3 MIN. READ
Deliver the perks of working “in-office” to your home-office
In 2020, many businesses had to make the sudden and dramatic switch to a primarily remote workforce. Though the remote working spike was initially viewed as a short-term solution due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the data is becoming very clear…widespread remote working is here to stay. Remote working is preferred by 99% of surveyed employees, it saves companies money and can even increase productivity.
Most people are comfortable working in an office setting and enjoy the convenience of having everything (and everyone) they need in one location. Employees don’t want to sacrifice the benefits of working from an office when they transition to working remote, they want to have access to the same resources and people while working from home.
Business productivity apps that need to run in the cloud, like Office 365 and line-of-business (LOB) apps, are usually the first thing that comes to mind. But let us go beyond that and review some of the other options available to your business to help you deliver the “in-office” experience when your employees work from home.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
VDI is a cloud-hosted Windows desktop that is hosted, operated and managed by an IT service provider (like NexusTek).
In a traditional office setting, you may have several computers that all access a server for files and applications. What if you have employees working from home? Imagine your employees being able to remotely access a Windows desktop being managed in a datacenter, that has all your business data and applications. Not only can the virtual desktop be accessed remotely, but you can do it from several devices…including a cell phone! VDI is basically like having a physical office desktop available on-demand.
The primary benefits of using VDI include reduced IT spend, increased scalability and productivity, security and business continuity.
FUN FACT – These benefits are not only for the remote workforce. Many businesses also use a VDI solution for in-office setting to utilize these benefits and provide enhanced security by having all the operating systems housed in the cloud. In other words, the devices that your workers are using are just a gateway to access your operating system in the cloud. If that device gets a virus or other harmful malware, it will not affect the VDI platform…they are essentially separate.
Since the hardware is managed in a datacenter by a service provider, you pay predictable monthly subscription costs versus owning the hardware. This will help transfer some of your IT spend from a CAPEX to OPEX. With VDI your applications and data are centralized, therefore they can be accessed at any time from several devices. If you are working on something and need to change devices or stop and continue later, you are granted that flexibility. If your mobile device is hacked or stolen, you can take comfort in knowing that your business data and applications are safe because they are housed in the data center and not on your device. With a replacement device your business will not miss a beat because your IT environment is still intact.
For starters, businesses need to ensure their employees have the latest devices that will enable remote working and can handle their daily workloads. Most businesses tend to have a hardware refresh policy of 3-5 years.
There are businesses that still rely on desktops/workstations within an office…and it can be non-feasible or painstaking to move those devices or re-configure them. For businesses that are accustomed to working out of an office that must now work remote, they need to adopt mobile devices that will perform the functions that would normally be carried out in an office. This includes devices like laptops, tablets, monitors and printers.
Employees are multi-tasking now more than ever and need to run several applications at the same time, so having laptops with top-notch processing that can handle complex applications is important to worker speed and productivity. Having a monitor (or 2 or 3), like many employees are accustomed to, also helps employees to multitask and prevent eye strain from viewing a smaller laptop/tablet screen. In addition to productivity, the latest IT hardware will have updated security patches which makes them more secure and less vulnerable to cyber threats.
Often looked over for remote workers are printers. An office typically has one single printer or a dozen plus (depending on size) that are shared by employees. But when working from home each employee must have their own printer. Some employee job functions require them to print and retain paper copies of sensitive documents as well as scanning/faxing docs, so having an efficient and capable printer is imperative.
Updating or purchasing new IT hardware is necessary for improving workplace productivity but can be a sizeable expense for businesses, which is why the U.S. government provides tax deduction incentives for the 2020 tax year for small to mid-sized businesses.
To gain access to end-of-year hardware promotions from industry-leading manufacturers or learn more about how VDI can help your business, contact NexusTek below.