Contributed by Pamela Dover, senior director of marketing and business development for Comcast Business in Michigan.
How businesses can remove barriers to teleworking
Two years into the pandemic, businesses are thinking strategically about the future of work and how they can best support their employees. Although some organizations have returned to the office or have implemented hybrid work plans, many others are remaining indefinitely remote.
Regardless of what the future holds, it has become clear that the demand for teleworking – plus the flexibility and convenience that it brings – are not going away. And even as more organizations consider how to provide safe in-person work arrangements, if they do not also consider how to firm up their teleworking capabilities, they risk losing their competitive advantage in a cutthroat job market.
The future of work is now. Here are three strategies for businesses to consider for the new work experience.
Invest in technology that keeps you ready whatever comes next
As more businesses implement permanent hybrid or all-remote work schedules, their networks will need to be stronger and more scalable – after all, a network that could have started with only a dozen or so endpoints may expand to thousands of individual endpoints.
To help IT departments create and manage extensive remote networks, businesses should ensure 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.
Enable those who want to work remotely
For some employees, working remotely is still not a possibility. For example, their internet connection might be too slow to support certain business applications that require massive amounts of bandwidth not typically used in a residential environment, or their network may not be encrypted to protect sensitive data.
Organizations that plan to permanently implement teleworking should review and change policies that may inhibit employees from 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.
Be prepared for the pitfalls
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 virtually maintain office culture. It’s on businesses to consider the potential pitfalls of working remotely and create best practices for each scenario that remote workers can follow.
The road ahead
If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that remote work is not a temporary fix to a problem, but a long-term solution that employees will seek out as a job benefit. A combination of tailored technology solutions, tools that remove barriers to telework, and educational materials will help businesses 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 the expertise of a trusted technology partner can help elevate your efforts to the next level.
About Comcast Business
Comcast Business offers a suite of Connectivity, Communications, Networking, Cybersecurity, Wireless, and Managed Solutions to help organizations of different sizes prepare for what’s next. Powered by the nation’s largest Gig-speed broadband network, and backed by 24/7 customer support, Comcast Business is the nation’s largest cable provider to small and mid-size businesses and one of the leading service providers to the Enterprise market. Comcast Business has been consistently recognized by industry analysts and associations as a leader and innovator, and one of the fastest growing providers of Ethernet services.