“Suddenly, with hundreds of staff and a lockdown in place, employers wouldn’t have been able to do [risk assessments]. The Department for Education (DfE) is providing a range of support to schools, colleges, academy trusts and local authorities through its Get help with technology programme. But as staff got more used to working from home, IT teams started seeing a huge surge in tickets filed for various work-from-home issues. Email and electronic diaries allow you to arrange meetings and transfer documents, while wireless technology allows you to meet anywhere. Lee Chambers, a workplace wellbeing consultant, believes that, with many people lacking a desk at home and having to work hunched over coffee tables or on kitchen stools, more people are likely to emerge from the coronavirus crisis with musculoskeletal conditions. Remote-working checklist: 10 top challenges you'll face during the giant work-from-home experiment. Alternatives include Microsoft’s free Office online or Apple’s free Pages and Sheets on a Mac. After the computer and desk set up, noise cancelling headphones might be the next best tip, particularly useful if your home office is more like the kitchen table. In fact, a 2018 study found more than 70 percent of global employees work remotely at least once per week. Almost two out of five (39.6%), and over one in three (34.4%) had issues around virtual meetings. If working from home becomes the norm, employees will be expected to have quiet private home-office space, a high-speed internet connection, secure file cabinets, a … If you haven’t had your router replaced in the last six years, you could probably do with a new one, which will help with wifi speedand also range. “Now, people have had to cobble together a workspace from what they’ve already got. Some people do not want to work from home, regardless of their job function. Your router is a tiny, cheap computer and it gets old like anything else. Diversity & Inclusion Laptops with poor keyboards or a poor trackpad can be infuriating to use, so check reviews before you buy. People Analytics They’re also useful for video conferencing or phone calls, as most have built-in microphones. “It’s about doing what’s reasonably practical. “Some of these systems people will be using for the first time, so it’s really important where you’re having large-scale shifts to homeworking that the IT department really make sure that people have the tools they need to do the job. People have had to cobble together a workspace from what they’ve already got. Howard Watson, BT’s chief technology and information officer, said: “Even if the same heavy data traffic that we see each evening were to run throughout the daytime, there is still enough capacity for work-applications to run simultaneously.”. Quarantine means more people are working from home. Not every employer will have the financial or practical ability to do the same, but there are a number of administrative alternatives organisations can take to minimise health risks, suggests Rachel Suff, senior employee relations adviser at the CIPD. Derek Pando rarely had problems with his home internet service — until last week. Zero commute, no office energy consumption – working from home seems the most sustainable solution. Email Newsletters From management issues to lack of teamwork, there are some things that being away from an office can’t solve. Look for a discrete graphics card made by Nvidia or AMD if you work in a creative content industry, such as photo or video editing or similar. 1. HR (General) A 13in to 14in screen will be fine for most uses, so look out for a resolution of at least 1080p (1920 x 1200 or similar). Personnel Today has launched a new email newsletter for 2020, focusing on all aspects of diversity and inclusion. If you type for a living it’s worth investing in a good keyboard. Background information . It is a method of working which can be relevant to many jobs. “Bearing in mind the urgent need for home working, and it’s going to be relatively short term, it wasn’t feasible to carry out physical risk assessments. There could be added strain on Britain's broadband network due to a surge in home working Credit: Telegraph More people than ever before could soon … Following the basics of good small or home office design will alleviate many of these problems. Technology makes it easier to stay connected 24-7, but the downside is that it can make it difficult to switch off, and separate work and home life. “There might be things you prohibit; for example clearly state working hours, and issue a directive to stop at the enf of the official working day. While most workplaces would by now have ironed out any issues with their remote working capability, accessing these systems from home might have been a challenge – not least because of the network pressures and outages reported by some internet and mobile network providers in the first week of nationwide remote working. Employee Benefits Live, • Occupational Health & Wellbeing Now you’ve got your hardware sorted, it’s time to think about software. There are several things to consider: You might find that a slow broadband package isn’t enough when shared between everyone working and streaming at home all at the same time. In fact, a 2018 study found more than 70 percent of global employees work remotely at least once per week. Whether you’re temporarily working from home because of coronavirus, or settling in for the long haul, here are some tips on the tech you will need. It’s a major stressor for people if technology fails,” she says. Over the past decades, a dramatic few change has occurred in the labour market and demographic profiles of employees. If that’s new to you, just follow these tips, and you should do OK. Heck, you may even find that you like it. HR Business Partner HR Systems Unfortunately, as well as bringing benefits to the table, some people may struggle with the move to work from home. Others may want to work from home… They come in USB or wireless versions, which are now typically connect