The office and more precisely the favoured open office set up, became fertile breeding ground for the coronavirus, meaning employers were compelled to let their employees work from home. Unlike some of the other forced changes that the pandemic caused, which could well be temporary, working from home looks increasingly likely to be here to stay.
In recent weeks a number of companies including Twitter, Square, Shopify and even Facebook are planning for employees to work from home permanently. Working from home can be a win-win for both sides with employees saving on commuting time and expense, whilst employers save on expensive office space and their employees seem to work longer hours.
Remote working technologies are the bedrock of this rapid transition to working from home. Some of the key remote technologies include:
▪ Video conferencing software such as Zoom, Webex, Skype for Business, that are key to replacing face to face internal and external meetings and have benefitted from a rapid transition to home working
▪ Collaboration software such as Slack, WIMI, Microsoft Teams which help remote workers communicate and collaborate on work tasks, are essential to seamless team working remotely
▪ Whilst secure VPN and desktop virtualisation providers like Citrix and VMware are crucial to ensure applications that staff need for their remote work can be accessed through a secure network
We note that all these technologies for remote working existed prior to the pandemic but employers continued the status quo of having most of their staff work in the office most of the time. Given the current unprecedented experiment in working from home, we believe this is an area that is ripe for change. Beneficiaries from increased remote working include video conferencing software, collaboration software, secure VPN, desktop virtualisation solutions providers and cloud infrastructure providers.
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