“WFA gives employees the choice to work when, how, and where they want and enables the conditions for them to deliver results and remain connected to the company culture. At the same time, SMBs are coming to grips with the pandemic's impact, the shock to the economy, and the impact on their IT budgets. They are evaluating and re-imagining the IT infrastructure and tools required for this new way forward, while focusing on ways to cut costs and increase revenue.” Gregg Barker, Business unit manager, product, Tarsus Distribution
Gregg Barker, Business unit manager, product, Tarsus Distribution
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a movement was beginning. People were asking, “Do we really need to be together, in an office, to do our work?” During lockdown we learned that many of us do not in fact need to be on-site with colleagues to do our jobs. It became evident that knowledge-based roles could be successfully fulfilled remotely.
Organisations of all sizes began to be run by employees working from home (WFH). Now, as many companies contemplate the future of work, it is clear that the whole point of flexibility is that employees should be able to work from anywhere (WFA). Small and medium business (SMB) CEOs are asking what they need to do to empower their teams to embrace a future in which they can choose to work remotely or at the office, or a hybrid of the two.
WFA gives employees the choice to work when, how, and where they want and enables the conditions for them to deliver results and remain connected to the company culture. At the same time, SMBs are still coming to grips with the pandemic's impact, the shock to the economy, and the effect on their IT budgets. CEOs are evaluating and re-imagining the IT infrastructure and tools required for this new way forward, while focusing on ways to cut costs and increase revenue.
Taking that reality into account, here are the key components of a WFA solution:
Connectivity is a critical need for remote employees. The reliability of their connection directly impacts their ability to get the job done and to collaborate with colleagues. They must have a fast, reliable internet connection, even if there is a power outage or their home internet connection goes down.
WFA increases the risk of cyberattacks, making secure connectivity an important issue. Another important issue is cybersecurity. It is essential that remote workers use only company-approved apps across their devices and that software patches are updated automatically. Security training is crucial to ensure that employees do not fall victim to phishing and other attacks that could compromise the network. It is advisable to have devices secured by IT technicians with firewalls and antivirus software to ensure the equipment is protected.
Among the biggest challenges for remote workers are load shedding and random power outages. WFA employees require UPSs for their routers, computers, and other remote worker accessories. These protect equipment from power surges and failures and keep devices operational during blackouts. Additional helpful solutions include portable laptop chargers and smartphone power banks.
A well-equipped home office requires the right hardware and accessories to maintain productivity. This may include desks, laptop stands, ergonomic seating, additional monitors, USB cables and adapters, laptop bags, headphones, microphones, webcams and more. Appropriate choices should be made according to the needs of individual workers.
A virtual private network (VPN) provides employees with a similar experience to working in the office, enabling them to access the data they need. A VPN establishes a direct connection between their device and the corporate network through a firewall and provides an additional layer of security for the business, making this the most suitable option for accessing a network.
To work productively and securely WFA employees need the right connectivity solutions; modern, intelligent and secure devices; and the best in mobile accessories. These may be tough times, but for SMBs to enhance profitability, it is key to ensure that remote workers have the resources and solutions that they need to operate at peak performance.