via the Bluetooth available in the vast majority of modern laptops and desktops. "Some of … "Working from home exposes the employee's devices and, through them, the company's network, to threats that exist on dirty public Wi-Fi networks," Katz said. Any company that put off its IT modernization effort certainly regrets that delay now, as employees rely on cloud services and modern productivity applications to get their work done. A single, digitally accessible source of information—be it a performance dashboard, sprint backlog, or business plan—keeps everybody aligned. Over half (50.6%) said that they have faced technology issues whilst working from home. If somebody is really struggling and would normally use ergonomic equipment in the workplace, organisations should consider whether its practicable to deliver this to their home while they are working remotely, she suggests. Are things like bandwidth and storage capacity at levels that can handle regular remote operations?” he says. You may have tools provided by your employer, if not there are plenty of free and easy-to-use pieces of software, so here are some suggestions: If you need to word process or handle spreadsheets, Google’s online Docs suite works fantastically in a browser. Since most devices now connect wirelessly, your experience working from home will depend a … The Cybersecurity Issues with Remote Work You may have a fully remote workforce, people who work from home from time to time, or employees who frequently go on business trips. Wellbeing The next best thing is issuing guidelines, outlining the basics, so staff at least know what they should be doing.”. You can reduce distractions . Without the clear-cut change of location and defined office hours, many people had a tougher time clearly dividing their personal and professional time. Employers still have the opportunity to put simple controls and guidance in place to help support workers’ physical health, and to assess whether they can provide more equipment, to make home working comfortable and effective. Follow the latest government advice about working from home on GOV.UK. With many employees owning smartphones or tablets for personal use rather than laptops or desktop computers, the switch to remote working where company-provided IT was not available would have left some employees unable to work. Suff says employers are under no obligation to provide technology to enable employees to work from home, but most employers would have needed to do so in such an unprecedented situation. 12 security tips for the ‘work from home’ enterprise If you or your employees are working from home, you'll need this advice to secure your enterprise. Concentration killers include everything from noise from family or neighborhood activities to just observing that beautiful view of your backyard from your home office window. Some people love the idea of working from home, others hate it. It showed we cared, while also providing a practical solution that allowed our colleagues to continue working as usual without interrupting the service that we provide to our clients.”. But employers also know that not every worker will want to work from home, either due to tech issues or the lack of sociability. Most computers will come with basic image editing built-in, such as Microsoft’s Photos and Apple’s Preview or Photos. The global work-from-home movement intended to maintain output and efficiency during the COVID-19 pandemic could actually generate a worldwide productivity slump and threaten economic growth for many years, says Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom. Jake Third, client services director, says: “Many staff don’t have ergonomic chairs or second screens at home. Bloom says the experiment led Ctrip to roll out a work-from-home option to all its employees. Home working opens up a new range of possibilities for the way businesses can work and structure themselves.With the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, home working has given some employers the flexibility they need to continue their business operations while prioritising staff and customer health and wellbeing as part of their public health responsibility. Larger monitors benefit greatly from increased resolution with QHD being a minimum at 27in or above, and 4K monitors being a luxury. While most workplaces would by now have ironed out any issues with their remote working capability, accessing these systems from home might have been a challenge – not least because of the network pressures and outages … At home, things are different: devices fall off the coffee table or get whacked against a wall when workers are roaming from one room to the next. And without a doubt, it’s more difficult to take care of their security than it is to manage your on-site endpoints. RSS feeds However, there still remains numerous challenges with this almost-overnight switch to remote working. OH&W subscriptions Remote work isn't for everyone. Those new to working from home present a juicy target for hackers, who will no doubt sense an opportunity to steal sensitive information, or commit online fraud. Webcams are built into most laptops and tablets, but if you have a desktop or external monitor you might need one now that everyone’s switching to video calls. Thankfully they range from about £20 and up, with higher-priced models aimed at streamers. Will the UK’s broadband cope with everyone working from home? Cheap routers can get befuddled for any number of reasons, particularly if pushed hard. If you’re really price constrained and do all your work in browser, consider a Chromebook which will offer a much better experience at the low end than an equally cheap Windows laptop. Technology issues strain work from home efforts at big US banks. The UK’s broadband should be OK with us all working from home, but whether your router can handle it is another matter. But if you remove them from the office scenario there’s less investment in it.”