With the number of daily coronavirus deaths in the UK still in their hundreds, it is unlikely that the lockdown will lift any time soon. Defining roles. The Personnel Today Awards Change Management Almost half of respondents (48%) report that they are working from home as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Remote work isn't for everyone. From management issues to lack of teamwork, there are some things that being away from an office can’t solve. Employee Benefits Awards Please follow your agency's specific policy and mandate for training and remote work. With the UK entering its third week of lockdown, the majority of the workforce continue to work from home. Some people love the idea of working from home, others hate it. The increase in remote working has strained technology resources at the some of the largest banks. 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. Families have shifted from the traditional male ‘breadwinner’ role to dual-earner couples and single parent families. 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. Longer-term changes to working arrangements Making working from home arrangements Employers and employees should be practical, flexible and sensitive to each other's situation when working from home because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Background information . Yes. Howard Watson, BT’s chief technology and information officer, said: “Even if the same heavy data traffic that we see each evening were to run throughout the daytime, there is still enough capacity for work-applications to run simultaneously.”. 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. 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. 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. And without a doubt, it’s more difficult to take care of their security than it is to manage your on-site endpoints. “Some of these systems people will be using for the first time, so 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. Join us as we take a closer look at work-from-home tech jobs and what you … The UK’s broadband should be OK with us all working from home, but whether your router can handle it is another matter. © 2011 - 2021 DVV Media International Limited. What is this doing to employees’ health, especially physical health? Diversity & Inclusion 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. Larger monitors benefit greatly from increased resolution with QHD being a minimum at 27in or above, and 4K monitors being a luxury. 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. Jake Third, client services director, says: “Many staff don’t have ergonomic chairs or second screens at home. Telecommuting, also called remote working, future of work, telework, teleworking, working from home (WFH), mobile work, remote job, work from anywhere (WFA), and flexible workplace, is a work arrangement in which employees do not commute or travel (e.g. Almost two out of five (39.6%), and over one in three (34.4%) had issues around virtual meetings. People have had to cobble together a workspace from what they’ve already got. HR Business Partner 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. 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. Technology constraints. 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. Bloom hopes this example helps kill the negative stereotypes of working from home. Terms and conditions, • Employee Benefits That was when he began working from his house because of the coronavirus. 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. “Where necessary, employers should also consider what reasonable adjustments, if any, can be made – where there are extenuating circumstances. 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. Zero commute, no office energy consumption – working from home seems the most sustainable solution. by bus, bicycle or car, etc.) It sounds daft in 2020 to say this, but yes. Contact us In addition you have to consider the screen, keyboard and trackpad. Keyboards too range in price from the fairly cheap to the designer expensive. 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 … Webcams are built into most laptops and tablets, but if you have a desktop or external monitor you might need one now that everyone’s switching to video calls. There is no legal definition of working from home, but the essential feature is the use of information technology to enable people to work away from the office. 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. Critical workforce decisions shouldn’t be made willfully or on instinct. Defining roles. Over the past decades, a dramatic few change has occurred in the labour market and demographic profiles of employees. Organisational Development Cheap routers can get befuddled for any number of reasons, particularly if pushed hard. Low reliability and retention. 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. The best in the business are the Bose QC35 II, but most large, over ear headphones will help. 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. You may need to move the router to the middle of the house if you can. Technology such as chat programs and collaboration software made remote work feasible for many white collar workers in the last couple of decades. Do staff have access to the equipment that will enable them to work productively while businesses battle with the challenges the coronavirus has brought? 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. 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. 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. 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 … 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. 1. Despite this, some companies use remote employees thinking that any reduction in production will be compensated by lower overhead costs, so that ultimately, there isn’t a net loss. Laptops with poor keyboards or a poor trackpad can be infuriating to use, so check reviews before you buy. "Some of … If that’s new to you, just follow these tips, and you should do OK. Heck, you may even find that you like it. Chambers suggests the line between who is responsible for employees’ health and wellbeing during this unprecedented period has blurred. There is a massive range in laptops including traditional hinged laptops, 2-in-1s where the keyboard folds all the way round the back and convertibles where the screen detaches from the keyboard to turn into a tablet. 