“The new way of working”… There are organisations that are just now looking in to it, but the concept is actually about 15 years old. Its predecessor is ‘teleworking’, which already existed in the nineteen-eighties. Still, it has taken until 2020 to actually employ working from home organisation-wide. However, the fact that it’s currently used on a large scale as a way to restrict contamination of the Corona virus COVID-19, is not a coincidence. The ability to work ‘always and everywhere’ is a consequence of the increasing flexibility and scalability of current-day IT. So: working from home is here to stay! But what do you need for it in the long term? Twan Willems of our partner Claranet discusses that in this guest blog.

The requirements of a home office

As a stopgap solution for a week or two, the setup of a home office is not exactly the biggest priority for both the employee and the organisation. The kitchen table suffices and barely anyone is using extra screens. In the long term, the employer is responsible for a ‘safe and healthy workspace’. You don’t have to put up fire extinguishers, but for the setup of workspace monitors, the same rules apply as they do in an office. In practice, this means that there at least have to be a good table or desk, chair and computer setup. If the workspace is used for more than two hours a day for work behind a screen, a laptop won’t suffice, because the keyboard and screen have to be separated.

The importance of Mobile Device Management and secure work from any device

Regardless of which device is used, it’s imperative to make sure it doesn’t form a vulnerability in the IT platform. In any case, take care of Mobile Device Management: a service with which you can take care of the management and security of the devices remotely. It enables you to adequately secure data and equipment and improve productivity, without making concessions to the user experience. Suchlike services are device-independent, allowing users to maintain their freedom to choose their preferred device, completely or with limitations established by the IT department.

Working from home with an online workspace

When setting up the new generation of online workspaces, a lot of attention is payed to the mobility and tools for online collaboration. Those workspaces are extremely suitable to work anywhere and anytime. You wouldn’t dare to imagine that you, despite the pressing health advice from the government and the RIVM (Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment), would have to go to the office to open a customer file locally, because otherwise you can’t continue with your work. Even local applications and databases can be transferred to the cloud in their current form nowadays, so you can access them remotely. Extra features such as ‘Archive On-demand’ even make sure that these virtualised applications go into idle status, so that they barely use any resources and are ready when you need them.

How to efficiently collaborate remotely

As said, being able to successfully collaborate is an essential part of setting up the (online) workspace. Exactly the reason that the adoption of Office 365 is taking flight and Microsoft is going all in on Teams. Teams has become an essential part of the transformation of the online workspace. It adds a set of tools that suit the four phases of knowledge exchange, that promise an importance productivity increase in organisations. These phases are: production, organisation, sharing and security of knowledge. Furthermore, a well set up Teams environment can completely take over the telephony-function, which enables traditionally reachable departments (service desk, customer care, call centres) to sufficiently work from home in virtual form.

To the question “can we close our offices now?”, we can give a double-sided answer. Yes, technically and organisationally it’s possible… but no, there are enough reasons not to. What you can do, is look into decreasing the amount of necessary workspaces in the office; we have customers that by default have a workspace available for 50-60% of the amount of employees, because of alternating remote work. But even the teams that work online a lot and are not always in the office, regularly feel the need to shake their colleagues hand (well, not now) or look them in the eye. It amplifies the connection, it enhances the team spirit and enables easier collaboration when you’re not in the same location.

Not ready for remote work yet?

So you may not be able to meet all these conditions at the moment. The best advice we can give you is to put this on your schedule. If you need help with determining a roadmap or investigating if the current IT platform is robust and secure enough; we are here to advise you. Contact us.

Claranet Services:

  • WorkSmart365
  • Device as a Service Complete
  • Claranet Connectivity
  • Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security

Guest blogger: Who is Twan Willems? 

Twan Willems is Prospect Specialist at Claranet Benelux, has built up many contacts in the IT world, wide-oriented and specialised in Online Work and Security. Twan regularly posts blogs in these subjects on LinkedIn and www.claranet.nl/blog