Aspect IT: Returning to the office: A technology checklist

By Peter Dorotiak, Director

IN February 2021, the government released their ‘four step roadmap’ to ease lockdown restrictions in England and new guidelines have recently been released for offices and contact centres.

As we start to leave lockdown, businesses are reviewing their employees’ working arrangements.

Many businesses have stated that when lockdown restrictions are eased, they may offer their employees flexible working whereas some have indicated their staff should return to the workplace.aspect ITOur technology checklist will help you plan for the two most popular option: a hybrid model, and a full return to the office.

Hybrid working: This working allows employees to spend several days working in the office and the remaining days working remotely. Many companies believe this will be the future, including Spotify, who have stated “Starting this summer we’ll be offering more flexibility to employees by introducing My Work Mode as well as flexibility when it comes to work location”.

Here is a simple technology checklist to help you plan your hybrid working model:

1. Use of equipment: Ensure your employees have the necessary equipment to work remotely and in the office. For example, will employees use a laptop for portability, or will they have two computers, one in the office and one at home?

2. Required technology: Hybrid workers will require their data and applications to be accessible wherever they are working. Ensure your systems support this level of accessibility.

3. Backup and security: Have a clear security and backup policy for hybrid workers. For example, they may be using unsecured Wi-Fi at remote locations which could expose your business data.

A full return to the office: Several companies, including Google and Amazon, have stated their employees will return to the office. Amazon recently issued a statement to their employees saying “Our plan is to return to an office-centric culture as our baseline. We believe it enables us to invent, collaborate, and learn together most effectively”.

Here is a simple checklist that you can use to plan your office return:
1. Ensure all equipment is returned: This does not only include computers or laptops, but also cables, printers, telephones, and any external devices like USB disk drives.

2. Stagger the return to the office: If you have several staff returning office equipment, you may wish to stagger their return to give you time to check their equipment and avoid delays.

3. Check all returned equipment: Check equipment to ensure it is working, safe to use, and is free of viruses before reconnecting them to your office network.

Planning the return of your employees to the office could be a complex process. It should be planned and managed effectively to avoid any delays to your business or the loss of data.

If you think your company could benefit from expert advice, then contact us on 0161 241 9050.

We are your local and trusted IT support company and have been established since 2003.

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