As more and more people continue to work from home, society has become increasingly dependent on technology to facilitate the everyday operations that were once taken for granted. Technology is both the problem and the cure in the new work from home environment. Without technology, many more businesses would likely have been forced to close this year. However, despite all the benefits, some technologies still present challenges to those working from home.
Technology Enables Working from Home
Before focusing on the challenges, it is important to acknowledge how technology has facilitated working from home. Without tools like digital communication and collaboration software, working from home would not be possible. For both businesses and staff, remote working tools have proved invaluable, improving productivity and connecting staff. There is no doubt that many people would not be able to work from home without remote working tools. However, technological challenges remain in a remote working environment.
Offices have inbuilt cybersecurity protections that most people do not have in their homes. Working online without a firewall or other security measures leaves workers much more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. It is also common for remote workers to be using their own devices, which leaves them vulnerable to a host of potential problems.
For example, research has found that there has been a 600% increase in phishing emails since February. The challenges to remote cybersecurity can be mitigated by training staff and supplying them with technical solutions designed to protect data such as two-factor authentication.
One of the most common challenges for those working from home is internet connectivity. Unlike office environments, it is common for domestic WIFI to experience slow loading speeds, or to be unreliable, meaning it stops working completely on occasion. Even those individuals who’s at-home internet is of high quality are experiencing problems.
As more people are working from home there is an increased demand for the bandwidth issued by internet providers, which has caused speeds to slow across the board. Many people chose to deal with this problem by turning to their mobile devices. Cellular networks have been designed to be able to cope with larger traffic rates, which means they less commonly experience these dips in loading speeds.
Access to the Right Technologies
There are some tools that can be easily accessed by anyone using a computer or mobile device, while others demand in-person connectivity. While our era of cloud computing and Bluetooth connectivity means that it is less common for technologies to require in-person activation, for some industries, this is still a necessity. For example, industries that require the use of big data banks are experiencing significantly decreased efficiency. While big data banks do not require an in-person connection, their loading speeds are hugely affected by remote connection.
Technology has enabled businesses and workers to quickly adapt to changes in the working environment. While there are still some technological challenges when working from home, technology has benefited from a continuation of operations that many says has prevented a more significant economic recession in 2020.
Photo by Mikey Harris