The government wants us back in the office to protect the ‘city’ economy. But, what could be the digital impacts of a sustained increase in homeworking?
Where and how we work – Home office, town base?
- Increased home working will surely mean an excess in office capacity in our towns and cities. Potentially reducing rents or offering building conversions to affordable residential use.
- In parallel, an increase is likely in the demand for business facilities like shared lounges, meeting rooms and hot-desk spaces to support occasional town working.
More workplace flexibility means more data protection and connectivity issues from greater mobility! – 2 digital impacts we need to address.
The quality of digital connectivity will become even more important for homeworkers!
Speed and usage of broadband will be a key element to a stress-free WFH environment.
Everybody, not just business users, will want fast(er) broadband and, capacity and speed requirements will be driven by increasing video conferencing loads, real-time communications and HD/4K streaming.
Overall, the result will favour homeworking in well-connected locations.
Given the still patchy national coverage of high-speed broadband, some rural areas might be disadvantaged for homeworkers.
Therefore, getting the right broadband contracts will be crucial where customer servicing or teamworking is central to the business.
Digital security at home
Security online will be increasingly difficult to manage and the impact of data breaches will be deeper and wider. This is because greater data management challenges will test organisations risk management and security systems for employees now working from home.
SME’s and sole professionals will be at more risk and vulnerable to be targeted with generic attacks. It is important that homeworkers are familiar with cyber security and the measures you need to take?
Homeworkers, both employees and independents, will become increasingly targeted by scammers, ‘mirror’ or clone websites, data interception and identity theft.
Understanding technology resilience, data protection regulations, cyber security protection products and insurance in the home environment will never have been so important. You can read more about security online.
The impact of the digital shift will mean that:
- Digital “class divisions” appear or become starker with increased pressure on telecoms companies and the Government to provide more equitable and robust services.
- Digital advertising will become increasingly intrusive.
- Customers will be more likely to seek more ‘purchase security’ through recommendations and testimonials on websites or third-party sites. While for businesses, social media and directed email marketing will become increasingly challenging as customers become more wary about digital marketing.
What should homeworkers think about?
- Shop around for the best price and performance for your broadband connectivity, and;
- You should consider using 4G hotspot technology if your mobile phone is better connected than your landline!
- Make sure you keep your gadgets up to date with anti-virus software
- Self-employed? then consider taking out cyber insurance cover for your business operations. Given the limitations of some policies on the market, we hope to launch a comprehensive cyber policy which protects you from financial loss and helps your digital recovery.
In next week’s blog, we will look at the potential environmental impact of the ‘new normal’