The current workplace is a fluctuating mix of in-office, remote, and hybrid employees. Instead of creating patchwork solutions for remote workers and hoping for an end to the uncertainty, some employers are looking at this as an opportunity to redefine the workforce. Their employees are asking for long-term work-at-home options, and these employers are stepping up in big ways.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the technical support and internet security challenges companies are facing in this task. These challenges deserve remote-first solutions that can empower your work-at-home employees, increasing both productivity and retention.

Work From Home Is Here To Stay

  • 54% of respondents in a Pew Research Center survey said they want to keep working from home after the Coronavirus outbreak ends.
  • As early as the Summer of 2020, companies like Twitter and Verizon had already announced permanent changeovers to partial remote work. Others — including Dropbox, Fujitsu, and Nationwide — have plans to become entirely remote-first.
  • According to an estimate from Global Workspace Analytics, the typical employer can save $11,000 per year for each employee that works remotely half of the time.

Don’t Overwhelm Your IT Teams

Internet Technology (IT) teams are used to dealing with uniform equipment operating on a single in-office network. In that environment, their standard operating procedures allow even new IT hires to rapidly identify and resolve common technical issues.

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However, those practices aren’t intended for remote employees using their own home equipment. These employees could be using any of dozens of brands of computers running multiple operating systems. Even their routers and modems will be varied, often with the default settings chosen by their internet provider.

IT teams have worked overtime to make this patchwork situation succeed in the short term, but permanent remote work requires more robust solutions. Some companies are getting ahead of this problem by opting to provide standardized computers or networking equipment to their employees.

Company-provided equipment serves as an incentive for new remote hires, but the more crucial outcome is that this technology can have the uniformity that IT teams are used to dealing with. With the right equipment, you can even set up monitoring and reporting that gives your IT team the same real-time insights into remote network errors that they have for the office network.

Securing Work-From-Home Networks

Equipment uniformity is particularly important for networking setups. Securely and reliably connecting all of your employees’ home networks to your office network is a constant struggle.

Virtual private networks (VPNs) are a typical solution. However, VPNs only secure the connection, not the device itself. It’s unlikely that every employee will keep up with virus scans, software updates, and other security best practices, and even one bad device on your VPN puts everyone at risk.

Instead, companies should consider providing equipment built on Zero Trust architecture (ZTA) that protects the network from endpoint security failures. Even if you don’t have company-provided laptops, ZTA tools like SimpleWAN ensure that your network isn’t at risk every time an employee postpones a security update.

The New Office Is Everywhere

When remote work was temporary, we could afford temporary fixes, but it’s time that we start thinking about long-term strategies. Whether you are going fully remote or opt for a hybrid or partially remote workforce, now is the time to get the right tools to maximize the productivity and security of your work-at-home employees.

SimpleWAN offers an easy-to-use Zero Trust networking solution that can be used in the office, the home, or even for traveling employees. Schedule a demo today to discover whether it fits your company’s remote work needs.

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