Working from home is no longer just a luxury for the self-employed. Since COVID-19, it’s become the norm for many who had never experienced it before. Businesses that typically ran out of an office had to regroup and rethink the way their companies could operate because the government stated, for everyone’s health and safety, “If you can work from home, you must work from home.”
Now, as restrictions continue to ease and we get closer to “normal” (whatever that means!), many employers and employees find themselves having to decide if they want their employees back in the office full time or if working from home should continue in some capacity. There are a number of factors that may come into play when businesses begin to reimagine the way they operate.
Let’s take a look at a few technological ones that might be considered when running a business from home or having employees work from home.
Consistent internet connection
In an article from abc.net.au it’s shared that 75% of Australians say their ideal work environment is a combination of in office and remote working. But is this a realistic option for everyone?
Businesses have to consider a number of technological factors when running a business from home in order to be sure their operations continue to run smoothly and have room for growth moving forward. A major aspect of this is a consistent internet connection. If you have an employee who lives in an area where the internet cuts out in the middle of every team meeting, or worse, you’re trying to run a meeting from your (albeit lovely) country home with ridiculously slow internet, you may need to reconsider your options.
The internet is here to stay, and a strong, reliable connection is an absolute necessity if you’re even thinking about remote work for your business.
Setting up a home office
Setting up a home office is key to a successful work environment from the comfort of your own home. That being said, you need to have the right gear to make it function. We’re not just talking about a nice looking desk and yoga ball for a chair. We’re talking about a decent computer, printer, external hard drive and the like.
If you’re running a business from home after having moved from an office environment and you’ve asked your employees to do the same, there’s a good chance it’s going to be your responsibility to make sure they have a quality laptop, external hard drive and any other piece of equipment they now need. So take these factors into consideration when looking at costs (including having to get things fixed when they break!) for that kind of all-in move.
On the other hand, if you’re running the team from an office and the employee is keen to work from home a couple of days a week but it isn’t a necessity, you may not have to hold the bag on the gear costs. Whatever your post-COVID situation looks like, it’s important to do your working from home research to make sure you’re able to support the business for future growth, while also being mindful of the needs of your staff. We need more awesome bosses out there! Make sure you’re one of them.
The right tools for smooth systems and processes
If you or your employees are going to spend any amount of time working from home, it’s absolutely necessary you have the right tools in place to keep you all connected and keep the business running as smoothly as possible. That’s where the right tools for smooth systems and processes come in!
Setting up a home office is more than just the gear. It’s also about software and applications. Explore solutions like Google Workspace, Slack, Asana and any number of programs and apps that will allow you to chat, meet and connect with your staff easily. You also want to make sure you have a secure and simple means to exchange documents, engage in video calls and team meetings and track projects as they go. If you’re open to tech and staying connected in this way, working from home could be an option! If face to face time is needed, is a part time work from home solution a consideration?
The other thing to think about is what all of these subscriptions and apps cost when you’re adding multiple users onto an account. There are ways to trial some for free, but take the time to test and explore your options so you don’t end up paying a stack of cash on subscriptions you barely even use.
Working from home conditions
While working from home conditions don’t necessarily live in the world of tech considerations, they’re still vital to your ability to properly and effectively work remotely.
We understand that working from home can be a major form of support, especially for parents who may be juggling pickups for kids. Even saving on petrol costs or PT payments can be a huge win! But if the space isn’t right, productivity can go down the drain.
Considerations like proper lighting, ergonomic chairs and limited distractions (the television, a child vying for your attention or neighbours popping by) are important to take into account when businesses are working toward a reimagining of the way they operate after COVID-19. Check out our article on Tech Support While You Work From Home if you want a little more insight.
Need remote support? The Geeks can help!
Whatever decision you make in regards to working from home after COVID-19, know the Geeks are here to support you! If you need to sort out your remote tech or have questions about systems and processes to help your team at home or in the office, give us a call on 1300 286 847.