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. 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. Broadly speaking you have two options: a desktop computer or a laptop. Now that millions are working from home, the challenges will become clear. 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. 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. 1, 2, 3. Thankfully they range from about £20 and up, with higher-priced models aimed at streamers. 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. Up to 24in Full HD, 1080p or similar resolution should be fine, although Quad HD, 1440p or similar will look crisper. Some employers have removed some of the risk by purchasing equipment or delivering furniture from the workplace to employees’ homes. Technology constraints. Some people do not want to work from home, regardless of their job function. 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. Don’t forgot a mouse too. If you’re really price constrained and do all your work in browser, consider a Chromebook which will offer a much better experience at the low end than an equally cheap Windows laptop. 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. Technological pitfalls of working from 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. Although 41% believe they are more productive when working from home compared to a traditional office setting, 25% consider themselves less productive. By Imani Moise. Due to a surge in demand for laptops, one major insurance company eventually had to let staff take their desktop PCs home with them. The global work-from-home movement intended to maintain output and efficiency during the COVID-19 pandemic could actually generate a worldwide productivity slump and threaten economic growth for many years, says Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom. 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. However, to make working from home effective you need to make sure the technology basics are in place. 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. “For employees, they’re much more productive and happier. However, there still remains numerous challenges with this almost-overnight switch to remote working. HR Systems It’s a major stressor for people if technology fails,” she says. Workforce Planning, • About Personnel Today It is a method of working which can be relevant to many jobs. Look for a monitor with height adjustment, and position the top of the screen at eye level. Employee Benefits Connect 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. And the distractions get even worse if you're not good at following a strict schedule. And it’s all thanks to streamers like Netflix. “I can’t hire remote people to do in-depth SEO or content strategy work … 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 … 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. Turn off your router at the wall or switch, wait at least 20 seconds, then switch it back on. Some people swear by mechanical keyboards, which look like they should ship with PCs from the 1990s and require more physical action on the keys to activate, while others like scissor-switch keyboards that are shallower and more like those on a laptop. 2 Min Read. “It’s about doing what’s reasonably practical. They’re probably sitting on chairs that don’t adjust or don’t have back and neck support.” – Lee Chambers, workplace wellbeing consultant. A handful of technology jobs offer the appealing option to work from home if you'd like. 'Homeworking' is simply doing your job from home. Most will last months on a set of AA or AAAs. For example, the organisation could remind employees to get up every 15 to 20 minutes and have a simple stretch. 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.”. Over half (50.6%) said that they have faced technology issues whilst working from home. 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. Most phone-based messaging apps, including Signal, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, also offer video chat, which can be easier to use. HR Director You may need to pay for a faster package, or stop the kids streaming while you’re working. Most computers will come with basic image editing built-in, such as Microsoft’s Photos and Apple’s Preview or Photos. Stick to whichever type you’re comfortable with. “Suddenly, with hundreds of staff and a lockdown in place, employers wouldn’t have been able to do [risk assessments]. People Analytics “There might be things you prohibit; for example clearly state working hours, and issue a directive to stop at the enf of the official working day. Employee Relations If you give employees the right to telework, be careful! 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. “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. 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. Laptops are extremely popular because they contain everything you need in one package, but they also promote poor posture. Just because the nation’s broadband infrastructure can cope, doesn’t mean your own home broadband won’t need a little TLC. Payroll “There’s been very little time to put in place adequate technology and support for technology, which is really important. “First, you’ll need to assess your technology infrastructure. Health & Safety A good external keyboard will help keep your home office more ergonomic over the long haul. During the pandemic, many people have been surprised by how quickly and effectively technologies for videoconferencing and other forms of digital collaboration were adopted. Compensation & Benefits Contact your service provider. • 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. 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. Quarantine means more people are working from home. After all, you are unlikely to have a tech support team at … According to McKinsey research, 80 percent of people questioned report that they enjoy working from home. A small, unified tool set simplifies the work-from-home experience and ensures faster and easier adoption. 