When the UK went into lockdown for the first time a year and a half ago ‘self-isolation’, ‘quarantine hotel’, ‘super-spreaders’ and ‘social distancing’ were terms more likely to be found in a sci-fi novel than in daily life. Fast forward 18 months and not only have these terms become commonplace, but they’re also showing no signs of disappearing any time soon. The same can be said for working from home.
The proportion of people working from home more than doubled from 2019-2020 according to a survey by the Office for National Statistics*, and the pandemic has signalled a major change in the way people choose to work. No longer chained to the office, many employees have found a new work/life balance in being able to work from home, perhaps working more flexible hours or experiencing greater productivity without the time and costs of the daily commute. Garden offices are all the rage as people are prioritising space in their homes to work from and hybrid working is becoming an increasingly popular strategy for companies looking to stay resilient in these uncertain times.
But of course, with all the benefits working from home can bring, there are also risks – and it’s crucial that companies with employees who are working from home can account for this.
To facilitate really effective working from home, your systems need to be absolutely IT safe and work seamlessly no matter where in the world your users happen to be.
The pandemic has seen an increase in the number of cyber security scams in the UK – in fact, 15 times more. And it’s not just smaller vulnerable businesses that are at risk, we’ve seen cyber scams take down big giants in the industry over the past 18 months too with tactics including ransomware emergencies, data breaches, and even threats to election security. IT safety needs to be a priority if you are to engage in risk-free WFH.
If you can anticipate problems that might be arising before your users even know they are there, that is the mark of a really good IT provider. We all know that IT issues do crop up from time to time but if your provider can sort and solve them before they become an issue for the company and its workers, you’ve already saved on time and money.
People working from home don’t need to know the ins and outs of your IT systems and the impressive software yours might boast. They just need it to do its job and do it well. All too often IT systems are designed without user functionality at their heart, and that can really show when it comes to productivity. To minimise risk and increase cost efficiency, streamline your processing systems to get rid of unnecessary work-related tasks.
Your employees may not be physically in the office but that isn’t an excuse to stop paying attention to the hardware and software they are using. You need to ensure each worker’s hardware is up to date, along with giving them access to the latest versions of software. Most importantly, there needs to be a good stream of communication between your IT provider and your users so that no one gets left behind.
Working from home more than anything else has highlighted the need for effective collaboration in a virtual space. Your workers need to be able to work together efficiently despite being in different locations – web-based secure platforms such as Microsoft Teams or SharePoint enable individuals to share documents and workspace, or you may even be able to put in place a bespoke solution created specifically for you.
If your business is going to succeed in 2022 and beyond, you’ll want to ensure it is as resilient, adaptive, and robust as possible. And that all starts with your IT systems and ensuring they are IT safe.
If you’re on the hunt for an effective full-service IT provider or have perhaps been let down by your current one, just get in touch with us here at soVision IT to discuss how we can help. There’s no obligation to work with us but we’d love to find out a little more about your business and its IT needs; our priority is always to find the best possible solution for your individual business.