The pandemic has had a profound effect on the workplace, with many people forced to work from home and many organisations discovering that flexibility actually made sense and helped people with a better home-work balance.
Now, moving forward, many companies are staying with remote working as an option and moving to a hybrid workplace, with employees perhaps coming into the office only for meetings, or one or two days per week, and the rest of the time working from home. So, what does this mean for internet service providers?
For this post we turned to Tim of Calix.com and here are some key things which companies are going to be expecting from their ISPs as they move forward to permanent hybrid working models:
Moving to a Cloud-based System
One of the important aspects which employers will be looking for from their ISPs is the ability for employees to have the same online and digital experience of working, no matter where they are working from.
So, working with a cloud-based system is a must moving forward, not just in terms of the IT network but also the telephone and voice infrastructure as well, so employees aren’t using their own home phones for work purposes.
Updating The Security Solutions
With employees potentially processing data at home, as well as accessing the cloud and company emails, it will be important to internet service providers to be able to ensure an equal level of security and protection whether employees are working from the office, or at home.
Providing secure IT equipment, rather than allowing access from employee’s own laptops and phones, is one expectation that staff will have to help keep their work secure at home. Reliance on office-based firewalls as protection will no longer be sufficient.
With an increasing number of video calls from remote working employers will now be looking for permanent extra bandwidth from their internet service providers to ensure this connectivity is continuous.
If there will be a sudden surge of people in the office on particular days, internet service providers need to make sure that the bandwidth and connectivity doesn’t suddenly drop or fail. Reliability and flexibility are key.
A Long-term Approach
The response to the pandemic and having to suddenly work from home, might have seen organisations put in place temporary solutions but now they will be looking for their internet service provider to implement a secure, stable long-term strategy.
They will be looking for their ISP to provide services to meet the longer-term needs of the company and its employees and to develop a robust approach no matter what working patterns and options they go for.
Increased Support and Help For Employees
With this move to hybrid working, employees will be more reliant than ever on their computer equipment to get the job done and might require extra training and support to get it all set up at home.
If the systems being set up are new, then employers will be looking for a quick and easy training programme that can be rolled out to staff online, so they can get themselves up to speed wherever they are working.
Those who are working from home will also need a way to access IT and network support if things do stop working properly, so businesses will require that extra level of help and support from their internet service provider to be on hand for employees as well as the business as a whole.
Embrace New Technology and Innovation
This new way of working requires thinking outside the box and companies will be looking for internet service providers to offer new and innovative solutions that will help to make their hybrid working approaches totally seamless.
The old infrastructures won’t work so an ISP that can look to new innovations and ideas and bring those forward, to support employees to have a truly integrated experience between working from home, from other remote areas or from the office will be highly valued.
While many companies jumped to remote working during lockdown as an emergency measure, the systems and processes put into place were often temporary and not set up for long term working.
Now, with offices opening up again and many organisations considering a move to hybrid solutions, the IT challenges mean that internet service providers need to adapt and provide new ways of working to suit their clients better.
Robust but flexible, secure but cloud-based, these are the new realities of hybrid working which all internet service providers need to be able to offer, with innovative and future-proof solutions.
Security is one of the key aspects which companies will be considering as employees work out of their living rooms or local cafes, but support and training also need to be part of the overall package.