Following the recent government announcement, many businesses are in talks about returning to the office. Although the novelty of working from home is wearing off, it's not going away anytime soon. But it's important that if you do decide to return to the office, that you work out the best way to manage the transition in order to get the balance right between both locations.
Many are asking these questions surrounding a return to the office: what will it look like, how it will work, and what will my business and people need to do to prepare for it. For many the 'work from home' honeymoon period is over. Despite some positive signs remote working leads to greater productivity and more personal time, the increasingly blurred lines between work and leisure, restrictions of choice and physical disconnection means employees put in longer hours, feel less productive and crave interactions with colleagues.
As a result of this, people are yearning for the office. So if you're planning for this, how will you make it work? Aside from the health and safety measures, there are several things to consider on the IT side for a smooth transition.
Things to consider:
- Maintain remote working?: many of us have adjusted to the remote working lifestyle, and have found it to be practical and productive. Keep the remote working measures in place, and keep communicating with your colleagues - the tech will still work if some people are in the office and some are at home. If the current set-up is working for your business or specific people, there is no rush to return to the old normal.
- Remain vigilant about security: stay aware of your security responsibilities. When back in the office, remember to lock your computers when away from your desk, and don't open any suspicious-looking emails or links.
- Be patient with hardware and test it: things have been turned off for a while, so printers and other hardware may be slow initially. Test things that haven't been used, so when you come to need them, they are working properly. Give your equipment time to warm-up.
- Screens, cables...business as usual: as long as the desks, screens, and cables have been left alone, there is no reason why plugging your devices in won't just return to normal.
- No WiFi worries: your device should recognise the WiFi connection when you return, or you can plug and play with your Ethernet cable.
- Hot-desking and head sets: it seems for now we've regressed from the hot-desking phenomenon, but setting permanent work stations will of course reduce risk and maintain the social distancing rules. Also making sure desk equipment like headsets aren't shared to reduce contact tracing.
If you're not planning to go back to the office, there are still plenty of opportunities to step back and reflect on what has worked for you whilst remote working, in order to continue moving forward. The establishment that work from home is good for work vs home life balance, flexibility, and saving travel costs are all favourable reasons. Keeping the momentum on this will slow down the rush of getting back to the office, giving your business time to make more solid plans for the future.