The world has witnessed a major shift in the 2020 job sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Though some companies used to offer flexibility to work from home as a perk, it has now become preferred for many organizations. Although 2020 may be considered the year of work from home, we are witnessing a shift continuing into 2021 to work remotely. According to Global Workplace Analytics the growing demand for remote work opportunities is estimated that by 2025, almost 70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month.
As more employees appeal for flexible and safe work arrangements, more companies are trying to fulfill this demand. Global research firm Gartner found that 74% of businesses are planning to move their previously onsite manpower to permanently remote positions post COVID-19. However, the question then arises: How do you ensure both your workforce and your network are running optimally?
Is remote working really the way of the future?
Research shows that people working from home are often more productive. Owl Labs’ recent survey showed that 79% of workers reported increased productivity, and 78% reported less stress as well as improved job satisfaction. Another survey also made the comparison between onsite employees to remote employees and revealed that onsite workers on average spent 66 minutes of their working hours at the ‘water cooler’ whereas remote employees only spent 29 minutes. As the world changes and more employees are preferring and sometimes requiring flexible work environments, many organizations are also realizing that working remotely makes employees more efficient. 72% of companies with work from home policies say that it makes their employees more productive.
This further adds to the evident fact that working remotely is the growing choice for both employees and employers. With increased productivity and cost savings from potentially reduced office space, it makes sense that companies are moving towards digital offices. If you are moving towards or solidifying a work at home culture with your office you’ll be wanting to ensure the same network security that you had all under one roof.
How can a secured digital network support a positive culture?
Though no one knows exactly what the future has in store, it is certain that remote working opportunities or structures will play a key role in the workplace evolution.
In an onsite working environment, teamwork and relationship building are integral in a positive and efficient culture. Tools like Zoom, Slack and Google Hangouts can support a positive digital culture and make us feel more connected but with wi-fi, as efficient and convenient as it is, helping us all stay connected, it also helps cyber criminals get into your computer and then into your network. It’s important to ensure that your organization’s network, which has grown from all under one roof, to all across a city or maybe even the country is protected equally as well.
So what can you do to reduce the risk? For starters there are three specific areas that you need to protect for your work force. The perimeter network, internal network and the devices being worked on. A positive culture is like a secure perimeter network, making sure that everyone inside is safe and secure in what they are doing while being able to work to their full potential.
How do you improve your home perimeter network? Do you know your firewall admin login? If so, you’ll want to make sure your password is secure and that your equipment passwords have all been changed from the factory defaults. Maybe you don’t know if you have a firewall in place? That’s ok, many people don’t. If not, give your ISP (internet service provider) or even better yet give us a call at SkySail Technologies and we can help. You’ll also want to consider upgrading your firewall firmware, and if you have used your firewall rules, make sure that unused ones are removed. Again, this is something that SkySail can help you with. Make sure to only tackle these if you are confident in your abilities.
Performance Management and Network Management?
Working from home has changed performance management significantly. Just as the internet and computers themselves, changed the world significantly. As we work from home many of us are embracing a digital office and organization that many have only dreamed of. Now just as balancing your new networks needs, it’s important to make sure your work life balance stays well, balanced. According to a recent survey, 32% of UK employees feel that working remotely means they cannot shut down in their private time. The same research revealed that 18% of the remote workforce feel like they are under surveillance, and 17% feel that it affects their sleep.
However, we would all agree that it doesn’t have to be like this. With good performance management practices, tools, and a secure network, working remotely can help to boost efficiency and productivity. Similar to ensuring that your employees are running at their peak potential, it’s important to ensure that your work from home, or internal network is running at its peak potential.
Now as we spoke earlier in this blog about the perimeter network being overarching and protecting your entire network. Ensuring that your employees are able to do their best is like making sure that the internal network is running at its full potential. Make sure that you haven’t given your wi-fi password to any neighbours and make sure that your wi-fi does in fact have a password. Changing it on a regular basis can help as well. Making sure that only your household has access to your internet is a great start. Ensure your WiFi network has encryption enabled and if you can, enable WPA2 or WPA2 AES.
Like making sure your work life balance helps to increase at work performance, making sure your device, be it a PC or Mac, a desktop or a laptop, are running securely and optimally is equally as important. As we have made sure that your perimeter network and internal network are both secure we need to make sure that your home computer is secure as well. You’ll want to ensure the operating system and applications are up to date, install the latest security patches and updates and take the same care opening up your personal email as you would your work one. In addition, making sure to restart your computer can help, as many are set to automatically update. And finally, always make sure to lock unattended computers and turn off any that are not in use. It’s not only best for security, but best for mother earth too.
Just because you are working remotely or have teams that are working from home, does not mean that you can’t have regular discussions that you would if you were in the office.
The future of remote work may need many modifications including investing in digital infrastructure or it just may need a few adjustments or some support with monitoring. Either way, we at SkySail Technologies are well versed in the latest technological trends. We have dedicated experts available round the clock for our clients. Our team is extremely reliable, passionate, tech savvy & transparent. We can help in setting up your remote workforce, we’ve got your back.