interruptions, let alone the additional burden of other internet users who might also be working or studying at home.
If bandwidth capacity is in doubt, it’s worth reviewing your office connectivity or considering moving the data to a remote location such as a data centre.
A chance to realign your costs
Many large companies, including Google, Fujitsu and RBS, as well as Government departments, have announced that their teams will largely continue to work from home, at least for the rest of 2020.
Some have indicated that they may adopt this model for a longer period of time, even going to the extent of closing offices and making home-working a completely normal and acceptable practice.
It’s not hard to see that there’s an overall positive financial impact of closing or downsizing offices.
And that’s even allowing for subtle increases in technology spending to make multi-locational working happen smoothly and efficiently, whether through bandwidth adjustments, a new data hosting strategy or investment in easy-to-use collaboration tools that everyone can get on board with as well as ticking the IT security boxes.
If Covid-19 had happened 20 years ago, the picture would have looked very different.
Home-working would have been almost impossible, meaning that a greater number of businesses would have been forced to virtually shut down altogether.
But now, with the digital functionality we have at our fingertips, working from home has never been easier.
The technology is there; it’s simply up to organisations, and all of us, to adopt it and use it to help us achieve our strategic goals.
The future is unknown, but if we take advantage of technology to prepare for all eventualities, there’s no reason why we can’t make a success of it.