There are 2 things that are more certain than death and taxes in today’s world. One is the coronavirus and the other is work from home.
The transformation, though sudden, has invalidated certain older aspects of work-life like coffee machines and group smoke breaks, and validated a few new ones like portable workspace furniture.
But what is one thing that is still relevant?
The Internet, it was relevant back then and it is relevant today.
With that in mind, let's take this time out to look at some top productivity challenges to working from home - call it connectivity, accessibility or anything else, it begins and ends with a highly available & secured Internet.
What are we getting wrong?
For any person or business, security of sensitive information is an important concern and with the nature of the office network going WAN (Global) from LAN (Local), has been a serious paradigm shift with challenges of its own, many of which still remain unresolved.
It used to be that attacks on home WiFi were rare - office networks presented much better rewards for efforts put in by hackers. Lack of WiFi security measures at home and the availability of the same valuable and confidential information are indicators that the battlefield is shifting from workspace network to home network.
As a result, techies forming up to 49% of the workforce have confessed having lost valuable productivity to an underperforming Internet connection - be it through active, mostly (cyberthreats) or passive (common disruptive) factors.
Why is the network important?
Nobody has ever minded the network. The devices are secured and up to date with the best endpoint security solutions - anti-viruses and firewalls, then why bring in the network?
The thing is, endpoint security solutions are limited in their scope and deployment. Securing the network provides a much more comprehensive cover for the work being done.
“Most homes with high-speed Internet connections have at least one or more wireless routers, which could be exploited if not properly secured. A solid network security system helps reduce the risk of data loss, theft and sabotage.”
- Dr. Chris LaBounty (Herzing University)
Security is just one way of looking at it, not to mention, a responsive, secure, fast and hassle free network is as important to an individual’s productivity, as is a performing device.
Challenge #1: Safety of Information, Compliance, Privacy and Cybersecurity
Lets first imagine your home network - a couple of laptop and mobile devices, a router or 2, IoT smart appliances (if any) and your television sets.
“With today's technology, it is relatively easy worldwide to work from anywhere as connecting to the Internet isn't a challenge. But trying to maintain compliance with regulation, security of systems, and privacy of data certainly is.”
Even the best of endpoint security solutions cannot guarantee that. In fact you cannot even install an antivirus on your smart TV.
That is just one example, a lot of work is going on through remote access (remote desktop protocol).
And what about the work that is going on on your cloud platform/web application?
Hackers can intercept a lot of your data - not only can they read your mails but also see your login credentials and credit card details.
To the point, unless some precise steps have been taken to improve WiFi protection strategically, even your old trusted WiFi router guard is an open invitation to intruders, just like the coffee shop WiFi.
Challenge #2: The Internet that goes down!
Redundancy is a networking practice where we keep backup components and lines ready and waiting to take over the traffic load if the primary connection goes down.
This makes the network highly available.
It is a common practice and probably your office has one up and running, preferably in the load balancing plus failover redundancy setup meaning there is a very little chance (about 0.001%) that office Internet would ever go down and that too for 5 minutes at best.
But can you expect the same from the single line broadband home Internet?
Challenge #3: The desire for some private space
A separate personal network for work related accessories - official devices, laptop, printer, etc, is the best bet from security & privacy POV.
While a separate work network or VLAN doesn’t add to your existing speed, things on the Internet will surely appear faster due to better management - as the node to node and broadcast traffic is now routed in a much more efficient manner.
Next, you can go on to create a separate network for guests, another for Kids probably with a stricter content filtering and so on according to your needs.
Challenge #4: The Internet that is Slow and Unstable with Fluctuating Bandwidth
This is something we have all come across on a regular basis during the lockdown. There has been a dramatic increase in home Internet bandwidth consumption.
Earlier what used to be a network good only for beating evening/night time blues, is now supporting everything - from office, to kids’ studies to your wife’s favorite shows.
Since most homes share a common exchange, the bandwidth is almost choked to a halt during the peak hours and there are chances of outages.
Within your home network too, more often than not we come across fluctuations which are a direct result of devices competing for bandwidth. Usually, it's the device nearest to your router that wins while others attempt to reconnect.
One reason for this is the unmanaged nature of the network and the other is that we didn't bother upgrading the Internet plan in proportion with the increase in load. Did we?
The next big question is - do we? Do you actually need an upgrade of the Internet plan or can proper management of the network resolve the issue?
Challenge #5: The New Mail marked as Important says Shop Now!
Although I don't really have a problem with the advertisements but the rate at which their feed share has gone up is annoying.
There was a time when YouTube videos had no ads.
Then, there was that one ad that used to play at the start of video.
Then there were two ads each at the starting and ending of a video.
Today, you can expect some 4-5 ads in a 10 minute video if it is popular enough.
Also, these are the advertisements that can still be digested, the Internet is filled with so many scamming and malicious advertisements. Some of those even have the audacity to pop up on the screen at a time when you are working.
In the least, what they do is make an omelet out of a painstakingly focused mind.
Challenge #6: The need for proper coordination and visibility
Visibility is an important constituent of working together, from both the employer and employee’s point of view.
If you are an employer - you can rest well aware that your employees are not cyberloafing behind your back and as an employee, you can rest well aware that your full day’s work has been rightly acknowledged.
Lack of visibility can lead to a lack of communication which leads to lack of coordination and that goofs up everything.
The Solution - Introducing BhaiFi's Work@Home Cyberstation
It has been 7 glorious years of BhaiFi unleashing the next level of cybersecurity, productivity and seamlessness at your workspace by ensuring a fast, secure and streamlined Internet experience and now, you can enjoy the same from home.
Brace yourself and get ready to be teleported back to your office with the dedicated high speed VPN and enjoy the ride as it is secured with up to 4 layers of security.
Preloaded with all your favorite network management and security features plus an enhanced work from home bundle designed to meet all the challenges with a smile.
- Scan and Block all threats to your home network and connected devices with the Network based Antivirus, the new all in one polymorphic threat intelligence and mitigation platform.
- Enjoy a 99.999% availability with 4G Failover that immediately and automatically backs you up with mobile Internet as soon as your broadband goes down.
- Create your own private workspace on your home network or extend it across to all your teams, all with a single tap.
- Get the maximum value out of your Internet pack with automatic speed tests, scheduled maintenance and right optimizations.
- Block all disruptive advertisements, malicious websites and spam with smart content filtering and rediscover your long productive office hours once again.
- Stay in touch with everybody and contribute coherently with augmented visibility and real time Internet outage notifications.
The list goes on as BhaiFi continues to gather stars for every other feature that bridges the gap between office and home network.
Available in market soon, preliminary trials indicate over 83% surveyed employees working from home report a positive impact on their productivity and an additional 80% cite improved collaboration.
With that we round up the 6 major Internet challenges to productivity faced by employees working from home and how you can resolve them in the wink of an eye with BhaiFi.
Now, are you going to let another day pass by without addressing the crippling cybersecurity & productivity issues of your team? Or are you going to tap this opportunity to change things?
Don’t wait because the company offering products similar to yours is not your real competitor, time is!
Cheers and happy BhaiFing!