Ben Griffin, director at cyber security firm Computer Disposals, says employers need reliable tools to keep workers’ productive and company data safe. 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. With the coronavirus pandemic resulting in more and more of us being asked to work remotely, it’s time to get to grips with what’s required for working from home for more than just a day at a time. “First, you’ll need to assess your technology infrastructure. • Processor: look for a ninth or 10th-generation Intel i5 or i7, AMD’s Ryzen 5 2500 or Intel’s i3 at the lowest end, • Storage: an SSD with 256GB of storage minimum, some machines may also come with large capacity traditional HDD too. If you’re buying a tower desktop you need a monitor, which come in a vast array of sizes, resolutions and prices. Cookies policy 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. Payroll If you’re not sitting with the correct posture, where the top of the thighs should always be at 90 degrees to the hips, the substitution would be something like sitting on a cushion so that your back and neck are in alignment. 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. 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. There are so many prejudices involved when it comes to this working style. Some people love the idea of working from home, others hate it. “For employees, they’re much more productive and happier. Most phone-based messaging apps, including Signal, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, also offer video chat, which can be easier to use. Employee Benefits Awards Jake Third, client services director, says: “Many staff don’t have ergonomic chairs or second screens at home. 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. Laptops with poor keyboards or a poor trackpad can be infuriating to use, so check reviews before you buy. 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 … For example, the organisation could remind employees to get up every 15 to 20 minutes and have a simple stretch. 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. Look for a monitor with height adjustment, and position the top of the screen at eye level. 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. 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. Over half (50.6%) said that they have faced technology issues whilst working from home. 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. With the UK entering its third week of lockdown, the majority of the workforce continue to work from home. 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.. With millions of people working and learning from home during the pandemic, internet networks are set to be strained to the hilt. It’s a major stressor for people if technology fails,” she says. If you give employees the right to telework, be careful! Defining roles. During the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic many organisations are recommending – and some requiring – that their staff work from home. Performance & Engagement A good external keyboard will help keep your home office more ergonomic over the long haul. 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. They come in two types: towers, to which you attach a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and all-in-ones, which are computers built into the back of screens, such as Apple’s iMac and Windows PC equivalents. 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. Disadvantages Of Working From Home . Keyboards too range in price from the fairly cheap to the designer expensive. Technology issues strain work from home efforts at big US banks. Some people do not want to work from home, regardless of their job function. That’s because, according to BT, everyone working from home consumes less bandwidth than the evening peak of everyone streaming TV, downloading games and other bandwidth intensive tasks. Don’t forgot a mouse too. Try a digital detox to help you switch off from work, so you can spend quality time with your family, or do the things you want to do. “Security is crucial too. Remote-working checklist: 10 top challenges you'll face during the giant work-from-home experiment. HR Systems You can use a riser or a pile of books to bring laptops up to eye-level, or attach them to an external monitor, and connect a keyboard and mouse to improve ergonomics. 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. One thing many of us working from home (WFH) have had to get used to again is technology. They’re probably sitting on chairs that don’t adjust or don’t have back and neck support. Employee Benefits Live, • Occupational Health & Wellbeing Contact us 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. Email Newsletters OH&W subscription terms. Low reliability and retention. A handful of technology jobs offer the appealing option to work from home if you'd like. 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. Most modern desktops will be able to handle general office work. Desktops come in all sizes and shapes, including all-in-ones such as Apple’s iMac that include a screen. Desktop computers have a few advantages, with one big downside: you can’t easily move them. “In turn employees should take the time to identify any safety risks [and] put in place measures which will mitigate [them]. Workforce Planning, • About Personnel Today Do staff have access to the equipment that will enable them to work productively while businesses battle with the challenges the coronavirus has brought? Compensation & Benefits Cheap routers can get befuddled for any number of reasons, particularly if pushed hard. However, to make working from home effective you need to make sure the technology basics are in place. 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. Try a digital detox to help you switch off from work, so you can spend quality time with your family, or do the things … 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. Work-from-home technology limitations. According to McKinsey research, 80 percent of people questioned report that they enjoy working from home. Over the last decade, remote work and working from home has grown in popularity for many professionals. 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. 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. Learning & Development With many people facing a long stint of self-isolation, remote working needs to be as easy as possible, Last modified on Wed 1 Jul 2020 18.08 BST. It’s not just the download speed either as work video conferencing, file transfers and so on can be demanding on the often significantly slower upload speeds. 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. Difficulty concentrating on work issues was the second biggest problem, reported by 45% of those surveyed. But you can still carry out electronic risk assessments – there is really good guidance and tools from the HSE,” she says. With many people facing a long stint of self-isolation, remote working needs to be as easy as possible Whether you’re temporarily working from home because of coronavirus, or settling in … Over the past decades, a dramatic few change has occurred in the labour market and demographic profiles of employees. 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 … Thankfully they range from about £20 and up, with higher-priced models aimed at streamers. The higher the resolution the crisper the screen will look. But the answer to impact isn’t that simple. That was when he began working from his house because of the coronavirus. Chances are you’re going to end up using what your employer provides, such as Zoom, Google Chat, Microsoft Teams and so on The main consumer tools are Microsoft’s Skype, Google’s Duo and Apple’s Face Time, the last of which only works on Apple devices. © 2011 - 2021 DVV Media International Limited. Now, with COVID-19, about a third of the workforce is working remotely, and this transition hasn't been easy. Most will last months on a set of AA or AAAs. Wifi strength and speed diminishes the further you are from your router. 