By Ryan Denehy
The shift to remote work has been accelerated by the current pandemic we’re in, and it has brought to light many shortcomings in our technology stacks. We’ve taken a giant step forward in workplace philosophy and two big steps back in workplace capability, security, and standardization.
For organizations with a remote-focused culture prior to this pandemic, this situation is merely an extension of the capabilities and infrastructure they already had in place. Unfortunately, most businesses were not prepared for what’s unfolded over the last few months and are playing catch-up—only just now considering how to roll out work from home protocols at scale.
If we forget about VCs and longtime teleworkers/freelancers, the average home office and remote IT setup is about as technically capable as a cubicle farm from 2005. Employees are doing their best, but most left the office expecting to return in a few weeks at maximum.
We’re all taking this day by day, but it would be doing your teams a disservice to not prepare for this to be our reality into the next fiscal year. Even if stay-at-home orders are lifted, executives need to be cognizant of the fact that many people wouldn’t feel comfortable returning to the traditional commute or packed offices for a long time.
How efficient are your employees’ home offices?
If you were to ask those in positions of leadership basic questions in this current state, such as:
1. Do you want your team members to succeed and do their best work?
2. Do you care about the security of your organization, employees, and customers?
No self-respecting leader would answer “no,” but it’s important that they first reflect on these questions through the lens of an employee and their home office setup at the moment:
1. Access and usability of tools
Do all employees have what they need, and, if they don’t, how easily can they get these assets in the most efficient and secure way possible? Who needs to use what apps? Are these third-party vendors running a tight ship? For most organizations, this just means adding licenses ad hoc and then touching base with the CFO at the end of the quarter. This process not only impacts long-term productivity and cost, but can also pose security risks as well.
2. Predictable system performance
Some employees have a great internet service provider in their building or neighborhood, some don’t. Almost nobody has a commercial-grade router, and very few are using VPNs. Now consider each of your employees’ computers, which are often used for personal computing in addition to work. Is there regular system maintenance being run on all devices touching work data? Both network and laptop management have to be completely reevaluated in a remote work environment.
With in-person interaction out of the question during this time, tools such as external monitors, digital white boards, cameras, smart keyboards, etc., are the cultural glue that holds your company together. You might know what you need to be productive, but does everyone in your organization know how and what to properly optimize? Has it been rolled out in a cohesive way?
Published at Sun, 24 May 2020 17:43:25 +0000