. Wifi strength and speed diminishes the further you are from your router. Yes. The very technology that enables telecommuting and working from home could be destroying … Try a digital detox to help you switch off from work, so you can spend quality time with your family, or do the things … Most modern desktops will be able to handle general office work. Household noises such as washing machines, dishwashers, air conditioners and others were reported as a problem by 29% of those working from home. What is this doing to employees’ health, especially physical health? During the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic many organisations are recommending – and some requiring – that their staff work from home. Working from home: How HR can deal with the daily dilemmas, Remote working: key considerations for junior employees’ development, Employers urged to protect health and safety of pandemic home workers. If somebody is really struggling and would normally use ergonomic equipment in the workplace, organisations should consider whether its practicable to deliver this to their home while they are working remotely, she suggests. Can they print at home, for example? Please follow your agency's specific policy and mandate for training and remote work. FAMILY ISSUES AND WORK-LIFE BALANCE . Broadly speaking traditional laptops will be cheaper. The company reported that it made about $2,000 more profit per person at home, Bloom says. At the end of the first two weeks of lockdown, more than half of the 500 people who responded to an Institute of Employment Studies homeworking wellbeing survey reported experiencing new aches and pains: 58% complained of neck pain, 56% experienced shoulder pain and 55% had experienced back pain. 1, 2, 3. VPNs can be used to establish secure connections and communications between remote employees and the company’s IT computer network, while multi-factor authentication strengthens the stronghold you have over your remote security.”. The top issue faced by remote workers was “unplugging” from work. In a separate category, TV noise was reported by 25% of those polled. You might be looking for a slightly less ambitious set up for your home office than a multi-screen trader, but picking a good monitor can make all the difference. But the answer to impact isn’t that simple. NYS Office of Information Technology Staff: All ITS employees are required to complete and pass the "How to Work Remotely" online training course before beginning to work remotely. “Security is crucial too. Failing that, mesh networking is your expensive, but powerful friend, replacing your router’s wifi with a series of nodes that send wifi all over the house. It is a common assumption that allowing employees to work from home will result in decreased productivity. Technology constraints. She said there would have been little time for employers to “audit” what staff had at home, so most employers would have had to “make do” with what people had – a less than ideal situation. Working from home allows you to work during your most productive times, wear what you're most comfortable wearing and create a workflow that works for you. In Buffer.com's 2019 State of … Those new to working from home present a juicy target for hackers, who will no doubt sense an opportunity to steal sensitive information, or commit online fraud. The big advantage of a laptop – portability – has one big downside: terrible ergonomics making you hunch over which is bad for your back, shoulders and wrists. Working from home will likely be a necessity over the next few months at least, so FranklySwiss wants to know what they need to get work done remotely. Ben Griffin, director at cyber security firm Computer Disposals, says employers need reliable tools to keep workers’ productive and company data safe. Cookies policy Training “In turn employees should take the time to identify any safety risks [and] put in place measures which will mitigate [them]. Noise-cancelling headphones help block out distractions and signify that you’re at work and not to be disturbed, helping those around you to not inadvertently interrupt. Employee Benefits Connect Organisational Development Some employers have removed some of the risk by purchasing equipment or delivering furniture from the workplace to employees’ homes. “People who normally work from home would have had much more time to prepare for the transition, having the time to create a designated workspace, schedule their day and buy the equipment they need,” he tells Personnel Today. Wireless keyboards are neater but normally require batteries, so make sure you buy some rechargeable batteries to fit them. 2 Min Read. So, when determining your technology strategy, remember that the future is more uncertain than ever before. Almost half of respondents (48%) report that they are working from home as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. If that’s new to you, just follow these tips, and you should do OK. Heck, you may even find that you like it. Bloom hopes this example helps kill the negative stereotypes of working from home. The increase in remote working has strained technology resources at the some of the largest banks. Technological pitfalls of working from home. Some people swear by mechanical keyboards, which look like they should ship with PCs from the 1990s and require more physical action on the keys to activate, while others like scissor-switch keyboards that are shallower and more like those on a laptop. It is about time to have a comprehensive look at the real work from home pros and cons and see what is behind the popular job trend.. Here are some of the challenges people face as they work remotely. We may be out of the office, but our employers … With millions of people working and learning from home during the pandemic, internet networks are set to be strained to the hilt. It’s really important where you’re having large-scale shifts to homeworking that the IT department really make sure that people have the tools they need to do the job. 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