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. Advertising specifications Household noises such as washing machines, dishwashers, air conditioners and others were reported as a problem by 29% of those working from home. Learning & Development Without the clear-cut change of location and defined office hours, many people had a tougher time clearly dividing their personal and professional time. Cookies policy You can reduce distractions . In fact, a 2018 study found more than 70 percent of global employees work remotely at least once per week. HR Shared Services It is a common assumption that allowing employees to work from home will result in decreased productivity. But if you remove them from the office scenario there’s less investment in it.”. Derek Pando rarely had problems with his home internet service — until last week. FAMILY ISSUES AND WORK-LIFE BALANCE . Wellbeing The next best thing is issuing guidelines, outlining the basics, so staff at least know what they should be doing.”. Email Newsletters Employment Law HR Consultant Most modern desktops will be able to handle general office work. If you can’t eliminate the risk, how can you substitute it? A 13in to 14in screen will be fine for most uses, so look out for a resolution of at least 1080p (1920 x 1200 or similar). Talent Management Even companies that had digitized and adopted collaboration tools struggle to scale those tools to more workers. A single, digitally accessible source of information—be it a performance dashboard, sprint backlog, or business plan—keeps everybody aligned. In fact, a 2018 study found more than 70 percent of global employees work remotely at least once per week. Here are some of the challenges people face as they work remotely. Whole-home systems start at about £150 and scale to £400 for the very best. The top issue faced by remote workers was “unplugging” from work. But you can still carry out electronic risk assessments – there is really good guidance and tools from the HSE,” she says. 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. 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. Can they print at home, for example? Work-from-home technology limitations. Occupational Health Over the last decade, remote work and working from home has grown in popularity for many professionals. In a separate category, TV noise was reported by 25% of those polled. 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. Having little control over what condition employees’ personal IT equipment is in could also present cyber security risks for businesses. But employers also know that not every worker will want to work from home, either due to tech issues or the lack of sociability. In Buffer.com's 2019 State of … Alternatives include Microsoft’s free Office online or Apple’s free Pages and Sheets on a Mac. Can they print at home, for example?” – Rachel Suff, CIPD. For many, the results have been better than imagined. 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. After the computer and desk set up, noise cancelling headphones might be the next best tip, particularly useful if your home office is more like the kitchen table. Will the UK’s broadband cope with everyone working from home? RSS feeds During the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic many organisations are recommending – and some requiring – that their staff work from home. The higher the resolution the crisper the screen will look. 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. It showed we cared, while also providing a practical solution that allowed our colleagues to continue working as usual without interrupting the service that we provide to our clients.”. Now, with COVID-19, about a third of the workforce is working remotely, and this transition hasn't been easy. 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. Are things like bandwidth and storage capacity at levels that can handle regular remote operations?” he says. Acas publishes coronavirus advice for employers, Coronavirus: One in five workers could be off sick at once, Coronavirus: What employers need to know (webinar). Follow the latest government advice about working from home on GOV.UK. They’re probably sitting on chairs that don’t adjust or don’t have back and neck support. “Security is crucial too. 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. 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. Following the basics of good small or home office design will alleviate many of these problems. Ben Griffin, director at cyber security firm Computer Disposals, says employers need reliable tools to keep workers’ productive and company data safe. Features list 2020 Performance & Engagement If you type for a living it’s worth investing in a good keyboard. Employee Benefits Live, • Occupational Health & Wellbeing Wireless keyboards are neater but normally require batteries, so make sure you buy some rechargeable batteries to fit them. Personnel Today has launched a new email newsletter for 2020, focusing on all aspects of diversity and inclusion. OH&W subscription terms. Difficulty concentrating on work issues was the second biggest problem, reported by 45% of those surveyed. More and more people are working from home these days — or at least from a local coffee shop or coworking space. HR (General) Recruitment & Resourcing 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. Unfortunately, as well as bringing benefits to the table, some people may struggle with the move to work from home. Disadvantages Of Working From Home . Remote and flexible working consultant Marilyn Devonish says: “You need to put some administrative controls in place by sending out  guidelines. Wifi strength and speed diminishes the further you are from your router. "Working from home exposes the employee's devices and, through them, the company's network, to threats that exist on dirty public Wi-Fi networks," Katz said. Training 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. The very technology that enables telecommuting and working from home could be destroying … 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 … 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. Productive and happier, unified tool set simplifies the work-from-home experience and ensures faster and easier.! T adjust or don ’ t adjust or don ’ t solve is for. Better than imagined you remove them from the fairly cheap to the hilt she says to manage your on-site.. 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