TechQuarters, a well-known London IT support company from the UK, has gone fully remote since the onset of COVID-19; part of that transition has involved equipping users with the technology needed to support remote working and making sure everyone feels like they have what they need.
The research was conducted by Microsoft around working from home discovered that more than half of employees surveyed have been using the same device for working from home since the onset of COVID-19. The trouble with this is that in a traditional office setting, employees would normally be receiving routine upgrades, but it appears that many businesses have elected to put such upgrades on hold – perhaps in order to save costs in times of reduced business.
On the other hand, those employees in the survey that had received new devices since the onset of COVID-19 had felt as their productivity increased. This indicates the need for upgrades to suit the changing needs associated with remote and hybrid working.
External Mouse & Keyboard
A large portion of employees consider an external mouse to be important for remote and hybrid working – with many remote workers using laptops or 2-in-1 tablet devices for work, this is not surprising. When you have to work for 8 hours a day, using the trackpad of a laptop, or a touch screen can get frustrating, especially if you were used to the mobility provided by a mouse when using a desktop PC.
Additionally, an external keyboard can also be useful – depending on what laptop someone is using, they may not actually be working with a full-sized keyboard, but rather a compacted keyboard due to their laptop being small.
Having external keyboards and mouses means users have the freedom to arrange their desks in more ways than if they relied solely on their laptop for typing and navigation.
This is another tool that employees have specifically singled out as being important for remote and hybrid work. A docking station enables a user to turn a laptop or similar portable work device into a full desktop PC experience.
PCs usually have several peripheral and accessory devices attached to them, such as a mouse and keyboard, and a monitor; but they may also have other devices attached like printers and scanners, speakers, a webcam, perhaps even an external storage array such as a RAID. All of these devices can be connected to a Docking Station – the idea being that you can dock your laptop onto the device and have immediate access to all of your equipment. The benefit of this is you have the option of working on a desktop or a laptop whenever it suits you.
There are many reasons why remote workers might want spare or multiple chargers. For one thing, it is never safe to be relying on having one of something, especially if that something is as critical as a charger for your laptop or phone. Then, there is the question of whether users are splitting their time between working from home and working in other locations – such as the office or a co-working space.
Having a laptop charger that remains at home, and a second laptop charger that remains in your bag when you go out is one less thing to worry about – the last thing you want is to head to the office and realise you only have 50% battery for the whole day.
Desktop as a Service
In a world that is embracing remote working to a very high degree nowadays, the deployment of resources to remote workers is an important process for organizations to perfect. What is more, there are several security considerations to address when it comes to remote workers accessing company resources from personal devices.
All of these challenges, and more, can be addressed with Desktop as a Service (DaaS). Also known as Virtual Desktops, DaaS is a way for businesses to provide remote workers with desktop experiences that remain secure in the Cloud. The way it works is that the end-user downloads an application (commonly known as a remote desktop client) on their device; this lets them connect to a virtual desktop stored in the company’s Cloud environment. It isn’t limited to desktops either – a range of systems can be virtualized and accessed remotely using DaaS technology. Speak to your Managed IT Support Services Provider to find out the best way to use Desktop as a Service. Learn more about Virtual Servers, Virtual Desktop Server, etc. from Desktop as a Service providers.
The main advantage of DaaS is that tools, applications, or accounts can be streamed directly to the user, without the need for any lengthy installations. What is more, the user’s local machine does not host any company resources, therefore there is a secure buffer that makes it harder for malware or cybercriminals to access it.
Unified Communications Apps
One of the biggest challenges consistently cited by remote workers is the lack of connection with their colleagues. It can feel lonely when you’re all on your own for most of the day, and collaboration and team-based work can feel difficult to accomplish when you’re removed from the team. The solution is implementing a unified communications platform – an app or site that enables you to communicate with people in a range of ways; this will usually include instant messaging, video calls, meetings, and conferences. Some unified communications platforms even include telephony – such as with Microsoft Teams, which supports Voice over Internet Protocol.