Challenges of remote work for employers

COVID-19 changed many things, and perhaps the biggest was remote work. Companies that had long been resistant to letting their employees leave the office decided to incorporate full-time work-from-home policies, even after the pandemic restrictions were loosened. The genie is out of the bottle, and there’s no putting it back in.

Work from home introduces a whole new set of challenges for businesses. Do you know what these challenges are — and are you prepared to face them?

Most homes are not set up like an office. They’re homes, meant as living spaces, not working spaces. This creates unique issues.

Internet

The Internet is the glue that holds remote work companies together. That makes it critical to have good Internet access in the home. Some areas still don’t have great high-speed access, making it challenging to conduct meetings via audio or video. Or even if there’s access, concurrent use can make it hard to do work. If the kids are streaming movies in the other room or doing remote school, there isn’t a lot of extra bandwidth there.

Distractions

Speaking of the kids, working from home introduces distractions that you don’t have to worry about at the office. Many families have been dealing with remote schooling. Aside from the obvious Internet usage, it also makes it much harder to concentrate during the work day.

And distractions aren’t always people. Sometimes it might be the TV or the video game console that’s right there where it wouldn’t be in the office.

Security

Unsecured devices having access to company information is the sort of thing that keeps IT professionals up at night, and remote work makes this very common. Without a solid security solution, many companies are cobbling together new policies piecemeal.

Most businesses have a managed firewall with someone watching network traffic. Homes don’t. VPNs help, but it’s much more of a challenge.

Equipment

Remote work also has equipment challenges. Is the equipment adequate and safe? Do employees need to take equipment home?

Access is critical here too. Physical access to the computer needs to be limited to the employee, which means locking the computer every time they get up if they live with other people and other basic physical security practices.

Tracking

The big concern for many traditional offices was “how can I keep an eye on my employees?” Tracking software that keeps an eye on what people do on company time is a solution, but we don’t recommend it. Whatever you have in the office to measure performance can be replicated in a remote work situation too.

It’s a new world, and there are challenges and opportunities that come with it. We’ll help you navigate the challenges of remote work — contact us today to find out more.