Three tips to help ensure success for the future of work
The future of work is still very much in flux. Although some organizations are beginning to implement in-office work plans, many others are remaining remote indefinitely. Regardless of what the immediate future holds, it has become clear that the demand for teleworking – plus the flexibility and convenience that it brings – is not going away. And even as more organizations consider in-person work arrangements, if they do not also consider how to firm up their teleworking capabilities, they risk losing their competitive advantage to other more innovative businesses.
As regional leaders and decision-makers, municipalities will be key partners for businesses and organizations looking to enhance their telework offerings. Here are three tips for municipalities and businesses that are looking to shore up, or construct, their teleworking capabilities.
Install technical components that are easy to deploy and scalable
Organizations of every kind will likely be looking to incorporate telework into their operations in some capacity. As more businesses implement permanent hybrid or all-remote work schedules, networks will need to be stronger and more scalable – after all, a network that could have started with only a dozen or so endpoints could easily expand to having thousands of individual endpoints.
“The most impacted group in any organization is the IT department,” said Dustin Hall, director of sales engineering at Comcast. “Employees traditionally outside of the office were easier to access because they were plugged into the network – now they’re on different home networks and it can be difficult to scale with limited insights into an employee’s network environment.”
Municipalities and businesses should ensure that they have a comprehensive infrastructure in place with the latest technologies that can not only support remote work requirements now, but in the future. For example, software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) can help organizations manage their networks, even as they grow in size. Meanwhile, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solutions allow organizations to integrate their wide area networks with security tools.
Remove barriers for those who want to work remotely
For some people, working remotely is still not a possibility. For example, their internet connection might be too slow to support their businesses’ applications, or their network may not be encrypted to protect sensitive data.
“Teleworking has been an evolution – before COVID-19, working at your kitchen table was a luxury,” said Eric Prosser, vice president at Comcast. “Now tools like WiFi and cloud storage applications that were in the office have to be pushed out to workers at home. Even as COVID-19 becomes less of a part of the conversation, telework will be about optimizing connections for the user experience.”
Organizations and municipalities that plan to permanently implement teleworking should review and change policies that may inhibit remote access. To do that, they will need a strong understanding of the geographic bandwidth issues that their workers face, as well as the knowledge and skills gaps in security and IT. Simplified telework provisioning processes, like VPN provisioning, can also make it easier for organizations to add and manage employee connections on the backend.
Create education plans that address potential issues for teleworking
For all the benefits that teleworking can offer organizations, it does come with its own set of challenges. Employees will need to troubleshoot IT issues at home, access potentially sensitive information without fear of a security breach, and even maintain office culture virtually. It’s on businesses, and by extension their municipal partners, to consider the potential pitfalls of working remotely and create best practices for each scenario that remote workers can follow.
“Employees need access to resources, and they have to be reliable,” said Stefan Schneider, director of product management at Comcast. “It’s not a ‘one solution fits all’ approach – it’s all about combining things so you can provide the right resources at the right locations. Regardless of whatever solutions are implemented for remote employees, they need to have a visibility component so IT can see how things are performing.”
The road ahead…
The race is on to implement teleworking on a broad scale! A combination of tailored technology solutions, tools that remove barriers to telework, and educational materials will help businesses and municipalities take the next steps toward creating network environments capable of supporting teleworkers. Those that take this holistic, thoughtful approach will be more likely to succeed – and a legacy technology partner can help elevate your efforts to the next level.
If you are an organization that could use support developing your teleworking capabilities, visit business.comcast.com.