'Homeworking' is simply doing your job from home. Terms and conditions, • Employee Benefits Although 41% believe they are more productive when working from home compared to a traditional office setting, 25% consider themselves less productive. “Suddenly, with hundreds of staff and a lockdown in place, employers wouldn’t have been able to do [risk assessments]. Training To … People Analytics Bloom says the experiment led Ctrip to roll out a work-from-home option to all its employees. 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. It is a common assumption that allowing employees to work from home will result in decreased productivity. 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. Concentration When Working From Home . “By allowing employees to complete a home working risk assessment this can assess if the work can realistically be carried out both effectively and safely,” she says. Having little control over what condition employees’ personal IT equipment is in could also present cyber security risks for businesses. The free GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is powerful but fairly complex. Technological pitfalls of working from home. Wellbeing Remote working is also empowered by a suite of SaaS (Software as a Service) technology tools that allow teams to effectively co-create, communicate, share documents, and manage processes. The day Boris Johnson told the nation to work from home, digital marketing agency Hallam arranged the delivery of desk chairs and second screens to the homes of its 51 employees. Paint.Net is fairly feature-packed but simple on Windows, and Google Photos in a browser can handle basic photo improvement jobs. For many, the results have been better than imagined. Due to a surge in demand for laptops, one major insurance company eventually had to let staff take their desktop PCs home with them. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act employers still have an obligation to ensure staff are working safely and in ways that does not jeopardise their health – even from home – but both the employer and employee have responsibilities, says Deb Tweedy, head of employment and HR law at Gordon Brown Law Firm. Following the basics of good small or home office design will alleviate many of these problems. Where homeworking is not a practicable solution, it may instead be necessary to furlough staff.”. 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. 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. And the distractions get even worse if you're not good at following a strict schedule. The upsides are they are typically cheaper, can often be upgraded fairly easily and cheaply, and lower-cost desktops will likely age better than their laptop counterparts in terms of performance. 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. 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.”. Defining roles. Technology issues strain work from home efforts at big U.S. banks. Health & Safety “Now, people have had to cobble together a workspace from what they’ve already got. Alternatives include Microsoft’s free Office online or Apple’s free Pages and Sheets on a Mac. Stick to whichever type you’re comfortable with. 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. Same time, same place - even working from home, your employees will still need to meet face-to-face occasionally. By Imani Moise. In addition you have to consider the screen, keyboard and trackpad. Critical workforce decisions shouldn’t be made willfully or on instinct. They’re probably sitting on chairs that don’t adjust or don’t have back and neck support.” – Lee Chambers, workplace wellbeing consultant. While there may be distractions at home, you control them much easier than you can control distractions that come from coworkers, employees, and other office-based noise. Others may want to work from home… 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. More and more people are working from home these days — or at least from a local coffee shop or coworking space. Webcams might seem like an antiquated suggestion, but with video conferencing being in vogue, if you’re using desktop with separate monitor you might have to buy one. But if you remove them from the office scenario there’s less investment in it.”. RSS feeds 2 Min Read. "Some of … 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. 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. State Bar Issues Ethics Guidance on Working from Home During COVID-19 Pandemic By Bob Ambrogi on April 14, 2020 As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many attorneys and their staffs to work from home for the first time, the Pennsylvania Bar Association has issued an ethics opinion intended to provide guidance now and into the future on working from home and other remote locations. If you can’t, wifi range extenders (£30 and up) or powerline networking (£60 and up), using the electrical wires as surrogate ethernet cables, can help. “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. 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. Quarantine means more people are working from home. Consider varying your working position and height during the day, from sitting at a desk or kitchen table to standing at a kitchen work surface. Yes. 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. Or course, while working from your couch (or bed) sounds great in theory, like everything else, it’s important to understand the pros and cons before you start picking out home office furniture. Laptops are extremely popular because they contain everything you need in one package, but they also promote poor posture. Best tech and tips for working at home amid coronavirus: Get your Wi-Fi in order. The increase in remote working has strained technology resources at the some of the largest banks. Technology such as chat programs and collaboration software made remote work feasible for many white collar workers in the last couple of decades. Whole-home systems start at about £150 and scale to £400 for the very best. And without a doubt, it’s more difficult to take care of their security than it is to manage your on-site endpoints. 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. A single, digitally accessible source of information—be it a performance dashboard, sprint backlog, or business plan—keeps everybody aligned. If your monitor doesn’t offer height adjustment consider a third-party stand if VESA compatible (the manual or specs should tell you) or carefully propping it up on a riser or stack of books. And it’s all thanks to streamers like Netflix. Remote work isn't for everyone. Employee Benefits Connect Larger monitors benefit greatly from increased resolution with QHD being a minimum at 27in or above, and 4K monitors being a luxury. If you type for a living it’s worth investing in a good keyboard. HR Consultant 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. by bus, bicycle or car, etc.) Background information . But employers also know that not every worker will want to work from home, either due to tech issues or the lack of sociability. Talent Management Broadly speaking traditional laptops will be cheaper. Occupational Health The top issue faced by remote workers was “unplugging” from work. Email and electronic diaries allow you to arrange meetings and transfer documents, while wireless technology allows you to meet anywhere. Almost half of respondents (48%) report that they are working from home as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Follow the latest government advice about working from home on GOV.UK. With increased working from home, now is a good time to be super clear with your teams and to over-communicate about software and tools that they are … “It’s about doing what’s reasonably practical. “I can’t hire remote people to do in-depth SEO or content strategy work … Can they print at home, for example?” – Rachel Suff, CIPD. HR Shared Services 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. 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